1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign


1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large rev May 2018
1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large obv May 2018
1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign
COIN
1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
In 2018, proof gold emerged as one of the most fiercely contested areas of the rare coin market. Prices paid at auction for proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns surged by about 20 per cent, the consequence of increased demand. Now while it is true that gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, the key to the growth in proof gold has been its inordinate scarcity. Buyers know that there is never a chance that the market will be flooded with examples. The scarcity has simply given the market the confidence to buy. This coin is a case in point for we are aware of only one other Proof 1899 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign, and that coin is held with a Coinworks client.
STATUS
Available now
1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large obv May 2018
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When sizing up a coin and evaluating its potential for growth, a buyer needs to consider two aspects.

  1. The rarity of the coin itself.
  2. The second aspect, the rarity of the sector of the market to which it belongs. The adage, "less is best" holds true in the rare coin industry for you don't want the market to be flooded with examples from the same sector.

The ideal investment scenario occurs when the coin is rare. And the sector is occupied by very few coins. 

As detailed above, this Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is rare. And the Veiled Head sector (to which it belongs) is very light on in numbers.

The Veiled Head era of Queen Victoria embraces nine years, 1893 to 1901 inclusive.

Three Australian mints were operating during this period, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the latter opening its doors in 1899.

The Sydney Mint was a very poor contributor to our proof gold coining history, striking proofs in only the first year of the Veiled head era, 1893. No other proofs were struck at the Sydney Mint between 1894 and 1901.  

As the Perth Mint only came on board in 1899, which was the latter part of the Veiled Head era, their contribution to this sector of the market was always going to be slim. The Perth Mint struck one – and one only - proof half sovereign in the year of its opening (this unique and very important piece was sold by Coinworks in 2017 for $500,000). The Perth Mint struck two proof half sovereigns in 1901, and again only one example is held in private hands. The other is held in the British Museum.

We have done our research checking auction records and our own private treaty sales and have knowledge of sixteen Veiled Head Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns.  

That figure immediately becomes fifteen once you give consideration to quality for the 1895 Proof Half Sovereign is noted as being “nearly FDC” with slight nicks in the obverse fields.

Fifteen is a minuscule number given that we are not talking fifteen of each year but fifteen coins that cover the entire spectrum of dates in Queen Victoria’s nine-year reign of 1893 to 1901.

  • The 1893 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign is unique, sold to a Coinworks client in 2018 for $350,000.
  • We have knowledge of two 1894 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns , one of which was sold to a Coinworks client in 2006, and where it still remains.
  • We have knowledge of only one 1895 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign , noted as nearly FDC with slight nicks in the obverse fields.
  • We have knowledge of two 1896 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns , one of which is currently available through Coinworks and is a superb FDC.
  • We have knowledge of three 1897 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns , the most recent appearance at auction occurring in 1996. One example is held with a Coinworks client.
  • We have knowledge of two 1898 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns . It is a date that has eluded us. We have no recorded sales of an 1898 Proof half Sovereign.
  • We have knowledge of two 1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns both of which are held with Coinworks clients.
  • We have knowledge of two 1900 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns . Again, it is a date that has eluded us. We have no recorded sales of a 1900 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign.
  • We have knowledge of one 1901 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign , held by a Coinworks client.
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