1853 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield London gVF aEF

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1853 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield London gVF aEF

In 1853, two of variations of the Victoria shield sovereigns were issued. This second type sovereign is known as the second (large) head portrait and was struck in 22 carat gold. The engraver's initials W.W. are in relief on this coin.


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In 1853, there were two varieties of shield sovereigns, both types are of the second portrait, issued from 1848 to 1872.

The second (large) head portrait has a slightly larger head, it is not as raised as the first series and the reverse legends are repositioned. The difference between the two variations is the engraver's signature, W.W., which is raised on the first 1853 type, and incuse on the second 1853 type.

In the sovereigns where the engraver's initials are in relief, there are known error coins are as follows:

  • One where the V in VICTORIA has been replaced by an upside down A, ∀ICTORIA
  • One which has been overstruck with an F over the E in DEF.

If you are interested in purchasing an error or overdate coin, please contact our showroom on 01253 343081.

You may be interested in reading these blogs:

The Coins of Queen Victoria - Young Head Portrait

The Sovereign - Britain's Favourite Gold Coin

2017 Gold Proof Sovereign

2017 Sovereign - 200th Anniversary of the Modern Sovereign

Coin Inscriptions

Capital Gains Tax on Bullion – Do I pay this?

The obverse bears the Victoria Young Head portrait by William Wyon. This portrait is the second (large) head variation. The date sits underneath the portrait with the engraver's initials W.W. in relief in the truncation. The coin bears the inscription VICTORIA DEI GRATIA.

The reverse of the 1853 second (large) young head portrait sovereign was designed by engraver, Jean Baptiste Merlen. It features the Ensigns Armorial shield design, with branches of laurel leaves on each side. The laurel branches are tied with ribbons into a bow with an arrangement of a rose, a shamrock and a thistle below with small flower stops on each side. The legend BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: on the reverse of the second (large) young head portrait has been repositioned.

Diameter 22.05mm
Weight 7.9881g
Alloy 22 carat gold
Fineness 0.916
Actual Gold Weight 0.2354 Troy oz
Obverse Designer William Wyon
Reverse Designer Jean Baptiste Merlen
Mint London
Mintage 10,597,993 includes both variations.
Finish Uncirculated

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All investment products are based on the live precious metal price. Prices will be fixed once the item has been added to the basket and re calculates just before checking out. 

If your product is not a graded coin and is considered a bullion item it should be noted that these are bought and sold on low premiums over their precious metal content and not solely for aesthetic purposes, therefore some products may have edge knocks and/or marks. These edge knocks and marks do not alter the specifications of the coins.

Please note that all investment products are exempt from the Distance Selling Regulation and therefore customers do not have the right to cancel their order once the order has been accepted. If customers no longer wish to go ahead with their investment purchase, there is an option to sell the products back to Chard (1964) Ltd instead. You can view our current buy back prices here.

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We aim to dispatch orders within 48 hours of receiving cleared funds. Our standard delivery methods are as follows

Orders over £60 - Fully Insured Delivery.

Within the UK and BFPO - Royal Mail Special Delivery. Items sent via this method will normally arrive by 1pm the next working day. Delivery starts form £9. 

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