Australia 1897S Half Sovereign PCGS AU50

Half sovereign production is limited at the tail end of the Great Depression (renamed the Long Depression after the 1930’s). Ironically the “Silver Democrats” were exasperating global monetary problems at this time by fixing the value of silver to gold at 16:1 – too much silver was being mined in California if I remember correctly.

To the extent that these pegged, dual monetary standards were playing havoc with global commerce at the time is research for another day.  What is clear is how half sovereign production is curtailed from 1880 until 1900. It’s indicative that Australia did not escape these economic difficulties.

The production run of half sovereigns in Sydney during this decade was 250,000 in 1893; 115,000 in 1897 and 260,000 in 1900. However I do note that this example is more widely available in PCGS grades than 1896 Melbourne.

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