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1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign Melbourne Mint, the key coin of the Queen Victoria Young Head Sovereign Series.


48296-1886-Sovereign-MOOD-OBV-April-2022
48296-1886-Sovereign-MOOD-REV-April-2022
1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign Melbourne Mint, the key coin of the Queen Victoria Young Head Sovereign Series.
COIN
1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign Melbourne Mint, the key coin of the Queen Victoria Young Head Sovereign Series.
PRICE
$65,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Uncirculated with proof-like fields
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
COMMENTS
The shield design appeared on Australia's Sovereigns between 1871 and 1887 inclusive and featured Queen Victoria's Young Head portrait on the obverse. The series boasts three extremely rare dates, all struck at the Melbourne Mint - '1880', '1886' and '1887'. Of those, the year '1886' is the jewel of the series, a world-class rarity and definitely the one to own. Our offer of this coin is made even more remarkable because the highest quality ranking available to collectors of the Melbourne Mint's 1886 Shield Sovereign is Uncirculated. The strike is virtually faultless even to the kiss-curl in front of the ear. Simply miraculous!! Also verging on the miraculous, the coin's state of preservation. This sovereign must have been plucked off the production line soon after it was minted and has been well looked after in the interim. The fields are proof-like. The technical shots shown below confirm the fabulous strike.
48296-1886-Sovereign-MOOD-REV-April-2022
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48296-1886-Sovereign-TECH-OBV-April-2022

1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign Obverse by William Wyon.
Notice the kiss-curl in front of the ear!

48296-1886-Sovereign-TECH-REV-April-2022

1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign Reverse by Jean Baptiste Merlen. Beautifully struck and proof-like fields.


History confirms the extreme rarity of the Melbourne Mint's 1886 Young Head Shield Sovereign (1886M).

Noble Numismatics is Australia’s largest Auction House holding three auctions annually each comprised of about 3000 lots.

Their auctions provide a plethora of invaluable information on prices realised and importantly, the frequency of sightings ... how often a coin can realistically be expected to appear on the market.

We note that:

  • Only one Uncirculated 1886M Young Head Shield Sovereign has been offered at Nobles in the last eleven years! The coin sold in July 2011 for $38,000. The pre-auction estimate was $35,000. Notice the price and the infrequency!
  • Confirming the rarity of the coin across all quality levels, on average just one 1886M Young Head Shield Sovereign is offered at Nobles annually. And the quality generally ranges from Good Very Fine to Extremely Fine, so circulated. Again we comment on the frequency and the grade.

Three famous Australian gold sovereign collections have been auctioned over the past fifty years and each contained an 1886M Shield Sovereign. The quality is noted as follows:

  • The revered Ross and Carol Pratley Collection sold by Spink Auctions (Australia) in March 1989 held an example in About Uncirculated.
  • The famous Sharpes Pixley Collection auctioned by Spink Auctions (Australia) in November 1989 held an example in Extremely Fine.
  • The inimitable Quartermaster collection, put together by Barrie Winsor for collector Tom Hadley and auctioned in 2009 held an example, also in About Uncirculated.
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