Coin Curiosity

Researching the history coins of the British Commonwealth

Home > 1887 Half Crown varieties

1887 Half Crown varieties

Posted on

In his seminal work, Davies recorded two varieties of 1887 British half crown - 1+A and 2+A (p51, Davies, British Silver Coins Since 1816, 1982).

1887 half crown die varieties
Die combinationNotes (reverse and obverse)
Pattern 1I of FID points at denticle; two lines below crown trefoils and three pearls on centre arch of crown
Pattern 2I of FID points between denticles and second leg of second N of BRITANNIARUM points at denticle; two lines below crown trefoils and three pearls on centre arch of crown
1+AI of FID points between denticles and second leg of second N of BRITANNIARUM points between denticles; two lines below crown trefoils and three and a half pearls on centre arch of crown
2+AI of FID points between denticles and second leg of second N of BRITANNIARUM points between denticles;; three lines below crown trefoils and three half pearls on centre arch of crown

Since Davies' book was published in 1982, further varieties of the 1887 half crown have been discovered, though the new discoveries appear to be patterns, or at least were struck with pattern dies.

A small number of 1887 half crowns with the 7 pointing at a rim denticle have been discovered. Closer examination reveals that it is not just a variation in the spacing of the date digits, but a different and previously unknown reverse altogether. Even further examination reveals that these coins were struck with a previously unknown obverse as well, with characteristics of both obverse 1 and 2. These coins are reportedly only found in the silver-only proof sets of 1887.

The Verene Collection sold by Noble Numismatics also contains what appears to be a pattern 1887 half crown as lot 2627, with the previously unknown pattern obverse being paired with yet another previously unknown reverse. The new reverse more closely resembles the currency pieces, but the coin is again likely a pattern. The provenance is unknown but it is a proof.