This is the final call for Collector Feedback on Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns. The email trail between Andrew Crellin of Sterling & Currency and myself is as follows. Given time constraints, the suggested changes will stand as is UNLESS any collector of half sovereigns have a contribution they’d like to make. Speak up or forever hold your peace (until the 4th edition).

Email Trail

The present rarity rating in The Gold Sovereign:
R – rare
R2 – very rare
R3 – extremely rare
R4 – 11-20 examples ESTIMATED to have survived
R5 – 5-10 examples ESTIMATED to have survived.
R6 – 3 or 4 examples KNOWN to exist
R7 – 1 or 2 examples KNOWN to exist

The list under review (my comments in bold):

Pg 191 – 1856 No Berry reverse R3. Proposed R4 rating. The NGC/PCGS guides have few examples available, XXXX reports less than a dozen examples sighted. If I could firm up actual numbers I’d be more confident in suggesting R5. 
Pg 192 – 1856 type II Pattern. What’s your understanding Andrew? R6 or R7?

Pg 192 – 1857/5 Overdate 7 over 5 – presently R6. Proposed R5 rating. Have located what appears to be 5 different examples including 2 for sale on Ebay. 
Pg 192 – 1858 Half SOVRREIGN presently R4. Do I correctly recall there being 9 known examples? Should be R5 if yes. ??
Pg 192 – 1859/8 Half Sovereign presently R3. Propose R5 ESTIMATE as unable to locate more than 2 examples on the internet. Numisbid is using the single example sold by Noble as illustration. PCGS have a single example graded. 
Pg 192 1861/0 Half Sovereign no change. 
Pg 192 1864 Roman numeral 1 in date presently R3. Suggested change to R4. 
That’s the suggested changes for Sydney Mint. Thoughts?

A New Variety of Sydney Mint Half Sovereign

There was some back and forth with Andrew and TEC awaits some feedback from another very experienced numismatist. However, the big shock to this author’s system came directly from a blog by Sterling & Currency dated 2023. The 1856/5 overdate half sovereign, which Andrew has rightly labelled Australia’s earliest overdate half sovereign.

1856/5 half sovereign – image rights Andrew Crellin

Having been kept busy and unable to follow through on numismatic research this past two years, it gives great pleasure knowing that the Australian numismatic community can provide informative updates to the third edition of The Gold Sovereign.

Final Call for Collector Feedback on Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns

Are you a collector of Sydney Mint half sovereigns? If so, TEC would like to hear your thoughts on what you believe should be changed in the 3rd edition. Drop me a line at [email protected] or text 0455 660 884. Cheers, Les.