1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign, a rare date in supreme quality


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1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-Unc-January-2021
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign, a rare date in supreme quality
COIN
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign, a rare date in supreme quality
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The Montgomery Collection
PRICE
$20,000
COMMENTS
There are two aspects to this 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign that must be noted. The first is that the coin is presented as Choice Uncirculated. The addition of the word ‘CHOICE’ takes the quality to a level that is the absolute exception and very rarely seen. A step up from Uncirculated, the coin has satin fields and a strong strike. We remark on the strength in the rider’s leg …. an inherent area of weakness in most 1918s. The second aspect that must be noted is that the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is rare. Respected numismatic author, Greg McDonald, contends that only 200 to 300 pieces are available to collectors. This is a world class coin rarity presented in the supreme quality of Choice Uncirculated and, for the record, this coin is only the third example - in Choice Uncirculated - that we have ever handled. Also for the record, this 1918 Half Sovereign has an obverse vertical die crack that runs from the head of George V to the moustache, adding further to its appeal. (Technical shots are provided below.)
STATUS
Sold January 2021
1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-Unc-January-2021
Enquire Now

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is an enigma. It is the coin that according to Perth Mint records was never struck.

Now, that is a story we have heard before. The 1930 Penny is yet another Australian coin rarity that according to its mint of origin, the Melbourne Mint, was also never struck.

In both cases the mystery surrounding their striking has added to their appeal, underpinning collector demand.

The first appearance of a 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign occurred in 1967 and was noted in the then industry magazine, 'The Australian Coin Review'. Inspired by the coin's first sighting, collectors commenced searching. And over the ensuing years, a few more 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereigns trickled their way out into the marketplace.

The extreme rarity of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign challenged historians and numismatists to come up with a plausible reason for the minuscule mintage.

Extensive research was undertaken on die usage at the Perth Mint in 1918 and in the years thereafter.

The conclusion was that a mintage of half sovereigns was struck in 1919 and again in 1920 - using the dies dated 1918 - all of which was exported overseas with the majority assumed melted down.

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is a stand-alone rarity. Its a key coin - the rarest date - in the George V Half Sovereign Series.

But it also is an important date in our entire Half Sovereign series (1855 to 1918) for Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918.

The 1918 Half Sovereign was struck at the Perth Mint and features the obverse portrait of King George V.

The first Australian half sovereign to depict the portrait of George V was dated 1911. The last half sovereign to depict his portrait was dated 1918.

A complete collection of George V Half Sovereigns involves nine coins.

  1.   1911 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
  2.   1911 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
  3.   1912 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
  4.   1914 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
  5.   1915 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
  6.   1915 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign
  7.   1915 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
  8.   1916 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
  9.   1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign

It is a relatively easy collection to put together. Except for one coin. That being the very last coin in the series and the most elusive, the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign. This coin.

 

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1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign reverse. A strong strike and satin fields. Lovely edges.

1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-Unc-TECH-January-2021

1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign obverse. Highly detailed with satin fields. Lovely edges. There is a vertical die crack that runs from the head of George V to the moustache, adding further to its appeal.

Enquire now

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