1902 Half-Sovereign – Edward VII


The 1902 Half-Sovereign - Edward VII

The 1902 Gold Half-Sovereign is the first sovereign in the reign of King Edward VII. London mint. SCBC: 3974A. The reverse designer's initials (BP - Benedetto Pistrucci) do not appear in the exergue but were added in 1904.

1902 half-sovereigns were minted in London (no mint mark) and Sydney (which carried a 'S' mint mark). A matt proof was also minted in 1902.

King Edward VII’s portrait, by George W. de Saulles, can be seen on the obverse of the coin.

The 1902 London Half-Sovereign depicts Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon can be seen on the reverse of the coin. No letter above the date indicates the sovereign was produced in London by the Royal Mint.

Image credit: Museums Victoria


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1902 ?
The Monarch is Edward VII, who has his Coronation at Westminster Abbey. Lord Salisbury retires as Prime Minister due to ill health and is succeeded by his nephew Arthur Balfour. Lord Salisbury will be the last person to have sat in the House of Lords as Prime Minister. The first Borstal youth detention centre is opened at Borstal, Kent. Second Boer War continues, and not always well for Britain. Manchester United Football Club is formed by John Henry Davies in a name change from Newton Heath. In the Discovery Expedition, Scott, Shackleton and Wilson reach the furthest southern point ever eached by man up until then, south of 82°S. The British Army adopts a dark khaki replacing the traditional red coat. Marmite is first produced. Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Hound of the Baskervilles, Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories and Beatrix Potter Tale of Peter Rabbit with her own colour illustrations.
Edward VII (1901-1910)
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

Five Pound, Two Pound and Crowns were only released in 1902. The 1902 Proof set for the Coronation is unusual in that it had a Matt finish. Gold Sovereign mintages were high during the reign of Edward VII, averaging more than 10 million per year which makes them fairly common even today.
General Description: Half-Sovereigns
The 1902 Half-Sovereign - Edward VII is an example of the Gold Half-Sovereign and is a gold coin, being as it's name suggests, half the value and half of the gold weight of a gold sovereign. Today, the half-sovereign is a commemorative coin, not issued every year and often only collected as part of a set.

The Half-Sovereign wa introduced a long time ago, in 1544 during the reign of Henry VII. However it was discontinued in 1604 (along with full sovereigns) and no more were minted until 1817. Production ended again in 1926 (1933 in Australia) and except for a few special issues during the Coronation years, it was 1980 when we saw half-sovereigns again.

As the value is half of one sovereign, that gives the half-sovereign a face value of half a pound or ten shillings - 50p in post-decimal money, although you're going to have to pay somewhat over the gold price if you want to buy one.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (Edward VII) and the Reverse is most often St George and the Dragon (usually the Benedetto Pistrucci version), although other backs have been used. 

Specifications for 1902 Half-Sovereign - Edward VII
 
  • Weight: 3.99 g
  • Diameter: 19.30 mm
  • Thickness: 0.99 mm
  • Purity: 22 carat = 91.67% (11/12ths gold, 1/12th copper. Adding copper makes the coin more scratch and dent resistant)
  • Gold Content: 3.6575 g = 0.1176 troy ounce
  • Face value: £0.50 = 10 shillings (decimal: 50 pence)
  • Monarch: Edward VII
  • These specifications apply to half-sovereigns from 1817.

History

Up until 1604 there was a coin called the English gold sovereign and in 1816 when there was the "Great Recoinage" the name was revived. At that time standard gold (22 carat) was valued at £46 14s 6d per troy pound; this meant a £1 coin needed to weigh 123.2744783 grains or 7.988030269 g. The weight is still the same today.

As a historical note: to maintain the Gold Standard, in 1816 the value of silver was set at 66 shillings for one troy pound and silver coins were only legal for denominations up to £2.

The diameter of a half-sovereign is 19.3mm and is only slightly smaller than a full sovereign (22.05mm) so first appearance may confuse inexperienced buyers. You can see in the image on the right, the half-sovereign on the right hand side is quite similar to the full sovereign on the left.

While you can buy half-sovereigns, many collectors only own them as part of a set.

Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Half-Sovereigns page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1902 22ct Half Sovereign Coin Set in a 9ct Gold Pendant Mount
1902 22ct Half Sovereign Coin Set in a 9ct Gold Pendant Mount
£ 265.00
Kind Edward VII Collectable Half Sovereign Gold Coins from 1902 & 1910
Kind Edward VII Collectable Half Sovereign Gold Coins from 1902 & 1910
£ 600.00
1902 1/2 gold sovereign
1902 1/2 gold sovereign
£ 180.00
1902 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN IN VERY FINE OR BETTER CONDITION.
1902 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN IN VERY FINE OR BETTER CONDITION.
£ 255.00
1902 EDWARD VII 13 COIN SET,GOLD £5,£2 , FULL & HALF SOVEREIGN TO MAUNDY 1d,BOX.
1902 EDWARD VII 13 COIN SET,GOLD £5,£2 , FULL & HALF SOVEREIGN TO MAUNDY 1d,BOX.
£ 7,395.00
RARE 1902 KING EDWARD VII MATT PROOF GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN.
RARE 1902 KING EDWARD VII MATT PROOF GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN.
£ 595.00
Rare Edward VII 1902 LAUER Miniature - Model Half Sovereign - In Nice Condition
Rare Edward VII 1902 LAUER Miniature - Model Half Sovereign - In Nice Condition
£ 405.00
BULLION GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN EDWARD VII BEST PRICE COIN IN VF CONDITION
BULLION GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN EDWARD VII BEST PRICE COIN IN VF CONDITION
£ 240.00

List of items on: