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Best Value Victoria Widowed Head Half Sovereigns

Best Value Victoria Widowed Head Half Sovereigns

Buy a Best Value Victoria Widowed Head Half Sovereigns

(VAT Exempt)
Gold Half Sovereigns of Queen Victoria with a Veiled Head portrait in our choice of year. These Sovereigns get their name from the portrait that appears on their obverse, also known as the Old Head or Widowed Head. It’s the work of the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock and was used on Half Sovereigns from 1893 until Victoria’s death in 1901. This elegant portrait of the aged Queen replaced the unpopular Jubilee Head portrait and shows her wearing a long draping veil over her diadem. The artist’s initials appear beneath her shoulder and the legend lauds Victoria as Empress of India. This design was used for less than a decade but it’s paired with a historic reverse, seen perennially on Half Sovereigns through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first centuries. Benedetto Pistrucci’s interpretation of the legend of Saint George and the dragon is instantly recognisable to Sovereign and Half Sovereign collectors. It was created in 1918 for the first modern Sovereigns. That’s the same time as the specifications for the Half Sovereign were established: each coin would be composed of 3.99 grams of 22 carat gold. That’s a pure gold weight of 3.66 grams or 0.1177 troy ounces - half that of a ‘full’ Sovereign. Their composition means Half Sovereigns are VAT free in the UK and EU and their status as British legal tender means that they benefit from a Capital Gains Tax exemption. When you order our Best Value Widowed Head Half Sovereigns you’ll receive our choice of date from our current stock graded Fine (F) to Very Fine (VF). We post Victorian Half Sovereigns for free to UK addresses, carefully and discretely packed for next day delivery.
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Fine to Very Fine Veiled Head Queen Victoria gold Half Sovereigns in our choice of date.

What Is A Gold Half Sovereign?

The earliest gold Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns were struck during Tudor times but their legacy was reclaimed for a new issue in the early nineteenth century. The first modern Half Sovereigns bore a portrait of George III and while this may have changed down the decades, their specification has stayed the same since 1817.

Each Half Sovereign has a diameter of 19.30 millimetres and is composed of 3.99 grams of 22 carat (916.7) gold. This equates to a pure gold weight of 3.66 grams or 0.1177 troy ounces.

Half Sovereigns were struck through the Victorian period until the First World War when they fell out of circulation. The tradition of annual issues was only restarted in the 1980s with a proof series though the market for historic Half Sovereigns - including Old Heads - has remained strong before and since.

The Widowed Head Portrait of Victoria

Half Sovereigns were minted throughout Queen Victoria's long reign, both in London and at branch mints across her Empire. These gold coins featured several different portraits charting her progress from young queen to ageing 'Grandmother of Europe'.

The final portrait to appear on Victoria's British coinage is known as the Old Head, Veiled Head or Widowed Head, adopted in 1893. It was created by the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock to replace the unpopular Jubilee Head. The most striking feature of the Old Head is perhaps Victoria's mourning veil which drapes gracefully over her shoulders. The effigy was chosen by Victoria herself and was used on Half Sovereigns until her death in 1901.

The obverse legend includes Victoria's title of Empress of India and reads: 'VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·'. The artist's initials appear below the Queen's shoulder.

Brock's effigy is paired with an instantly recognisable design to the reverse: the image of St George in the act of slaying a dragon from horseback with the date below. This classic numismatic engraving of England's patron saint is the work of Italian artist Benedetto Pistrucci and can also be seen on many 20th and 21st century Half Sovereigns. 

How To Buy An Old Head Half Sovereign?

Our Veiled Head Half Sovereigns are offered at our lowest margin over spot.

We'll provide our choice of date - between 1893 and 1901 - from our available stock of these gold coins. 

These Half Sovereigns are graded Fine (F) to Very Fine (VF), meaning that they may show signs of circulation like edge dings and wear to the high points. These features do not take away from the gold content or the beauty of these historic Half Sovereigns. Our expert staff carefully check the weight and the composition using XRF technology to ensure your coins are genuine. You won't receive any ex-mount Half Sovereigns.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific year when you buy our mixed-date Widowed Head Half Sovereigns. We do, however, have a wide range of high-grade Victorian coins that may be of interest: browse our website or contact us if there's a Half Sovereign you're looking for.

Benefits: Investing In Historic Half Sovereigns

We recommend historic Victorian Half Sovereigns to investors for a range of reasons, including:

  • These coins are composed of 22 carat gold and, as such, offer the intrinsic security of precious metals as a means of storing wealth

  • Veiled Head Half Sovereigns weigh a modest 3.99 grams making them simple to store and easier to liquidate in small portions than a large bar

  • Gold half Sovereigns are classed as investment gold which makes them VAT free in the UK and EU

  • As UK legal tender (with a face value of £1 / One Pound) these gold coins are Capital Gains Tax exempt

  • They're beautiful and interesting, adding an element of collectibility that can add value beyond their gold content

How Valuable Are Victorian Half Sovereigns?

There's a few factors that make Old Head Half Sovereigns valuable.

Firstly, Half Sovereigns in general are much scarcer than 'full' Sovereigns with fewer minted overall. These fractional gold coins were struck in London and at international branch mints between 1893 and 1901 though some dates are scarcer than others. To identify a branch mint coin you need to look for a tiny letter on the ground beneath the dragon on the reverse. Figures for Old Head Half Sovereigns struck in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are much lower making the value of these coins that bit higher.

Our best value Veiled Head Half Sovereigns are mostly British but if you're looking for a Half Sovereign from a certain mint or one with a particular date then you'll want to have a look at our other Victorian coins.

Free, Insured Delivery On Gold Coins

We'll post Half Sovereigns anywhere in the world, packaged securely and discretely.

Delivery to UK addresses is free. When you order Widowed Head coins from us we'll send your package via Royal Mail Special Delivery. This is a next day service (delivered before 13.00) and a signature will be required. International orders incur a flat £15 postage fee, regardless of the size of your order. The current list of countries we can't ship to can be found on our delivery page.

Where possible, we ship out items within 24 hours of an order being made. That said, we do take the weekends off. If there is a delay in dispatching your coins we'll contact you via the email address provided at check out.

If you're local to us you're welcome to pick up your Old Head Half Sovereigns from our shop in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. We're based out of Old Bank Antiques on the High Street though you're welcome to come to our secure counter, located at the side of the building on Station Road.

How Do I Sell An Old Head Half Sovereign?

Looking to sell your Half Sovereigns? We buy Widowed Head coins as well as the full range of historic and modern coinage from the UK and further afield. Regardless of the condition of your coins we're happy to provide a no obligation quote. Visit our Sell Your Coins page and contact us to get fast cash for your Jubilee Head Half Sovereigns.


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