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GI28568

Victoria 1848 Sovereign XF40 first young head rarity

Victoria (1837-1901), gold Sovereign, 1848, first young filleted head left, W.W. raised on truncation for engraver William Wyon, date below, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, rev. crowned quartered shield of arms, laurel wreath surrounding, emblems below, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:, edge milled (Bentley 55; Marsh 31A R2; S.3852). Toned and worn on the high points, surface marks around reverse details, graded by PCGS as XF40, extremely rare.

PCGS Certification 652580.40/44789690

The Latin legends translates on obverse as "Victoria by the Grace of God," and on the reverse "Queen of the Britain's, Defender of the Faith."

The year 1848 marks the juncture between the use of the smaller first bust of Queen Victoria and the succeeding larger second bust. The overall calendar year mintage of 2,246,701 covers the total for both heads with no breakdown between each, but the first head must have only represented a very small percentage of this mintage as not many survive to the present day. The change of head perhaps occurred as a result of a Royal Mint Committee at which William Wyon gave evidence. The larger head was perhaps adopted in the light of the outcome of the committee, but this needs more research if the records survive. The enigma we are left with is a major rarity in this changeover year, with examples in any grade proving hard to find.

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