British Empire, Australia, Queen Victoria (1837-1901 AD), Gold Sovereign (7.98g, 22mm), 1872 S, Royal mint Sydney branch, Shield of Arms Type. Obverse: Second young, bare head of Queen Victoria facing to the left, her hair double filleted and collected in an updo knot, date below, engraver’s initials ‘W.W.’ (William Wyon) complete on truncation in relief, legend surrounds, “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA”. Reverse: Royal Shield of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952) surmounted by St. Edward’s Crown, olive branches surround either side joined at the bottom by a knotted bow, mintmark above the National Floral monogram of English rose, Scottish thistle and Irish shamrock below, legend surrounds, “BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:”. Bentley-656; McDonald-119; Marsh-70; Spink-3855; Friedberg-11; KM-6. Calendar year mintage 1,815,000 (St. George inclusive). Awash with a handsome display of light red toning through the peripheral devices, a collectible second year of the Sydney mint Shield-backs, near Extremely Fine, reverse good Extremely Fine.
The obverse Latin legend reads “Victoria, Deī Grātiā”, with an English translation of “Victoria, by the Grace of God”. The obverse legend continues onto the reverse and reads “Britanniārum Rēgīna, Fideī Dēfēnstrīx”, with an English translation of “Queen of the British people, Defender of the Faith”.