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GREAT BRITAIN, GOLD HALF-SOVEREIGN Circulation issue, Type Set, 1817- Date.

Category:  World Coins
Owner:  TMS Coins
Last Modified:  3/6/2021
Set Description
The Royal Mint struck its first gold sovereign in 1489 during the reign of Henry VII. This coin became known as a "sovereign" because the obverse design depicted the King enthroned in regal splendour. It was the first gold coin produced with a value of one pound or twenty shillings, it was the largest coin yet issued in England and also the most beautiful. The half-sovereign was introduced a few years after, during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547), in the year 1544, nearly 300 years before the modern coinage period. The modern sovereign, smaller and featuring on the reverse the classic St. George and the dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci and the half-sovereign featuring the Royal Arms were introduced in 1817, during the reign of King George III (1760-1820), taking the form in which we know them today.
Currency gold half-sovereigns continued to be issued by the Royal Mint in London for the reigns of King George IV (1821-1830), King William IV (1831-1837), Queen Victoria (1838-1901), King Edward VII (1902-1910), and King George V (1911-1915).
After 1915 currency half-sovereigns were not issued by the Royal Mint until 1982, during Queen Elizabeth II reign, when the first bullion half-sovereign issued only for that year.
The year 2000 was of particular interest to half-sovereign enthusiasts, because for the first time since 1982 a bullion type half-sovereign was struck and continued to be struck yearly ever since.



The Reign of KING GEORGE III (1760-1820) House of Hanover.
Born: 4 June 1738.
Accession: 25 October 1760.
Married: Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 8 September 1761 the day they met for the first time.
Coronation: Tuesday, 22 September 1761.
Children: nine sons, six daughters.
Died: 29 January 1820, aged 81.

George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was a monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

George's life and reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

In the later part of his life, George had recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. His eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death, when he succeeded as George IV.


On 25 October 1760 King George II died and his grandson succeeded to the throne as George III. It was during this reign that the introduction of the new modern coinage began.
Currency half-sovereigns during this reign were only issued for the years 1817,1818 and 1820, none being issued for 1819. These half-sovereigns featured on the OBVERSE: The King's head facing right, laurate and hair short; the tie has a loop and two hanging ends; the neck is bare. The date is at the bottom of the coin below the truncation.
REVERSE: An angular shield surmounted by the royal crown, bearing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom. The Hanoverian arms within an escutcheon surmounted by the royal crown in the centre of the shield.
ENGRAVERS: Benedetto Pistrucci (obverse) and William Wyon (reverse).
A good example of the first two dates should not prove too difficult for the collector to obtain, however, the half-sovereign for 1820 (R2 M.Marsh) will not be easy to acquire especially in high grade, and this is without doubt because a low mintage of only 35,043 of this date were struck. The 1818/7 variety (401A M.Marsh) must be exceedingly rare, as not a single example appeared for many years.


1817: Mintage 2,080,197 Rating C (M.A.Marsh)
1818: Mintage 1,030,286 Rating R (M.A.Marsh)
1818/7: Mintage not known. Rating R5 (M.A.Marsh)
1820: Mintage 35,043 Rating R2 (M.A.Marsh).


The Reign of King George IV (1820-1830) House of Hanover.
Born: 12 August 1763.
Accession: 29 January 1820.
Married: Caroline of Brunswick 8 April 1795 later separated and banned from attending the Coronation.
Coronation: Thursday, 19 July 1821.
Child: one daughter Charlotte who predeceased her Father 6 November 1817.
Died: 26 June 1830, aged 67.

George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from the death of his father, King George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as regent during his father's final mental illness.

George IV was the eldest child of King George III and Queen Charlotte. He led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the Regency era. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and commissioned Sir Jeffry Wyatville to rebuild Windsor Castle. George's charm and culture earned him the title "the first gentleman of England", but his dissolute way of life and poor relationships with his parents and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, earned him the contempt of the people and dimmed the prestige of the monarchy. He excluded Caroline from his coronation and asked the government to introduce the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill in an unsuccessful attempt to divorce her.

Despite presiding over the British Empire's emergence as a global hegemon, George IV's rule was tarnished by scandal and financial extravagance. His ministers found his behaviour selfish, unreliable and irresponsible, and he was strongly influenced by favourites.[1] Taxpayers were angry at his wasteful spending during the Napoleonic Wars. During most of George's regency and reign, Lord Liverpool controlled the government as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Liverpool's government presided over Britain's ultimate victory over Napoleon and negotiated a peace settlement with the French. After Liverpool's retirement, George IV was forced to accept Catholic emancipation despite opposing it. His only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, predeceased him in 1817; on his death, he was succeeded by his younger brother, King William IV.


King George IV (1763-1830) succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father George III on 29 January 1820.
Three types of half-sovereigns were issued during his reign.

The first half-sovereign (Type 1) was issued by the Royal Mint only for the year 1821 and it was a splendid example of both engraving and design by Pistrucci. It carried a magnificent laureate head bust of the King, and its reverse featured the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom garnished and surmounted by a large crown. This coin was quickly withdrawn and possibly melted down. The reason for this was because of its likeness to the current sixpence which was being gilded and passed as a half-sovereign. That explains the high rarity of the coin (R5 M.Marsh).

The half-sovereign (Type 2) was next issued in1823 with the same obverse as in 1821, but with the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom surmounted by a crown, this time shown within a plain square shield on the reverse. This second issue was further struck for the years 1824 and 1825.

The (Type 3) half-sovereign featured the bust of the King bare headed on the obverse. The reverse carried a beautifully garnished shield containing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom surmounted by the royal crown and the Hanoverian arms within an escutcheon are again placed in the centre of the shield. This lovely reverse was designed and engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen. Type 3 half-sovereigns were first issued bearing the date 1826 and were also struck for 1827 and 1828.


1821: Mintage 231,288 . Rarity R5 (M.Marsh)

1823: Mintage 224,280 . Rarity R2 (M.Marsh)
1824: Mintage 591,538 . Rarity S (M.Marsh)
1825: Mintage 761,150 . Rarity N (M.Marsh)

1826: Mintage 344,830 . Rarity R (M.Marsh)
1827: Mintage 492,014 . Rarity S (M.Marsh)
1828: Mintage 1,224,754. Rarity N (M.Marsh).


The Reign of KING WILLIAM IV (1830-1837) House of Hanover.
Born: 21 August 1765.
Accession: 26 June 1830.
Married: Adelaide of Saxe-Coburg and Meiningen, 11 July 1818 after first meeting a week before, a double wedding with his brother, Prince Edward the Duke of Kent.
Coronation: Thursday, 8 September 1831.
Children: two daughters who both died in childhood, ten illegitimate children previously.
Died: 20 June 1837.

William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.

William served in the Royal Navy in his youth, spending time in North America and the Caribbean, and was later nicknamed the "Sailor King". In 1789, he was created Duke of Clarence and St Andrews. In 1827, he was appointed as Britain's first Lord High Admiral since 1709. As his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all of the British Empire, and the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832. Although William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a British prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament. He granted his German kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution.

At the time of his death, William had no surviving legitimate children, but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years. Late in life, he married and apparently remained faithful to the young princess who would become Queen Adelaide. William was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom, and his brother King Ernest Augustus in Hanover.


King William IV (1765-1837) succeeded to the throne upon the death of his elder brother in June 1830. No currency gold coins were issued for that year. Although proofs were issued of both the sovereign and half-sovereign bearing the date of 1831, and also a currency sovereign for the same year. The half-sovereign was not issued as a currency piece for this reign until 1834. Four more currency issues of half-sovereigns (1835, 1836, 1837) were made during this short reign, two of these bear the same date of 1836. Actually one of these two 1836s is without doubt the key coin (Rating R5) of this small group, with its obverse struck from a sixpence die (M.Marsh 412A).
All these half-sovereigns featured on the obverse the bare head of the King facing right, engraved by William Wyon(1795-1851), and on the reverse a garnished shield modelled and engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen (1769-1850).

William half-sovereigns are made up from only one type of obverse bust, and this also includes the bust used for the sixpence die. The bust used on the William half-sovereigns is the Second Bust in the sovereign series. Easy points of recognition that identify William half-sovereign bust are : a. The hair on the nape of the neck has a clear gap between it and the neck. b. The hair arrangement at the top of the forehead is a single curl laying almost flat and bending gently backwards towards a small cluster of curls behind. c. The top part of the ear is clearly visible.
On the reverse of the William half-sovereigns another interesting point that should be noted is the band that holds the lower garnishing around the shield together. This horizontal band on the 1834 coin has a plain void center area and is only defined by its outer edges, but on the other normal size issues it can be seen that a central incuse line has been added running from end to end across the bar.

1834 Half-Sovereign : There are important facts that should be mentioned regarding this superb half-sovereign, first the obverse was engraved by William Wyon (1795-1851) from a superb bust of William IV by Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841). The reverse features a beautifully garnished shield modelled and engraved by Jean Baptise Merlen (1769-1850). Finally it should be noted that this particular half-sovereign has a diameter of only 17.9mm ; this was considerably smaller than any other half-sovereign previously struck during the modern era, and they in fact measured 19.4mm. Finally, though a Treasury order dated 14 April 1835 requested that the half-sovereign should be struck at a reduced size, the only half-sovereigns of this kind are those dated 1834, but they were though the same weight and fineness as previous issues ( 61.637 grains and 916.66 fineness ). Mint Ledgers record that half-sovereigns with a value of 60,000 pounds or 120,000 coins dated 1834 had been recalled and melted, and this was probably as a result of complaints relating to their being very similar to the seven shilling pieces. This is also another reason why 1834 dated half-sovereigns are rated R2.

1835 Half-sovereign : This is the easiest date of the series with the normal size issue with a diameter 19.4mm. It is rated as scarce but even though very rarely appears in a choice uncirculated condition.

1836 Half-sovereign : One of the rarest dates of this short reign and actually could be considered as one of the key dates of the complete collection of half-sovereigns (1817 to-date). There appear to be only four certified examples in Mint State across both companies today and only one certified AU.

1837 HALF-SOVEREIGN : Another extremely rare date of the series with examples appearing very seldom even in low grade. The vast majority of the very few survivors show signs of handling and circulation and only about five remaining in Mint State today.


1834: Mintage: 133899. Small size (17.9mm). R2 (M.Marsh)
1835: Mintage: 772554. Normal size (19.4mm). S (M.Marsh)
1836: Mintage: 146865. Normal size (19.4mm). R2 (M.Marsh)
1836: Mintage: Not Known. Obv. struck from sixpence die (19.4mm). R5 (M.Marsh)
1837: Mintage: 160207. Normal size (19.4mm). R (M.Marsh).


The Reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) House of Hanover.
Born: 24 May 1819.
Accession: 20 June 1837.
Married: Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, 10 February 1840.
Coronation: Thursday 28 June 1838.
Children: Four sons, five daughters.
Died: 22 January 1901, aged 81.

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. In 1876, Parliament voted her the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After both the Duke and his father died in 1820, she was raised under close supervision by her mother and her comptroller, John Conroy. She inherited the throne aged 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. Though a constitutional monarch, privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments; publicly, she became a national icon who was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe" and spreading haemophilia in European royalty. After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism in the United Kingdom temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration. She died on the Isle of Wight in 1901. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover, she was succeeded by her son Edward VII of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


QUEEN VICTORIA (1819-1901), began her reign upon the death of her uncle on 20 June 1837. Many fine types and varieties of gold coinage were produced during Victoria's reign. Regarding the half-sovereign, three main types or designs were recognized during the period 1838-1901: The "Young Head", the "Jubilee Head" and the "Old Head" (Veiled Head).

The first gold currency half-sovereign for this reign was issued in 1838, bearing the " Young Head " design on the obverse and the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom within a garnished shield surmounted by a crown on the reverse. Several types and varieties were issued with this design until 1885. The Type IA half-sovereigns ( Without Die Number ) from 1838-1863, the collector will in general find that they will not be easy to acquire even the common dates in extremely fine condition. However, there are four coins within these series that are extremely rare and may well cause much difficulty to find. These coins are the 1845 (R4), 1850 (R3), 1862 (R6) and 1879 (R4). Regarding Type IB Half-sovereigns ( With Die Number ), from 1863 until 1880 inclusive, the Royal Mint in London individually numbered the shield type reverse dies used to strike the currency half-sovereigns as a means of " quality control " in assessing the efficiency of use of the dies, and in tracing any weakness in the production process. Some of the dates in this period number over 100 individual dies alone.

The year of 1887 brought about the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen's accession and it was marked by the introduction of a special Jubilee coinage. The new bust of the Queen by J.E.Boehm replaced the Wyon effigy currently being used. The "Golden Jubilee" gold half-sovereign was struck in 1887, bearing on the obverse the bust of the Queen facing left, wearing a small crown, veiled and with ribbon and star. The reverse once more displays the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom within a garnished shield and surmounted by a royal crown. Four more currency issues of half-sovereigns (1890, 1891, 1892, 1893) were struck with the same " Jubilee Head " design, but no coins of this kind were struck for the years of 1888 or 1889. Mintage figures relating to the Royal Mint Jubilee gold half-sovereigns are very high as one would expect, and they do in fact reveal that well over twenty two million were struck for the period of issue.

In 1893 the final design of coinage known as the " Old Head " or " Veiled Head " type was introduced. This type featured on the obverse the bust of the Queen facing left, veiled and draped, and on the reverse the design of St. George mounted with streamer flowing from helmet, slaying the Dragon with sword. Nine issues of gold half-sovereigns were struck by the Royal Mint with this design (1893-1901).


1838: 273,341 R
1841: 508,835 R2
1842: 2,223,352 N
1843: 1,251,762 R
1844: 1,127,007 R
1845: 887,526 R3
1846: 1,063,928 R
1847: 928,656 R
1848: 410,595 R2
1848/7 Not Known R4
1849: 845,112 R
1850: 179,275 R3
1851: 773,275 S
1852: 1,377,671 N
1853: 2,708,796 N
1855: 1,120,362 N
1856: 2,391,909 N
1857: 728,223 S
1858: 855,578 R
1859: 2,203,813 N
1860: 1,131,500 N
1861: 1,130,867 N
1862: Not Known R6
1863: 1,374,574 R
1864: 1,758,490 N
1865: 1,834,750 N
1866: 2,058,776 N
1867: 992,795 N
1869: 1,861,764 N
1870: 981,408 N
1871: 2,217,760 N
1872: 3,235,112 N
1873: 2,003,464 N
1874: 1,883,872 N
1875: 516,240 S
1876: 2,804,187 N
1877: 1,962,800 N
1878: 2,317,506 N
1879: 35,201 R2
1880: 1,008,362 R
1883: 2,807,411 C
1884: 1,121,600 N
1885: 4,533,605 C
1885/3: Not Known R5
1887: 841,200 S
1890: 2,243,200 N
1891: 1,087,884 S
1892: 13,665,480 C
1893: 4,392,218 N
1894: 3,794,591 C
1895: 2,869,183 C
1896: 2,946,605 C
1897: 3,568,156 C
1898: 2,868,527 C
1899: 3,361,881 C
1900: 4,307,372 C
1901: 2,037,664 C.


The Reign of King Edward VII (1901-1910) House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Born: 9 November 1841.
Accession: 22 January 1901.
Married: Alexandra of Denmark 10 March 1863.
Coronation: Saturday, 9 August 1902.
Children: three sons, three daughters.
Died: 6 May 1910, aged 68.

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and nicknamed Bertie, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.


King Edward VII (1841-1910) began his reign upon the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, but no new coinage was struck during that year.
The first issue of coinage for Edward VII was struck in 1902. It was engraved by the Mint engraver George William De Saulles who had been appointed by the Mint in 1892. He modelled and engraved the obverse with Edward VII bust, and once more Pistrucci's St.George slaying the Dragon was to appear on the reverse with the date below the exergue line.
The Royal Mint continued to issue currency half-sovereigns during Edward's reign yearly until 1910.

They are two different reverses for the half-sovereigns of Edward VII.

Reverse A. 1902-1904. On this first reverse of St.George slaying the Dragon a clear space can be seen all around the image, and this is very noticeable behind the rear of the flowing cloak. This is again apparent in front of the dragon's lower foot, and the exergue line stops well short of the border leaving a clear space at each end. The same line is also shown considerably thicker, and the two reins coming from under the horse's head quickly merge into one. The date is below the exergue line but Pistrucci's initials B.P. do not appear on this type A reverse.

Reverse B. 1904-1910. This time the design of St.George slaying the Dragon has been slightly enlarged, and so the rear folds of the cloak are now almost touching the border as does the lower foot of the dragon. The exergue line is thinner and now almost touches the border on both sides, and the reins of the horse continue as a pair right up to the horse's chest. The dragon's wings have been re-designed, and the one nearer to the head is increased in size causing to touch the dragon's neck. St.George's sword is shown at a slightly lower angle. Pistrucci's initials B.P. are placed to the right of the date below the exergue line.

The two reverses are also found on the branch mint half-sovereigns from Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.


1902: 4,244,457 C
1903: 2,522,057 C
1904: 1,717,440 S
1905: 3,023,993 C
1906: 4,245,437 C
1907: 4,233,421 C
1908: 3,996,992 C
1909: 4,010,715 C
1910: 5,023,881 C .


The Reign of King George V (1910-1936) House of Windsor.
Born: 3 June 1865.
Accession: 6 May 1910.
Married: Mary of Teck, 6 July 1893.
Coronation: Thursday, 22 June 1911, second Coronation as Emperor of India at the Delhi Durbar, Tuesday, 12 December 1911.
Children: five sons, one daughter.
Died: 20 January 1936, aged 70.

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1892, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of Victoria in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910.

George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape of the British Empire. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment.

In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations. He had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.


King George V of Great Britain succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father King Edward VII in May 1910. Several million gold coins were struck during his reign but few would be used for currency. The main reason for this was the Great War of 1914-1918, and the outbreak of this in August 1914 quickly saw the Government issue Treasury notes for one pound and ten shillings.The public were urged not to use gold and by 1915 gold had all but dissappeared from circulation in London, and the last half-sovereign being struck in that year at the Royal Mint.
Half-sovereigns continued to be issued though by the Australian branch mints of Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and at the new branch mint of Pretoria in South Africa.

The half-sovereign for King George V was first issued bearing the date of 1911.
The obverse displays the King bareheaded facing left with the initials of B.M. for Bertram Mackennal shown in relief at the rear of trancation.
The reverse once more features Pistrucci's legendary design of St.George slaying the Dragon; the date is placed centrally below the exergue line and the initials B.P. for Benedetto Pistrucci are entered in relief on the far right side of the date.


1911: 6,104,106 C
1912: 6,224,316 C
1913: 6,094,290 C
1914: 7,251,124 C
1915: 2,042,747 C.

KING GEORGE VI (1937-1952)

The Reign of King George VI (1936-1952) House of Windsor.
Born: 14 December 1895.
Accession: 11 December 1936. Married: Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 26 April 1923.
Coronation: Wednesday, 12 May 1937.
Children: two daughters.
Died: 6 February 1952, aged 56.

During this reign only proof half-sovereigns were struck by the Royal Mint as part of the four coin Coronation Proof Set (Mintage:5001).


The Reign of QUEEN ELIZABETH II (1952- ) House of Windsor.
Born: 21 April 1926.
Accession: 6 February 1952.
Married: Philip of Greece and Denmark, 20 November 1947.
Coronation: Tuesday, 2 June 1953.
Children: three sons, one daughter.
Golden Jubilee Year 2002.
Diamond Jubilee Year 2012.
Sapphire Jubilee Year 2017.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.

Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947 she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, Brexit, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence, and as realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. She is the longest-serving female head of state in world history, and the world's oldest living monarch, longest-reigning current monarch, and oldest and longest-serving current head of state.

Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom has been and remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity.


Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father George VI after his death in 1952. She enjoys the longest reign of any monarch so far. Many fine types and varieties of gold coinage were issued during her reign and three different types of currency half-sovereigns were issued.
The first was issued only for the year 1982 as a bullion coin featuring on the obverse the young head of the Queen facing right and on the reverse the design of St.George slaying the Dragon.
The second type was struck in the year 2000 when the Royal Mint re-issued a bullion type gold half-sovereign and continued the issue yearly ever since. This second type carries the Rank-Broadley bust of the Queen and the reverse Pistrucci's St.George slaying the Dragon. In 2005 a special reverse issue was struck with a depiction of St.George, carrying a shield and a sword, slaying the dragon (Design by Timothy Noad).
The third type was introduced in 2015 and carries the Jody Clark bust of the Queen on the obverse and again the Pistrucci's St.George slaying the Dragon on the reverse.
During her reign four Anniversary issues were struck: The 2002 "Golden Jubilee", the 2012 "Diamond Jubilee", the "Sapphire Jubilee" and the 2017 "200th anniversary of the modern gold sovereign and half-sovereign". Also, to mark the exact date of this historic coinage anniversary, a sovereign issue on the Day Sovereign minted by the Royal Mint on 1July 2017, exactly 200 years from the proclamation that revived The Sovereign in 1817. This edition, finished to Brilliant Uncirculated standard, is the only coin in the range featuring the garter reverse with a plain, not milled, edge. These coins have a Maximum Coin Mintage of 1,817, representing the date of proclamation.
In 2017 The Queen reached an unprecedented milestone of 65 years as Britain’s monarch, becoming the first and only British King or Queen to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee.


DIAMETER: 19.3-19.4mm
WEIGHT: 3.994g
ALLOY: Gold.
FINENESS: 22 Carat.
EDGE: Milled.


A HISTORY OF THE SOVEREIGN, by Kevin Clancy. A Royal Mint Museum publication. 2nd Edition 2017.
THE SOVEREIGN, The world's most famous coin, by Daniel Fearon, 2001.
BRITISH MONARCHY, Official web site.


This complete type set consists of seven beautiful gold half-sovereigns, all in mint state condition
and all of them single finest certified.


1820 : 35,043, R2 (M.Marsh).
1821 : 231,238, R5 (M.Marsh).
1836 : 146,865, R2 (M.Marsh).
1844 : 1,127,007, R2 (M.Marsh).
1907 : 4,233,421, C (M.Marsh).
1912 : 6,224,316, C (M.Marsh).
2015 : BU Issued 500.


1820 : MS64+ Single finest, Terner Collection.
1821 : MS64* Single finest, Heyleigh Collection.
1836 : MS65 Single finest.
1844 : MS66 Single finest, D.Moore Collection.
1907 : MS66 Single finest.
1912 : MS66 Single finest, Ted Reams Collection.
2015 : MS70DPL Single finest.

Set Goals
Establish a type set of half-sovereigns, a coin for every reign, with the highest grade possible.

Slot Name
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
(Marsh 402; S 3786).

OBVERSE: Laureated head of King George III facing right. Date below.
REVERSE: An angular shield surmounted by the royal crown, bearing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom. The Hanoverian arms within an escutcheon surmounted by the royal crown in the centre of the shield.
ENGRAVER: William Wyon.
DIAMETER: 19.4 mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994 g.
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINTAGE: 35,043
RATING: R2 (M.Marsh).

NGC 2814835-001

A beautiful and very choice UNC coin having unending luster that cartwheels the surfaces in a GEM fashion and giving more than a little eye appeal. The King's portrait is as bold as can be and the reverse shield retains an as-struck appearance.
Provenance given on the grading insert as having been from the Jacob Y. Terner Collection.
Ex Heritage Auction # 3014, Rosemont, April 2011, lot 24149.
Crossed over from PCGS. ( 21474761 )
Single finest NGC and PCGS.


January 27, 1820 : Russian Antarctic expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discover the continent of Antarctica.

February 6, 1820 : US population announced at 9,638,453, African Americans 1,771,656 (18.4%).

April 8, 1820 : The famous ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.
One of the star attractions, along with the Mona Lisa, of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Venus de Milo, named after the island where she was rediscovered in 1820, is thought to have been made by the sculptor Alexandros of Antioch in the 2nd century BC.
Although most often held to be a depiction of Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of Love, she may also be Amphitrite, the Greek goddess of the sea. Carved in two main sections in the Hellenistic style, the statue is famous for its missing arms in addition to its beauty.

June 28, 1820 : Tomato is proven to be non-poisonous by Colonel Robert Gibbon eating a tomato on steps of courthouse in Salem, New Jersey.

August 1, 1820 : London's Regent's Canal opens.

November 7, 1820 : James Monroe re-elected 5th US president.

December 15, 1820 : 1st General pharmacopoeia in US published, Boston.
(Marsh 403; S 3802).

The first half-sovereign for the reign of George IV was issued in 1821. It carried a magnificent laureate head bust of the King, and its reverse featured an equally impressive design that displayed the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom beautifully garnished and surmounted by a crown.This coin is a splendid example of both engraving and design by Pistrucci. It was quickly withdrawn because of its likeness to the current sixpence, and possibly melted down. That explains the high rarity of the coin (R5 M.Marsh).

OBVERSE: The King's bust facing left, laureate, tie with loop and two ends, hair short and bare neck. B.P. in small letters below truncation standing for Benedetto Pistrucci.
REVERSE: A heavily garnished shield surmounted by the royal crown. The shield surrounded by roses thistles and shamrocks.
DIAMETER: 19.4 mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994 g.
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINTAGE: 231.238.
RARITY: R5 (M.Marsh).

NGC 5879380-004

Description by SPINK at sale, 15/09/2020 : Proof Half-Sovereign, 1821, by Pistrucci [EXCEPTIONAL EYE APPEAL] .
George IV (1820-1830), Proof Half-Sovereign, 1821, by Pistrucci, laureate head left, rev. crowned floral-garnished shield, edge milled, 4.01g, 7h (Murdoch III, 384[a]; Douglas-Morris 147; King - [cf. 203]; W&R 244 [R3]; Schneider II, - [cf. 633]; cf. Marsh 403; cf. MCE 482; Spink 3802), brilliant, much as struck, rare.
Conditionally rare and finest known. Star-designated with an overall amazing eye-appeal.
Ex Spink Auction # 20005 - The Stratos Sale of Spectacular English Gold Coins, Lot 53, 15 September 2020.

Provenance : Hayleigh Collection
NGC : Single finest.


February 12, 1821 : Mercantile Library of City of NY opens.

February 21,1821 : Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire begins.
March 25, 1821 : The Greek revolution against the Ottoman Turks is officially declared,
with hostilities having started two months earlier.
April 10, 1821 : Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople is hanged by the Turks from the main gate of the Patriarchate, his body thrown into the Bosphorus
May 8, 1821 : Greek War of Independence: Greeks defeat the Turks in Gravia.
May 12, 1821 : The first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occurs in Valtetsi.
September 23, 1821 : Fall of Tripolitsa, Greek forces massacre 30,000 Turks during Greek War of Independence.

July 28, 1821 : Peru declares independence from Spain (National Day).

August 4, 1821 : 1st edition of American magazine "The Saturday Evening Post"

September 15, 1821 : Act of Independence of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declare their independence from the Spanish Empire.

November 28, 1821 : Panama declares independence from Spain.

December 1, 1821: Santo Domingo (Dominican Rep) proclaims independence from Spain.
(Marsh 412, S-3831).

OBVERSE: Bare head of King William IV facing right, engraved by William Wyon (1795-1851).
REVERSE: Garnished shield modeled and engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen (1769-1850).
DIAMETER: 19.4mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994g
EDGE: Milled.
FINENESS: 22 Carat.
MINTAGE: 146,865
RATING: R2 (M.Marsh)

NGC 5879652-001

A superb GEM of this extremely rare issue.
Unsurpassed in certified quality with exceptional eye appeal and technical proficiency, this incredibly vibrant specimen features blooming luster and design motifs that have been rendered with an exacting strike.
NGC : Single finest and only mint state certified by NGC.
One of the key dates of the complete half-sovereign collection.
Purchased 11 January 2021.

NGC : Price Guide Plate Coin.


February 23, 1836 : Battle of the Alamo. Alamo besieged for 13 days until March 6 by Mexican army under General Santa Anna; entire garrison eventually killed.

February 25, 1836 : Historic Invention; Samuel Colt patents first multi-shot revolving-cylinder revolver, enabling the firearm to be fired multiple times without reloading.

March 2, 1836 : Event of Interest. Republic of Texas declares independence from Mexico in Columbia.

April 20, 1836 : Territory of Wisconsin created.

Jun 15, 1836 : Arkansas becomes 25th state of the Union.

July 1, 1836 : Event of Interest; US President Andrew Jackson announces to Congress bequest by James Smithson of 100,000 gold sovereigns to found institution in Washington.

July 29, 1836 : Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

August 17, 1836 : British parliament accepts registration of births, marriages and deaths.

September 5, 1836 : Election of Interest; Sam Houston elected President of the Republic of Texas.

December 7, 1836 : Election of Interest; Martin Van Buren elected the 8th President of the United States.

December 28, 1836 : Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
View Coin   GREAT BRITAIN 1816-1901 1/2SOV 1844 VICTORIA YOUNG HEAD (Small), Ex D.MOORE COLLECTION (M.Marsh 418) NGC MS 66 GT. BRITAIN, VICTORIA Young (small) Head, Type A1 (without die number) GOLD HALF-SOVEREIGN 1844
(Marsh 418; S 3859).

OBVERSE: Young head bust of the Queen to the left engraved by William Wyon.
REVERSE: Ornate garnished shield containing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom, engraved by J.B.Merlen.
DIAMETER: 19.4 mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994 g.
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINT: Royal Mint
MINTAGE: 1,127,007
RATING: R (M.Marsh).

NGC 2062769-007

A tremendously alluring example of this Victoria's Type A1 half-sovereign. This superb GEM reveals impeccable detail up to the highest point, with the whole of the surfaces sheathed in silk and a layer of anticked patination that delicately covers both sides. The portrait of Victoria is outstanding, with each wave of her hair fully rendered and crisp, and a quick rotation reveals ample reflectivity that shimmers throughout the fields. The reverse design is truly enviable in its boldness and intense luster, retaining an as-struck appearance. Choice so fine, and in a certified realm of its own making.
Definitely this coin is the crown jewel of this collection, for its pedigree, its quality and condition rarity.

Ex D. Moore Collection. Pedigreed to this world class collection adds to allure of this high grade piece.
NGC: One of the most significant condition rarity half-sovereign; the sole finest example certified by full two grades higher than the runner-up examples.
Ex. Heritage Auction # 3051, New York, 9 January 2017, lot 32195.

NGC Price Guide Plate Coin.


February 27, 1844: Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti (National Day).

June 6, 1844 : Event of Interest; Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) formed by George Williams in London.

June 15, 1844 : Historic Invention; Charles Goodyear patents the vulcanization of rubber.

September 28, 1844 : Oscar I of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden.

November 6, 1844 : Spain grants Dominican Republic independence.

December 4, 1844 : Election of Interest; James Knox Polk elected 11th US President.

(Marsh 510; S 3974B).

OBVERSE: Bare head of king facing right. The small letters De S (for De Saules) below the trancation in relief.
REVERSE: St. George mounted with streamer flowing from helmet, slaying the dragon with sword. Date is shown below the exergue line.
ENGRAVERS and DESIGNERS: WHJ Blakemore, George William De Saules (1862-1903). Benedetto Pistruchi (1784-1855).
DIAMETER: 19.4 mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994 g.
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINTAGE: 4.233.421.
RATING: C (M.Marsh).


An excellent example of King Edward half-sovereigns and conditionally rare at the GEM grade level.
Incredibly fresh, showcasing crisp highpoint detail and lustrus surfaces throughout.
A conditional rarity, the sole finest example certified by full two grades higher than the runner-up examples.
Currently the finest certified example between both NGC and PCGS.
Ex Heritage Auction # 231914, Lot 61270, 4 April 2019.


January 15, 1907 : Gold dental inlays first described by William Taggart, who invented them.

February 22, 1907 : 1st cabs with taxi meters begin operating in London.

February 26: 1907 : Royal Oil & Shell merge to form British Petroleum (BP)

March 15, 1907 : Finland is 1st European country to give women the right to vote.

May 31, 1907 : Taxis 1st began running in NYC.

July 25, 1907 : Korea becomes a protectorate of Japan.

July 29, 1907 : Event of Interest; Sir Robert Baden-Powell forms Boy Scouts in England.

August 1, 1907 : Event of Interest; Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) opens 1st branch at 3433 Mission Street, San Francisco.

August 13, 1907 : 1st taxicabs operate in New York City, imported by Harry N. Allen.

September 5, 1907 : Meeting of Interest; King Edward VII of Great Britain meets Russia's Foreign Minister Alexander Izvolski in an attempt to strengthen Russia's relationship with Britain.

October 1, 1907 : Plaza Hotel (5th Av & 59th Str, NY) opens.

October 17, 1907 : Event of Interest; Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.

November 9, 1907 : Historic Discovery; The Cullinan Diamond, the largest ever discovered, is presented to King Edward VII on his birthday.

November 16, 1907 : Oklahoma becomes the United States 46th state.

December 16, 1907 : As a gesture of the US's new presence as a world power, President Theodore Roosevelt sends the 'Great White Fleet' on a round-the-world cruise, visiting ports internationally.
(Marsh 527; S 4006).

OBVERSE: The bare head of the King facing left. The small letters B.M. for Bertram Mackennal are shown in relief on the lower truncation towards the rear.
REVERSE: St. George mounted with streamer flowing from helmet, slaying the dragon with a sword. Date is shown below the exergue line with the small letters B.P. for Benedetto Pistrucci.
ENGRAVERS: Bertram Mackennal and Benedetto Pistrucci.
DIAMETER: 19.4mm.
WEIGHT: 3.9940g
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINTAGE: 6.224.316.
RATING: C (M.Marsh).

NGC 3419782-016

An absolutely stunning specimen of this issue.
Superb GEM with vibrant gold color, sharp detailed strike, and fabulous luster over satiny surfaces.
ex Ted Reams Collection.
ex Heritage Auction # 3020, lot 27195, Long Beach, 11 September 2012.
NGC: Pop 1 with none grading higher.


January 1, 1912 : Event of Interest; Sun Yat-sen forms the Republic of China.

January 4, 1912 : Smallest earth-moon distance this century, 356,375 km center-to-ctr.

January 6, 1912 : New Mexico becomes 47th state of the Union.

February 14, 1912 : Arizona was admitted to the Union as the 48th state.

March 1, 1912 : U.S. Army Captain Albert Berry performs first (attached-type) parachute jump from an airplane.

March 7, 1912 : Scientific Discovery; Ronald Amundsen announces his discovery of the South Pole (located 14 December 1911).

March 11, 1912 : Election of Interest; Eleftherios Venizelos, leader of the Liberal Party, wins the Greek elections again.

March 12, 1912 : Event of Interest; Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) forms in Savannah, by Juliette Gordon Low.

April 2, 1912 : Event of Interest; Titanic undergoes sea trials under its own power.

April 10, 1912 : RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton for her maiden (and final) voyage.

April 14, 1912 : RMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland.

April 15, 1912 : 'Unsinkable' RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as the band plays on, with the loss of between 1,490 and 1,635 people.

April 18, 1912 : Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brings 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.

May 1, 1912 : Beverly Hills Hotel opens.

May 8, 1912 : Film and television production and distribution studio Paramount Pictures is founded.

July 6, 1912 : V Summer (Modern) Olympic Games officially open Stockholm.

July 15, 1912 : British National Health Insurance Act goes into effect.

August 5, 1912 : Japan's first taxicab service begins in Ginza, Tokyo.

October 8, 1912 : Montenegro declares war on Turkey, beginning 1st Balkan War.

October 17, 1912 : Bulgaria, Greece & Serbia declares war on Turkey.

October 18, 1912 : The Treaty of Lausanne ends the Italo-Turkish War; Italy annexes Libya.
The First Balkan War breaks out, with Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece opposed to Turkey.

November 5, 1912 : Election of Interest; Democrat candidate Woodrow Wilson is elected President of the United States, defeating Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive candidate Theodore Roosevelt.

November 9, 1912 : Ottoman garrison surrenders Thessaloniki / Salonika to the Greek army (OS Oct 27).

December 3, 1912 : Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece & Bulgaria sign weapons pact.

December 16, 1912 : First Balkan War: The Ottoman Navy is defeated by the Royal Hellenic Navy at the Battle of Eli.

OBVERSE: Bust of the Queen facing right and wearing a tiara, the letters I R B below the truncation.
REVERSE: St.George based on the original design of 1893 with reduced ground below design and larger exergue with no BP initials.
DESIGN: Obverse by Ian Rank-Broadley. Reverse by Benedetto Pistrucci.
DIAMETER: 19.4 mm.
WEIGHT: 3.994 g.
FINENESS: 22 carat.
EDGE: Milled.
MINTAGE: BU (Issued 500)


A perfect example of this Elizabeth II issue with impressive DPL appearance.
Self-submitted, September 2020.


January 7, 2015 : Event of Interest; Terrorist attack on the offices of satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris kills 12 (including Jean Cabut and Stéphane Charbonnier), injures 11.

January 12, 2015 : FIFA Ballon d'Or : Real Madrid & Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo wins for a 2nd consecutive time; his 3rd award overall.

January 29, 2015 : PlaneFlight MH370 Disappears; Malaysia officially declares the disappearance of missing flight MH370 an accident.

March 26, 2015 : Event of Interest; Richard III of England (1452-1485) is reburied at Leicester Cathedral in England, after being discovered under a carpark in Leicester in 2012.

April 24, 2015 : Armenia commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire.

April 29, 2015 : German Measles is declared eradicated from North and South America - 1st world region to do so.

May 11, 2015 : Event of Interest; Record price for a work of art at auction: Picasso's The Women of Algiers (Version ‘O’) sells for US$179.3 million at Christies in New York.

May 22, 2015 : Ireland becomes 1st country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

June 28, 2015 : Greek Credit Crisis: Greek government says banks closed for a week and ATM withdrawals restricted after European Central Bank refused to supply emergency funds.

July 11, 2015 : Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán escapes from Altiplano maximum-security prison west of Mexico City via a specially constructed 1.5 km tunnel from his cell to a nearby house. El Chapo Finally Recaptured.

July 18, 2015 : PayPal is spun off from eBay as a separate publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.

July 29, 2015 : Microsoft launches Windows 10.

August 19, 2015 : US Food and Drug administration approves Female Viagra libido pill Addyi.

August 24, 2015 : Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces that for the 1st time 1 billion people logged into Facebook.

September 2, 2015 : Earth's trees number just over 3 trillion according to study in "Nature" by Thomas Crowther of Yale University.

September 9, 2015 : Event of Interest; Queen Elizabeth II becomes Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch at 63 years and seven months, beating the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

September 27, 2015 : A "Supermoon" coincides with a lunar eclipse creating a "Blood Moon" over much of the earth.

September 28, 2015 : DNA controllers for the age women go into menopause announced in "Nature Genetics" by research team from Exeter and Cambridge universities.

October 19, 2015 : US scientists from University of California find evidence life on earth may have begun 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million earlier than previously though.

October 26, 2015 : World Health Organization classifies processed meat as carcinogenic.

October 29, 2015 : China announces the end of their one-child policy after 35 years.

November 11, 2015 : Flawless 12 carat Blue Moon Diamond sells for $48.4 million at auction in Geneva.

November 16, 2015 : Largest diamond discovered in more than a century, a 1,111 carat stone found in the Karowe mine, Botswana.

December 11, 2015 : "Playboy" magazine publishes its last nude issue, features Pamela Anderson on the cover.

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