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@S.L.W :   This looks like something I remember seeing i/f/o the Red Book every year in the 1960's. Pillar dollar. Piece of Eight, something like that. Splendid example!  [So good, in fact, I am tempted to test the mettle of metal fans here by presenting a genuine replica, suitably attired by raiment with four white prongs, sitting back and seeing who takes the bait. Ahhh, perchance to dream!  :roflmao:

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On 11/6/2022 at 1:52 AM, AdamWL said:

IMG_4874.jpg

IMG_4875.jpg

Who needs a mere pfenning when you can go for a gold KONINGRUK!

Edited by Quintus Arrius
Removal of duplicate posts.
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Wonderful coin, for those that may not know (like myself) can you explain the difference between the high shield and a non high shield.

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On 11/28/2022 at 4:18 PM, Coinbuf said:

Wonderful coin, for those that may not know (like myself) can you explain the difference between the high shield and a non high shield.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words (maybe only 327 words after inflation) I'll show an example of 1891 Low Shield here. The difference is at the very bottom where the shield intercepts the date.  Basically it comes down to how close the bottom tip of the shield gets to the rim, and how far apart the numerals in the date must be split apart.  Here is a quick explanation I copied from a source for the difference and why it's so rare:

"The reverse shield was lowered at some point after 1887 to improve metal flow. 1890 dated coins have a majority of the new lower shield. As the old high shield dies wear out and are replaced with the new lower shield dies, coins with the high shield become progressively rarer. According to David Iverson and Steve Hill in their publication ‘The Jubilee Gold Half Sovereign 1887-1893’ (Sovereign Rarities, 2019), all coins struck in 1891 are the lower shield type.  In 1892, with production at 13.7 million coins, a small number of high shield coins exist, so old dies from 1887 production runs were used in 1892 to cover production gaps when necessary. However, with the relatively low mintage of 1891 the use of old dies seems unnecessary."

One of the main reasons for the High Shield was to allow for the mintmark to be placed under it for coins minted in Australia.  So all Australian Victoria Jubilee Head half-sovereigns are necessarily of the High Shield variety. I've also shown 1891-S (Sydney mint) High Shield as example.  No mintmark appears on coins minted in London, and so after 1887 the vast majority are of the Low Shield variety.

 

1539749960_1891lowx.thumb.jpg.71d605f8e8b64d15d253f00332c20bb8.jpg

 

1891-S low x.jpg

Edited by Cozdred
Edited to add pic of Australian example
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On 12/2/2022 at 5:01 AM, Cozdred said:

 

1539749960_1891lowx.thumb.jpg.71d605f8e8b64d15d253f00332c20bb8.jpg

 

1891-S low x.jpg

To quote the late Joan Rivers, "Can we talk?"

What's all this hooey about high and low shields?  Is there no other place on the vast nether regions of this coin upon which a mint mark can be placed without upsetting the sensibilities of the public?

I take it the obverse is out of the question.  (Too bad, had I been the artist I would have placed it directly on the giraffe-like neck of Her Highness.) Barring that, we turn our attention to the collection of synchronized rubble that occupies the entire reverse.

Even the most cursory examination reveals unoccupied space on either side of the crown at the top or between the flourish of curlicues at six different points about the shield.  The two most promising points are the spaces lying directly above the bifurcated date, at 1 8 and 9 1. [No self-respecting Brit would choose to disrupt the sanctity of a date by vulgarly inserting a mint mark between the center digits.]  Worse comes to worse, there is always the ample space available for use between the final 1 in the date and the colon following D E I :

None of these remedial actions require the malarkey of much ado about nothing movement or migration of shields, or any other features.  IMNSHO.

 

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On 12/2/2022 at 8:47 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

 

Is there no other place on the vast nether regions of this coin upon which a mint mark can be placed without upsetting the sensibilities of the public?

[No self-respecting Brit would choose to disrupt the sanctity of a date by vulgarly inserting a mint mark between the center digits.] 

 

In response to the symmetrically-challenged Lord Arrius, I would say that 100 to 200 years ago, the Brits liked to keep things balanced in their artistic designs. So placing anything even as tiny as a mintmark off to one side would never occur to them in this particular case.  Apparently the elder Brits lacked self-respect, since all coin designs were created by artists in London, and in fact I believe all working dies in those days were produced at The Royal Mint in London and then sent to the colony on ships. This odd arrangement of shipping the dies half-way around the world was the direct cause of one of the most famous overdates of any Australian gold sovereign, the 1872 over 1 coin produced at the new mint in Melbourne, when the vessel carrying the first shipment of dies sank. The Reverse of this 1891 coin, designed by the famous engraver Joseph Edgar Boehm, displays the Ensigns Armorial within a garnished shield surmounted by an imperial crown, which was a well-known emblem and not subject to alteration. 

However, I see your point and don't really disagree with your complaint. If I'd been Director of The Royal Mint in 1887, I would have required that the shield on the reverse be reduced in size by about 5% and raised up, such that the lower reaches no longer protruded into the area of the date, whereby the four numerals could be spaced together properly and not divided. Symmetry would have been maintained, and still leave a pleasing design IMO. The previous design for the Reverse of the full sovereign was wonderfully balanced to include the mintmark, which I show here on an 1881-S coin.

As for the mintmark for the Aussies, I would have specified that it be placed on the Obverse, unobtrusively nestled in the bodice of Her Majesty, just at the lower truncation of the portrait, almost exactly in the center of the design (directly south of her pearl earring).  I hope you would agree with that redesign. :hi:

 

471024202_1881-SSovrevx.thumb.jpg.c5437809bc0882bda8fbb9d0376b3fa2.jpg

 

 

 

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@Cozdred:

It gives me great pleasure, my Lord, to announce without further ado, I am in complete accord with both your decision as to the placement of the mark and the historical interlude you've taken me on in support of your action.  :)

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On 12/2/2022 at 10:54 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

@Cozdred:

It gives me great pleasure, my Lord, to announce without further ado, I am in complete accord with both your decision as to the placement of the mark and the historical interlude you've taken me on in support of your action.  :)

 

P.S. -- I really admired you in "Ben Hur". It was a wonderful performance! 

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