Victoria Young Head Shield Sovereign Information

Written by Lawrence Chard - Company Director and Expert Numismatist • Last updated 8 Nov 2018

Find all Victoria young head shield sovereigns to buy on this link here

Her reign would come to define an age and would prove to be the longest reign in the history of the British Monarchy, until now, beating that of George III, in whose reign she was only just born into.  There are several variations and in order to categorise they are pooled by portrait, mintmark and die numbers.

These sovereigns are also referred to as Type I sovereigns - the obverse portrait was created by William Wyon and the shield by Jean Baptiste Merlen. The 1859 Ansell sovereign is a very collectable shield sovereign and was struck from reworked gold. These can be identified by an additional line which is visible in the rear hairband of the Queen's portrait, as seen in the photograph. These sovereigns are very popular with collectors and listed as Rare 4 in Marsh (The Gold Sovereign, by Michael A. Marsh) with 15 - 25 examples known. Die numbers were introduced on London Mint shield sovereigns between 1863 and 1874 and are located beneath the wreath but above the rose on the reverse. Collecting one of every die number could prove to be an unsurmountable challenge! There are also two different portraits to collect in this group, one being the first head (1838-1848) more commonly known as the smaller head and a larger head on sovereigns between 1848 and 1887. Marsh states that the first type shield sovereigns had the engravers initials W.W. in relief (raised) on the truncation of the neck. He then goes on to say that some have the initials incuse but fails to show these as a separate distinct type which I believe it should be.


1859 Victoria Shield Ansell Sovereign

Issue Dates

Victoria shield sovereigns were issued from 1838 to 1887 inclusive, with the exception of only three years, 1840, 1867, and 1876.

Full List of Dates

  London Melbourne Sydney Total
1838 Exists None None 2,718,694
1839 Exists None None 503,695
1840 None None None 0
1841 Exists None None 124,050
1842 Exists None None 4,865,375
1843 Exists None None 5,981,968
1844 Exists None None 3,000,445
1845 Exists None None 3,800,845
1846 Exists None None 3,802,947
1847 Exists None None 4,667,126
1848 Exists None None 2,246,701
1849 Exists None None 1,755,399
1850 Exists None None 1,402,039
1851 Exists None None 4,013,624
1852 Exists None None 8,043,435
1853 Exists None None 10,597,993
1854 Exists None None 10,597,993
1855 Exists None None 8,448,482
1856 Exists None None 4,806,160
1857 Exists None None 4,495,748
1858 Exists None None 803,234
1859 Exists None None 1,547,603
1859 - Ansell Exists None None 167,539
1860 Exists None None 2,555,958
1861 Exists None None 7,624,736
1862 Exists None None 7,836,413
1863 Exists None None 5,921,669
1863 -Die 827 Exists None None See 1863
1864 Exists None None 8,656,353
1865 Exists None None 1,450,238
1866 Exists None None 4,047,288
1867 None None None 0
1868 Exists None None 1,653,384
1869 Exists None None 6,441,322
1870 Exists None None 2,189,960
1871 Exists None Exists 11,581,250*
1872 Exists Exists Exists 16,049,888*
1873 Exists None Exists 3,846,215*
1874 Exists Exists None 1,894,011*
1875 None None Exists 2,122,000
1876* None None None 0*
1877 None None Exists 1,590,000
1878 None None Exists 1,259,000
1879 None None Exists 1,366,000
1880 None Exists Exists 4,512,454
1881 None Exists Exists 3,684,800
1882 None Exists Exists 3,763,781
1883 None Exists Exists 1,535,450
1884 None Exists Exists 4,537,630
1885 None Exists Exists 4,453,143
1886 None Exists Exists 4,569,131
1887 None Exists Exists 2,916,424

Key To Mintmarks

L = London, no mintmark.
M = Melbourne, Australia
S = Sydney, Australia

1871* Mintage figures include those for 1871 London Mint St. George Reverse
1872* Mintage figures include those for 1872 London Mint St. George Reverse
1873* Mintage figures include those for 1873 London Mint St. George Reverse
1874* Mintage figures include those for 1874 London Mint St. George Reverse
1876* = See 1876 Victoria Young Head St. George Reverse

Die Numbers

Please see our die numbers page for more information about die numbers.

Unrecorded Mintmarks

If you have found a Victoria sovereign of a date mintmark combination which does not exist according to the above table, please check the same date in Victoria Young Head St. George Reverse.

Type Coins

If you are not looking for a particular date, but want a nice example of this type of sovereign, you can order a "type coin". Just look at our list of dates, grades and prices. Select the price you wish to pay, and we will send you the best grade coin we have available for that price, with our choice of date.


All our coins are guaranteed genuine, and we try to grade reasonably conservatively. For customers ordering by post, we want you to be delighted when you receive your coin. We thrive on repeat business and recommendation.

We Buy Gold Sovereigns - see our selling page for more information by clciking here. If you are selling a graded coin please get in touch on 01253343081