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BI03391

Victoria 1887 M Sovereign, DISH M1

Victoria (1837-1901), gold Sovereign, 1887, Melbourne, Australia Mint, Golden Jubilee style bust facing left, small crown and veil on head, pearl earring and 13 pearl necklace, J.E.B. initials spread higher and 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, M mint mark at centre of ground-line, date in exergue, initials B.P to upper right, for engraver Benedetto Pistrucci, edge milled, weight 7.99g (DISH M1 R5; Marsh 131A; S.3867). Surface marks, some light scuffing, otherwise almost very fine to very fine and extremely rare.

The Melbourne branch mint was initially sent just six pairs of dies to produce the new Jubilee head gold Sovereigns in 1887, all with the J.E.B. initials featuring a hooked J, with the letters punched onto each individual obverse die by hand. Melbourne Mint records state that on average for the year 44,641 sovereigns were produced from each die pair. Therefore each hooked J variety like this coin represents around just 4.75% of the years Jubilee sovereign production of 940,000. It is an extremely hard coin to find and was not represented in either the "Bentley Collection" sold at Baldwin 2012-13 or the "Quartermaster Collection" sold at Monetarium, Australia in 2009.

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