United Kingdom: Coin Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head - detailed information

United Kingdom: Coin Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head
CoinHalf Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head

A gold coin (19 mm diameter with plain edge) featuring the Jubilee bust of Queen Victoria wearing imperial crown and facing left, a long veil falls behind the head, the bust is draped and decorated with the Star of the Garter, and also the badge of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India; around, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, the artist's initials J.E.B. below the shoulder.

On the reverse, a garnished shield, crowned and lined, around, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: and below 1887, the mint mark (if any) at the middle of the date.

Mints
NameMint markMintage
Royal Mint London No mint mark 872,567 (872567), Rarity: N (Normal)
Sydney Mint Letter S 134,000 (134000), Rarity: N (Normal)
Melbourne Mint Letter M 64,000 (64000), Rarity: S (Scarce)
Obverse
United Kingdom / Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head - obverse photo

The obverse features the Jubilee bust of Queen Victoria wearing imperial crown and facing left, a long veil falls behind the head, the bust is draped and decorated with the Star of the Garter, and also the badge of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India; around, the legend VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, the artist's initials J.E.B. below the shoulder.

Obverse Inscription VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Reverse
United Kingdom / Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head - reverse photo

Crowned and garnished shield quartered with the arms of England (1 & 4), Scotland (2) and Ireland (3); around, the monarch's legend BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:, the date 1887 is below divided by the bottom of the shield.

Royal Mint London coins do not have a mint mark. The mint mark for branch mints (S for Sydney Mint or M for Melbourne Mint) is below the shield dividing the date. No die number, unlike earlier coins of the type.

Reverse Inscription BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: 1887
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

Mintage figures for the Melbourne Mint and the Sydney Mint are totals for "Young Head" and "Jubilee Head" half sovereigns minted in 1887 in these mints; the mint reports do not distinguish mintage between these types.

The Royal Mint London only produced "Jubilee Head" half sovereigns this year.

The "ordinary" Royal Mint London sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3869 (normal designer's initials JEB).

The "ordinary" Sydney Mint sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3871A (small close JEB), same as "Normal JEB" in McDonald (?): McD 032a

The "ordinary" Melbourne Mint sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3870 (small spread designer's initials JEB), same as McDonald 033 (?).

References to additional information:

[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Half Sovereign. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Coins, 1982. pp. 13-40.

Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Known varieties
Variety Proof FDC (Royal Mint London)
Mintage 797 (included in total)
DetailsType S-3869.
Variety Proof, normal (Sydney Mint) S-3871A
Mintage unknown
Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Variety Proof, plain edge (Sydney Mint)
Mintage unknown
Variety Proof, normal JEB (Melbourne Mint) McD 033
Mintage unknown
Variety Proof, small spread JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870
Mintage unknown
Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Variety Proof, close JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870A
Mintage unknown
Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
DetailsClose spacing of designer's initials JEB. McD 033c, S-3870A.
Variety Normal JEB (Melbourne Mint) McD 033a
Mintage unknown (included in total)
DetailsNormal J.E.B. (designer's initials). McD 033a.
Variety Close JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870A
Mintage unknown (included in total)
DetailsClose spacing of designer's initials JEB. McD 033c, S-3870A.
Variety Small Spread JEB (Sydney Mint) S-3871
Mintage unknown (included in total)
DetailsSmall spread of J.E.B. (designer's initials). Spink 3871.
Variety Close JEB (Sydney Mint) McD 032b
Mintage unknown (included in total)
DetailsClose spacing of J.E.B. (designer's initials). McDonald 032b, not in Spink.
Variety Platinum pattern (Melbourne Mint) McD 033b
Mintage unknown
Rarity: R7 (Highest rarity possible, 3 or less examples known)
DetailsReeded edge proof, in platinum. Probably unique. First sold by Sotheby's in London in March 1903. For a long time it was thought to be silver, and is listed as such in many catalogues (e.g. Renniks 1966, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1649 - 1971). McD 033b.
Variety Close JEB (Royal Mint London) S-3869A
Mintage unknown (included in total)
Variety No JEB (Royal Mint London) S-3869C
Mintage unknown (included in total)
DetailsNo designer's initials on neck truncation.
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint Royal Mint London
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mint Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mintage Royal Mint mintage
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mintage Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint mintage
McDonald, Australian Coins and Banknotes Varieties Varieties on the spacing of the designer's initials; Platinum proof
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Varieties Proof (Melbourne and Sydney)
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Varieties link Plain edge proof Sydney
All Coins of Country: United Kingdom, Type: Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal) (100)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Half Sovereign 1817 2,080,197 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Half Sovereign 1818 1,030,286 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Half Sovereign 1820 35,043 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
Half Sovereign 1821 231,288 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1823 224,280 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1824 591,538 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1825 761,150 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1826 344,830 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1826
Half Sovereign 1827 492,014 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1827
Half Sovereign 1828 1,244,745 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1828
Half Sovereign 1831 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1834 133,899 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1835 772,554 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1836 146,865 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1837 160,207 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1838 273,341 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Half Sovereign 1839 (Proof only) 1,230 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Half Sovereign 1841 508,835 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Half Sovereign 1842 2,223,352 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Half Sovereign 1843 1,251,762 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Half Sovereign 1844 1,127,007 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Half Sovereign 1845 887,526 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Half Sovereign 1846 1,063,928 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Half Sovereign 1847 982,636 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Half Sovereign 1848 410,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Half Sovereign 1849 845,112 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Half Sovereign 1850 179,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Half Sovereign 1851 773,573 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Half Sovereign 1852 1,377,671 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Half Sovereign 1853 2,708,796 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Half Sovereign 1854 1,125,144 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Half Sovereign 1855 2,391,362 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Half Sovereign 1856 2,391,909 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Half Sovereign 1857 728,223 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Half Sovereign 1858 855,578 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Half Sovereign 1859 2,203,813 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Half Sovereign 1860 1,131,500 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Half Sovereign 1861 1,130,867 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1861
Half Sovereign 1862 unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1862
Half Sovereign 1863 1,371,574 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1863
Half Sovereign 1864 1,758,490 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Half Sovereign 1865 1,834,750 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1865
Half Sovereign 1866 2,058,776 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1866
Half Sovereign 1867 992,795 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1867
Half Sovereign 1869 1,861,764 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1869
Half Sovereign 1870 1,159,544 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1870
Half Sovereign 1871 2,242,970 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1871
Half Sovereign 1872 3,604,627 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1872
Half Sovereign 1873 2,092,084 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1873
Half Sovereign 1874 1,884,432 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1874
Half Sovereign 1875 768,240 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1875
Half Sovereign 1876 2,785,187 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1876
Half Sovereign 1877 2,337,482 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1877
Half Sovereign 1878 2,081,941 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1878
Half Sovereign 1879 255,201 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1879
Half Sovereign 1880 1,089,049 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1880
Half Sovereign 1881 104,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Half Sovereign 1882 158,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1882
Half Sovereign 1883 3,090,457 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1883
Half Sovereign 1884 1,181,756 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1884
Half Sovereign 1885 4,479,871 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1885
Half Sovereign 1886 120,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1886
Half Sovereign 1887 Young head 198,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1887
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head 1,070,567 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1888 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1889 64,000 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1890 2,266,023 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1891 1,233,286 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1892 13,680,486 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1893 Shield 4,536,649 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1893 St George 4,677,398 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1894 3,794,591 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1895 2,869,183 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1896 3,165,551 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1897 3,798,156 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1898 2,878,527 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1899 3,459,103 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1900 4,799,668 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1901 2,037,664 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1902 4,343,580 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1903 2,753,057 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1904 1,777,470 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1905 3,023,993 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1906 4,635,482 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1907 4,233,421 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1908 4,964,622 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1909 4,240,831 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1910 5,497,881 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1911 6,490,243 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1912 6,502,316 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1913 6,094,290 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1914 7,573,124 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1915 3,196,630 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1916 448,000 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1918 unknown Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1923 (Proof only) 655 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1925 946,615 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1926 806,540 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1937 (Proof only) 5,501 Portrait by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Half Sovereign 1953 (not released) unknown Portrait by Mary Gillick (First Portrait) ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D: +
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Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
PeriodPound Sterling (pre-decimal) (1801 - 1971)
Coin TypeHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield)
Issued1887
MonarchQueen Victoria
EffigyPortrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head)
Face Value1/2 (x Pound)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage1,070,567 (1.1 million)
Material0.9167 Gold
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size (mm)19.3000
Thickness (mm)0.9900
Mass (g)3.9940
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Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint London. Proof.
Source
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint London. Proof.
Source
Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Royal Mint London.
Source
Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Royal Mint London.
Source
Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint. Proof, plain edge.
Source
Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint. Proof, plain edge.
Source
Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
Source
Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
Source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign478 (Royal Mint London)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldGreat Britain 251 (Royal Mint London)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 766 (Royal Mint London)
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3869, 3869A, 3869C (Royal Mint London)
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign485 (Sydney Mint) and 48 (Melbourne Mint)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldAustralia 22 (Sydney Mint) and 21 (Melbourne Mint)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsAustralia KM# 9 (Melbourne Mint and Sydney Mint)
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3871A, 3871 (Sydney) and 3870, 3870A (Melbourne)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 032a (Sydney), McD 032 (SS), McD 032b (Close)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcS 032c (Sydney Mint, Proof plain edge)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 033a (Melbourne), McD 033 (SS IEB)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 033b Platinum Proof (Melbourne Mint)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesH32 (Sydney Mint) and H33 (Melbourne Mint)