Australian Veiled Head Sovereign Varieties 1893-1901
In a relatively recent discovery it was found that Australia's Veiled Head sovereigns were struck using two different obverse dies. The first obverse (generally referred to as a type 1) has the A of VICTORIA pointing at a rim denticle and the second obverse (generally referred to as type 2) has the A of VICTORIA pointing between rim denticles.
It remains unclear why a second obverse was created but obverse varieties exist in many other British coins of the same era so it is likely due to some design improvement in 1893 or 1894 - likely a change to improve die life.
|Year||Mintage||Type 1||Type 2|
The true mintage breakdowns will probably never be known but mintages were relatively high and many examples survive: Briggs' research found that for 1894S sovereigns the breakdown is 14% type 1/86% type 2; for 1895S sovereigns the breakdown is 23% type 1/77% type 2; for 1895M sovereigns the breakdown is 0% type 1/100% type 2 (though type 1 coins do exist); for 1896S sovereigns the breakdown is 0% type 1/100% type 2 (though type 1 coins do exist); for 1896M sovereigns the breakdown is 15% type 1/85% type 2; for 1897S sovereigns the breakdown is 39% type 1/61% type 2 and for 1897M sovereigns the breakdown is 14% type 1/86% type 2 (the author's research shows the type 1 is around 30%) (p21, Briggs, Imperial Australian Sovereigns 1893-1901 Old or Veiled Head Major Update in Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine, April 2020). No usage of type 1 is known in 1898 or beyond.