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1879 Half Sovereign Die Numbers

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In a previous post I mentioned that I was researching die numbers that appear on half sovereigns in the period 1863 to 1880 as part of larger study into half sovereigns. I mentioned that 10 die numbers had been recorded in respect of 1879 half sovereigns starting with Michael Mapleton, Malcom Marsh and myself. I will recap the numbers below:

Michael Mapleton (in 1974 )     57,                     88,  89,                  119,         180. Total 5

Michael Marsh 1st Edition         57,                     88,  89,  95,  112, 119,         180. Total 6

Michael Marsh 2nd Edition        57,  58,              88,  89,  95, 112, 119, 161, 180. Total 9

After the appearance of die number 87 at Wawrick & Warwick recently   I reached a total of 12, this amount seemed over the top for a extremely small mintage pf 35.201 in the year. Suspicious I consulted the Royal Mint Annual Report for the year which states that there were 14 dies split 8 Obverse dies and 6 Reverse dies. So for anybody remotely interested please find below die numbers that should form the 6 and where to find examples of them.

Ashtonian                                                   77,  87, 88, 89, 95, 112  

Die Number    77  - DNW Auction Lot 891 Jun 2014

Die Number    87 - Warwick & Warwick 900 Lot 343 Dec 2020

Die Number    88 - Baldwins 43 Lot 106 Mar 2020 can also be seen on the PCGS population report

Die number    89 - Baldwins 48 Lot 168 Sep 2020

Die number    95 - PCGS AU58 I will with hold the cert number. Am example also be seen on Worthpoint

Die Number 112 - A 1879 half sovereign which is shown in the first edition of Marsh it looks as though the number is 112.

If anybody has a 1879 with a die number that is not in the six above I would love to hear from you.

Keep safe and keep on collecting



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I will check tonite as I have two encapsulated AU55's, one each from PCGS and NGC.

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Ah, sorry mine are 88 and either 93 or 95


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I believe that the Baldwin cited March 2020 is NOT the one you have listed under die 88 as that used to be pictured on PCGS is my own PCGS55 specimen. The other pictured above is an NGC55 graded specimen.

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