1850 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield London aVF gVF

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1850 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield London aVF gVF

The British 185 Victoria shield sovereigns were known as the second (large) head portrait. The obverse was created by the famous engraver, William Wyon. They were struck in coin alignment in 22 carat gold.


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All 1850 sovereigns were minted in London. There are four variations of the 1850 sovereign, the usual design, an error where the 1 in 1849 has been replaced incorrectly by a Roman letter I, an error where the V in VICTORIA has been replaced by an upside down A and lastly, an overdate 8/5 where an 8 has been struck over the original date.

The obverse of the 1850 sovereign features the second young head portrait of the young Victoria at just 18 years old when she inherited the title. The second (large) head portrait covers more of the coin's surface. Victoria's hair is gracefully swept into a knot and is bound by two plain ribbons. The date is under the bust and the engraver's initials W.W. appear in relief in the truncation.

Designed by Royal Mint engraver, Jean Baptiste Merlen, the reverse features the shield design with the royal crown above. The shield is the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom and is flanked on each side by a branch of laurel leaves. The branches are fastened with ribbons tied into a bow. Beneath the bow is an arrangement of a rose, a shamrock and a thistle signifying the unity of England, Ireland and Scotland with flower stops on either side. The legend of the reverse has been repositioned.