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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Obverse Grade
Reverse Grade

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Coin Specification

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  • One where the V in VICTORIA has been replaced by an upside down A, ∀ICTORIA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.

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