Now when it comes to the 1887 Half Sovereign, there are two qualifications that have to be made to assess the coin's rarity.
The first is the mint, Melbourne or Sydney? The former is far rarer.
The second qualification is the design. In 1887 a new half sovereign portrait design was introduced for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee to mark the fiftieth anniversary of her ascension to the British throne (1837 - 1887).
Records indicate that 64,000 half sovereigns were issued by the Melbourne Mint in 1887, but it is noted that this figure includes the two different portrait designs of Young Head and Jubilee.
The industry now acknowledges that only a minuscule number of young head half sovereigns were ever issued in 1887. The suggested mintage is less than 10,000.
The balance of the mintage taken up by the jubilee portrait.
Gripped with sentiment, collectors pursued the commemorative jubilee portrait allowing the young head half sovereigns to slip quietly into circulation.
A clear explanation of this coin's extreme rarity out in the market place.
1887 - and what a year it was. The estimated population of Australia was 2,881,362 with New South Wales and Victoria almost neck and neck, each with just over 1 million inhabitants. Western Australia, the last penal colony to be settled, had 43,820 inhabitants. Gas bath heaters were introduced in Australian homes and the Horse Tramway started in Ballarat. Queensland's railways reached the New South Wales border at Wallangarra and the Chaffey Brothers made an agreement with the South Australian Government to establish an irrigation system at Renmark.