British Empire, Australia, Queen Victoria (1837-1901 AD), Gold Half Sovereign (4.01g, 19mm), 1887 S, Royal mint, Sydney branch. Obverse: Jubilee style bust of Queen Victoria facing to the left, wearing small crown with veil, pearl earring and necklace of 13 pearls, ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter and the Order of Victoria and Albert; engraver’s initials ‘J.E.B.’ (Joseph Edgar Boehm) in relief on truncation – the lettering spread closer with the J intruding the field, legend surrounds, “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA”. Reverse: Crowned Shield of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952) garnished with ornate mantle, date and mintmark below, legend surrounds, “BRITTANIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:”. Marsh-485C; DISH-S504; Friedberg-22; KM-9. Mintage figure c. 16,750. A bold and most handsome Jubilee half sovereign, minor rim nick to 6h reverse, otherwise good Extremely Fine to near Mint State, scarce.
The Obverse Latin legend reads “Victoria, Deī Grātiā”, with an English translation of “Victoria, by the Grace of God”. The Reverse Latin legend continues from the obverse and reads “Britanniārum Rēgīna, Fideī Dēfēnsor”, with an English translation of “Queen of the British people, Defender of the Faith”.