1908 Gold Half-Sovereign Melbourne – Edward VII


The 1908 Gold Half-Sovereign Melbourne - Edward VII

The 1908 Melbourne Half-Sovereign depicts Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon on the reverse of the coin

A small 'M' above the date indicates the sovereign was produced in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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

Image credit: Museums Victoria


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Melbourne Mint.
Remember 1908 ?
Monarch is Edward VII. Henry Campbell-Bannerman (Liberal) is replaced as Prime Minister by H. H. Asquith (Liberal). Theodore Roosevelt is US President. Manchester United secure the Football League First Division title The first major trophy. 1908 Summer Olympics held at the White City Stadium, London. American-born Samuel F. Cody makes the first powered fixed-wing aircraft flight in Britain. Kenneth Grahame publishes The Wind in the Willows. First issue of The Magnet, featuring a story of Greyfriars School by Frank Richards.
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 1908 Gold Half-Sovereign Melbourne - 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 1908 Gold Half-Sovereign Melbourne - 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 Melbourne Mint
The Melbourne Mint, Victoria, Australia, opened around 1872 and was originally a branch of the Royal Mint in London. From 1872 to 1916 the Melbourne Mint minted only gold sovereigns, but from 1927 to 1967 it produced all Australian coins.
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:
1908 Gold Half Sovereign - King Edward VII - London
1908 Gold Half Sovereign - King Edward VII - London
£ 253.49
1908 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN IN NEAR EXTREMELY FINE CONDITION.
1908 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN IN NEAR EXTREMELY FINE CONDITION.
£ 265.00
1908 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN NGC MS 62
1908 EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN COIN NGC MS 62
£ 320.00
1908M EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN GOOD VERY FINE OR BETTER CONDITION
1908M EDWARD VII GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN GOOD VERY FINE OR BETTER CONDITION
£ 340.00
Australia 1908 S 1/2 Half Sovereign Sov Gold Coin XF King Edward VII Sydney Mint
Australia 1908 S 1/2 Half Sovereign Sov Gold Coin XF King Edward VII Sydney Mint
£ 247.57
Silver Circular Box – London 1927 – with inset Half Sovereign 1908 – 90.33g
Silver Circular Box – London 1927 – with inset Half Sovereign 1908 – 90.33g
£ 495.00
Australia..  1908 Sydney - Half Sovereign..  gVF
Australia.. 1908 Sydney - Half Sovereign.. gVF
£ 395.64
Australia.  1908 Perth - Half Sovereign..  Part Lustre - aVF/VF.. RARE Date
Australia. 1908 Perth - Half Sovereign.. Part Lustre - aVF/VF.. RARE Date
£ 1,172.27

List of items on: