The Australian flavour that earmarked our first Sydney Mint half sovereigns (1855 to 1870) was replaced with British inspired, design elements.
For the obverse, the sprig of banksia was removed.
Instead, a young Queen Victoria was depicted wearing a traditional braid in her hair. This new obverse design was launched in 1871 and continued until 1887.
The reverse presented a traditional British Shield design created by Jean Baptiste Merlen. The Shield reverse design continued until 1893.
Both Australia's oldest Numismatic Auction House, Australian Coin Auctions (A.C.A.), and respected numismatist Barrie Winsor were in complete agreement on this coin's superb state. And its extreme rarity. A.C.A. gave it the ultimate 'thumbs up' by placing the coin as the sole feature item gracing the front cover of their Catalogue of the famous Reserve Bank of Australia (R.B.A.) Auction conducted in 2005.
Barrie Winsor, also gave it 'the nod' when he acquired the coin at the R.B.A. Auction on behalf of the even more famous Quartermaster Collection.
In more than twenty years of trading, Winsor had not seen finer.
1871 - and what a year it was. Victoria continued to maintain its edge over N.S.W for population with 730,198 inhabitants: N.S.W. recording 502,998. Queensland had forged ahead to 120,104 inhabitants and boasted the production of 3,494,000 kg of cotton. South Australia became the first colony to allow a man to marry his deceased wife's sister and for animal lovers, that venerated institution, the R.S.P.C.A. was established in Melbourne.