NGC Registry Updated NGC Registry

POLDAN - GREAT BRITAIN - A Complete Set of Victorian Sixpences

Set Type: Sixpence, Victoria, 1838-1901, Circulation Issue
Last Modified: 11/24/2019
Views: 1397

Rank: 1
Score: 114022
Leading by: 23392
Points to Higher Rank: N/A
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Set Description:

1st December 2019
Another year has gone by almost, seemingly quicker every time.
Once again there has been a scarcity of top quality graded coins but I was fortunate enough to acquire 2 nice raw coins . The first, the elusive 1850/3 coin, enabled me to complete my set.
The other gem that I acquired was the rare 1878 Drittaniar coin which came in at MS64 and is the sole MS coin. Interestingly the obverse of this coin bears the same obverse radial die breaks as a coin graded at EF or better which was sold by auction by Baldwin’s of St James’s in September. There was strong competition for such an elusive coin, described by the auctioneers as the finest that they have seen. It sold for £1200 plus premium.
There has been keen competition at the top of the Registry which is reflected in the movement in my coin positions which are as follows:
SOLE 1st 13 Last year 13 0
JOINT 1st 24 Last year 23 +1
SOLE 2nd 3 Last year 7 -4
JOINT 2nd 24 Last year 17 +7
SOLE 3rd 1 Last year 0 +1
JOINT 3rd 4 Last year 9 -5
OTHERS 2 Last year 2 0
Total 71
Total points 114,022

6th December 2018

As at today’s date, my coins occupy the following places in the NGC Population Report, but I continue to strive to acquire better specimens, though this is becoming more and more difficult each year ; I have however managed to acquire a few choice specimens during the year, but prices for earlier MS65 or MS66 coins are now regularly topping £500 !

SOLE 1ST…..13 coins (+!)
JOINT 1ST…..23 coins (+!)
SOLE 2ND…. .7 coins (+3)
JOINT 2ND….17 coins (-7)
JOINT 3RD….9 coins(+3)
Others….........2 (-1)
TOTAL …......71 coins


I had finally succeeded in completing this set shortly before the December 2015 Awards deadline although the very rarest coins were in poor condition. However, since then another collector has had a variety coin added to the Registry and I am actively seeking a good specimen of this at the time of writing.

My inspiration for this set was wybrit who was the former Registry leader with a staggering points total of 91349. Sadly the exclusion of PCGS coins led to wybrit having to exit the NGC Registry as many of his fabulous MS66, 67 & 68 sixpences were PCGS graded.

With a total points value of 90,650 my set fell just a little short of wybrit’s total but was nevertheless a solid improvement on the previous year’s figure of 77,486 ( the year before that 61355 ).

I was therefore thrilled to receive another World Award , and I have subsequently increased my points total a little further by some judicious purchases from Heritage – the 1848 and 1854 sixpences are probably the hardest to get so the 2 formerly owned by wybrit were obviously prime targets in the wonderful Heritage Cambridge Gate Collection late in February 2016.

I was fortunate also to buy a few other wybrit rarities in the same sale but as these were in PCGS slabs some of these were then pending cross-over , but it was interesting to see how many of the 7 coins made the same grade! Certainly, the few that did so confirmed the remarks made by Mark Salzberg in his letter dated 10th November 2016 concerning the differing/declining (?) professional standards of some grading companies.....

I have to say that in my experience a large number of PCGS graded coins have failed to cross over into NGC at the same grade, which leads one to suspect that PCGS applies different criteria in their grading.

I fully applaud wybrit’s achievements which I humbly strive to emulate but despite his remarks ( see below ) this has not been an easy challenge to meet!

The past year 2018 has not seen many choice coins available but those that were have been snapped up by other collectors who are having quite a tussle for 2nd and 3rd place.

With sincere and grateful acknowledgement to him I replicate his set description as it is still relevant, but I will as time permits further update it following my own researches and purchases!

" With some exceptions, this is a series that is quite easy to build. Population reports in just the US TPGs suggest that many of the early dates have quite pristine specimens available. For example, 1853 has many examples at MS66-68. These early dates are very well struck up compared to coins from 1858 onwards. The young head series has six obverses, with slight aging of the portrait over time. It is interesting that the last so-called young head was issued when the queen was close to 68 years old!

The six obverses of the young head are broken down thus:

Obverse 1: 1838-1858.
Obverse 2: 1858-1868. Extra curl in the hair extending from the bun; not as well struck up.
Obverse 3: 1867-1874. Lips pursed together compared with Obv 2.
Obverse 4: 1874-1879. Nose is more aquline than Obv 3.
Obverse 5: 1879-1880. The hair bun starts at the second N in BRITANNIAR, whereas it almost completely surrounds both Ns in Obv 4. It is also poorly struck.
Obverse 6: 1880-1887. There is no lock of hair on the cheek like on Obv 4-5. The border teeth are shorter and have a smaller pitch. The hair has been retouched for better definition.

Die numbers were included on dates 1864-1879. Some coins dated 1866, 1871, 1877 and most coins dated 1879 do not have die numbers. Die numbers are thought to have been used to study die lifetime (per Coincraft), but this premise is not universally accepted.

Key dates of the series are, in approximate order of rarity: 1854, 1848 (with or without overdate), 1862, 1876, 1882, 1863 and 1869. There are many other scarce dates that could be included in the list. Key varieties include two in 1878: Die #6 with DRITANNIAR and die #30 which has a rare 1878/7 overdate.

The Mint recorded sixpence production in both 1849 and 1861, but not a single example of either date has ever been found. It is thought any coins minted in these years actually bear an adjacent date.

The Jubilee Head is actually the first widowed head. It has been largely branded an unpopular obverse. When the shilling reverse was changed in 1887, the sixpence was given a similar looking reverse. Apparently, this coin was confused with the half sovereign (the diversity of coinage must have created a lot of confusion), so the Mint acted quickly to produce a reverse similar to that of the young head pieces, which then remained virtually unchanged until 1910.

There are several varieties of the so-called "Withdrawn" 1887 sixpence. Some are well known and some are largely unrecorded:
* " Standard obverse"
* JEB on truncation .
* R/V in Victoria
* R/I in Victoria
* A over misaligned A in Victoria.

There is only one obverse but there are a total of five reverses with minor die differences in the standard reverse of the Jubilee Head series. The 1893 Jubilee Head sixpence is among the most prized of the entire Victorian run.

The Veiled Head series has two obverses and two reverses but are only slightly different. There are no key dates in this run, but 1894 is the date of lowest mintage. "


A while ago, I had picked up raw specimens of the 1854 and 1848 coins – I had not seen slabbed ones for quite some years and the population reports confirm their scarcity. Some of the remaining gaps in my collection were further filled by obtaining raw coins at British auctions, though certain British auction houses seem somewhat blind to hairlines produced by cleaning!

The 1862 and 1863 coins popped up in a couple of English auctions in a raw state a while ago but finding slabbed ones seemed to be well nigh impossible! There was a nice NGC MS64 specimen of the 1863 coin on eBay on 23 November 2015 but with a BIN price of £2099 plus Import VAT this was priced – in my opinion – very aggressively!

The hitherto sole specimen of the 1869 sixpence in the NGC Population Report became available in an English auction last summer but it's scarcity resulted in some very exciting but costly bidding. I was however fortunate enough to acquire a nice raw coin not too long ago which at MS63 is an attractive addition to my duplicate set of sixpences. The 1876 coin seems to be of a similar scarcity though I have been able to find these in Great Britain in a raw state at quality auctions, but with a price to match.

There are certain dates which exist both with and without die numbers and it can be very hard to acquire both as one type is usually very common and the other much scarcer than the catalogues suggest. For this reason I had at one time to settle for a few " Details " coins.

The 1848 does appear occasionally but more often than not in a low grade. Past auction history indicates that reasonable raw ( ie. AU53 and better, though not graded ) specimens of this coin have been available in the past but none have appeared for public sale for quite some years. Clearly, dedicated collectors appreciate the scarcity of such coins. I was very pleased however to spot a graded 1848 sixpence on eBay, though this was not visible on the English site and I just chanced on the seller’s inventory whilst browsing through Unfortunately, at the time the seller was using eBay’s Global Shipping Programme which meant that I had to pay additional import charges imposed by eBay’s partner Pitney Bowes. There is a long story attached to this but in essence Pitney Bowes raked of hundreds of dollars in import charges which were never passed on to the British Customs authorities. They refused to provide a detailed invoice, and more scandalously sent the item by Standard US Mail ( not registered at all ) and then onward in this country by a cheap and notoriously unreliable courier firm. It was not even packed well, thus confirming what I have read about Pitney Bowes trying to minimise shipping costs by removing as much original packaging as possible in order to minimise the weight ( and shipping cost ) of the item.


The 1878/7 coin is occasionally available on eBay but from what I have seen the overstrike is not usually convincing.

The 1854 sixpence was my ultimate challenge as this seems to rank with the florin of the same date in terms of rarity. I have not seen any for some years in any grade so the one high grade coin in the Population Report is truly a very rare gem! A cleaned specimen was available towards the end of 2015 in a British coin auction but with a price achieved of £2400 plus premium this proved too great a challenge for me at present though it was an attractive looking coin.

I think that wybrit's comment about the ease of completing the set may now be a little historic as very few of the high grade specimens actually appear in auction - clearly the owners appreciate the beauty of the highly graded gems and are hanging on to them! However I am quite pleased that my collection has progressed to the current position as I might now be able to devote my resources and time to my Victorian Halfcrown set, the latter proving significantly more costly for the earlier Young Head coins. Moreover, there are quite a few overdates which feature in the Population Report so that is an added challenge!

I would finally comment that catalogue values universally are totally unrealistic and just seem to be reprinted from year to year parrot fashion without any real knowledge of or actual scarcity of most of the coins in the real world.

Detailed below are the mintage figures for the standard coins, although how reliable these are for indicating the actual numbers released into circulation is a matter of conjecture…….

Date Mintage

1838 1,607,760
1839 3,310,560
1840 2,098,800
1841 1,386,000
1842 …601,920
1843 3,160,080
1844 3,975,840
1845 3,714,480
1846 4,268,880
1848 …586,080
1850 …498,960
1851 2,288,107
1852 …904,586
1853 3,837,930
1854 ....840,116
1855 1,129,084
1856 2,779,920
1857 2,233,440
1858 1,932,480
1859 4,688,640
1860 1,100,880
1862 …990,000
1863 …491,040
1864 4,253,040
1865 1,631,520
1866 5,140,080
1867 1,362,240
1868 1,069,200
1869 …388,080
1870 …479,613
1871 3,662,684
1872 3,382,048
1873 4,594,733
1874 4,225,726
1875 3,256,545
1876 …841,435
1877 4,066,486
1878 2,624,525
1879 3,326,313
1880 3,892,501
1881 6,239,447
1882 …759,809
1883 4,986,558
1884 3,422,565
1885 4,652,771
1886 2,728,249
1887 3,675,607
1888 4,197,698
1889 8,738,928
1890 9,386,955
1891 7,022,734
1892 6,245,746
1893 7,350,619
1894 3,467,704
1895 7,024,631
1896 6,651,699
1897 5,031,498
1898 5,914,100
1899 7,996,804
1900 8,984,354
1901 5,108,757
 Slot DescriptionGradeServiceScore
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