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1855 Sydney Mint Type I Half Sovereign Fair

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1855 Sydney Mint Type I Half Sovereign Fair

Arguably the most affordable 1855 half sovereign available.

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Australia Half Sovereign 1855 Sydney Mint

Obverse: Type I portrait of Queen Victoria

Reverse: Australia within wreath

Arguably the most affordable example of this incredibly rare and historic available, it is the cheapest way of finishing a complete set of Australian half sovereigns.

The 1855 Sydney half sovereign is unequivocally Australia's rarest circulating coin.

There definitely are other Australian coins that are known to be rarer, however they are not standard coins issued for circulation - patterns, proofs, errors and varieties obviously don't qualify as circulating coins.

Current numismatic research indicates that there are perhaps only around fifty 1855 half sovereigns remaining available to collectors today - that is an incredibly low survival rate when we consider that 21,000 were struck for use in the colonial economy of New South Wales.

This particular example was obviously actively in circulation for many years - it is heavily worn on the reverse. Importantly however, it is absolutely free of any significant damage such as contact marks, bends or edge nicks that detract from the eye appeal that it has.

If anything - the worn quality of this coin makes it even rarer than those that have more meat on the bones - it is actually incredibly rare in this condition.

Nearly all of the 1855 Sydney Mint half sovereigns that remain available to collectors grade Very Good ~ Fine condition. Very few coins grade higher than that range, and far fewer coins again grade less than that.

Very few are as heavily worn as this one, which means that there are very few opportunities for the date collector of Australian half sovereigns to acquire one of these historic coins for significantly less than $20,000, let alone less than $10,000.

Our auction records indicate that this is just one of a handful of examples to have appeared in this price bracket within the past three decades. The last time an unimpaired 1855 half sovereign was offered for sale via auction for less than $10,000 was November 2000, 18 years ago to the month.

Yes - the reverse of this hardy example of Australia's rarest circulating coin doesn't compare favourably against others that are just one grade higher, however don't forget that it is less than half the price such a coin commands at present.

This is an incredibly affordable slice of Australian numismatic history, and will plug the gap in an album of Australian halves as easily as one that is two to three times the price.