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BI01971

Sovereign 1887 London, hooked J, JEB close together (DISH L1)

Victoria (1837-1901), gold Sovereign, 1887, London, Tower Hill Mint, Golden Jubilee style bust facing left, small crown and veil on head, pearl earring and 13 pearl necklace, J.E.B. initials close together raised on truncation with hooked J, initials of engraver J Edgar Boehm, first abbreviated Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA D:G: BRITT: REG: F:D: rev. struck en medaille, St George and dragon right, horse with short tail, broken lance to left on ground-line, tiny WWP under lance, initials of William Wellesley Pole, Master of Mint when design introduced, date in exergue, initials B.P to upper right, for engraver Benedetto Pistrucci, edge milled (DISH L1 R5; Marsh 125A; S.3866A). Some light surface marks and nicks, otherwise a pleasing extremely fine and extremely rare, rated as Rarity 5 in DISH.

The Royal Mint in London were very concerned about the quality of finish that would be obtained with the new Jubilee head design in 1887. They added silver to the metal mix, reducing the amount of copper in the alloy. The number of sovereigns actually minted was 1,657,067 but only 1,111,280 were issued, the remaining 33% being rejected for various reasons. There were also a vast number of dies used, 141 obverse and 114 reverse. The average number of sovereigns therefore produced per pair of dies for the year was extremely low at around 8,000. The likely-hood is that the actual mintage figure for the very first coins minted, using these early obverse dies with the hooked J is even lower than this. Therefore the mintage figure for this coin and DISH L2, L3 and L4 is most likely less than 8,000 per die or less than 0.75% of the year's output.

This example above is the actual coin photographed and embossed on the front cover of the publication "The Jubilee Head Gold Sovereign 1887-1893" by David Iverson edited by Steve Hill and is also featured on the front cover of this publication.


Provenance:

Ex Hemisphere Collection auction, Baldwin Auction 88, 8th May 2014, lot 2067.

Sold as part of the David Iverson Collection on the 130th anniversary of the Jubilee head Sovereign - coin JH1

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