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Victoria 1874 shield Sovereign die 28
Victoria (1837-1901), gold Sovereign, 1874, die number 28 on reverse, young head facing left, date below, W.W. raised on truncation for engraver William Wyon, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, rev. crowned quartered shield of arms within laurel wreath, die number 28 and emblems below, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: edge milled, weight 7.98g (Bentley 624; Marsh 58; MCE 537; S.3853B). Toned with some residual flecks of dirt around rim or lettering, a couple of tiny rim nicks and two short parallel scratches on neck, otherwise almost very fine / very fine and on par with the Bentley collection example, extremely rare.
1874 represents the last year for the shield Sovereign at the London Royal Mint and is therefore the rarest. The calendar year mintage for the Sovereign this year is a mere 520,713 but this also includes the more numerous St George reverse pieces. The shield reverse must have totalled a mere fraction of this mintage. The shield Sovereigns of this period have individually numbered dies, a way of identifying which press on which journey of which day minted the coinage, and though this one is 28, only seven different die numbers are purported to exist as defined by Marsh, but we have only ever seen numbers 28, 32 and 33. The similar Bentley example sold for £6,480 in 2012.
Ex Dix, Noonan and Webb Auction, 28th September 2005, lot 276.