Australian Gold Half Sovereign

  • Debut Mint: 1856
  • Mint: Sydney (defunct), Melbourne (defunct) and Perth
  • Gold Quality: 22-carat 0.917 fineness
  • Obverses: Monarch Effigies
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The debut mint of the Australian Gold Half Sovereign coin dates as far back as 1856 by the now-defunct Sydney Mint during the epitome of the gold rush in Australia. It was amongst the official gold coins back then. Its obverse featured the effigy of young-looking Queen Victoria was hairstyle was filleted based on the design works of James Wyon. The reverse contains the inscriptions, “SYDNEY MINT” above a crown, “AUSTRALIA” at the center surrounded by a wreath, and “HALF SOVEREIGN” at the bottom running anticlockwise. The coin weighed 3.9940g and was made of 22-carat gold with a purity of .917.

Between 1871 and 1918, the Imperial Gold Half Sovereign coins continued to be minted across the three Australian mints of Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. The coins had similar obverse features of Queen Victoria’s effigy facing to the left with the inscriptions, “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA” and year of mint surrounding it. However, the mints 1871 to 1887 had a younger-looking, uncrowned and unveiled effigy of Queen Victoria while those of 1897 through 1918 had the older-looking crowned and veiled effigy of the Queen. The only variations in obverse are the inscriptions denoting the respective mints i.e. P, M and S for Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Australian Gold Half Sovereigns minted from 1906 to 1908 bore the effigy of King Edward VII facing right with the inscription, “EDWARDS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:” around it. The reverse had the insignia of St. George on a horse slaying a dragon. The 22-carat gold coins weighed 7.89 grams and 0.1176 t/oz. The 1912 version had the image of King George V facing left with the inscription, “GEORGIVS V D. G. BRIT: OMN: REX F.D.IND: IMP:” on the obverse. Its reverse was similar to that of the King Edward’s versions.

The Perth Mint minted a 15-dollar, 22-carat Australian Gold Half Sovereign proof coin in 2017 with an obverse of Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The reverse has the inscription, “AUSTRALIA” at the center surrounded by a wreath of leaves and the crown on top.

Additional information


The Perth Mint

Country of Origin





3.994 gm

Pure Gold Content

0.1176 Troy oz




20.00 mm


22 carat gold


$15 AUD