Victoria (20.6.1837 - 22.1.1901)
This page was last updated on: January 16, 2018 3:12 PM
Old Head Coinage (1895 to 1901)
Bright Finish 1895 to 1897.
Dark Finish 1897 to 1901 (to avoid confusion with half sovereigns).
Note on 1897:
There are two different reverses and both exist for both Bright and Dark finishes in 1897.
All FOUR combinations of Bright/Dark with Reverse A/B exist, though higher grades are needed to be certain of "Bright" or "Dark" as bright finishes rapidly tone off in circulation. EF or better is usually needed to be sure.
Dark + Reverse B is commonest; Bright + Reverse A is rare. Both the other combinations are at least "Very Rare".
Reverse A: Slightly lower horizon. 7 in the date has its base directly above and points to a border tooth. A second reverse die is identifiable on which the 7 has its base directly above a tooth but it points very slightly to the left of that tooth. In both cases, the 7 is more slender than the chubbier 7 on Reverse B. It is worth noting that Reverse A with the lower horizon is consistently used for all the other Old Head dates.
Reverse B: Higher horizon. 7 is very close to and points to a gap.
In grades around VF and below, it is impossible to tell if it was a bright or dark finish, so these are simply listed below as Reverse A or Reverse B.