2005 Half Sovereigns with Die Crack
We found an interesting die crack flaw on a whole batch of 2005 uncirculated "bullion" half sovereigns. It was actually pointed out to us the day after we posted out our first batch of 100 coins. We had taken great interest two days previously when our first delivery of the full sovereigns arrive hot from the mint, and had photographed one which we show on our 2005 sovereigns page.
The flaw runs right across the queens' face from bottom right to top left. It shows clearly in our photo. There also appears to be an extension of it running vertically down from the top right of the main flaw, however this appears more like a scratch on the coin, presumably caused by swarf or other debris on the blanks or dies when struck. There are also numerous other small pits and indentations in the field, which appear to have the same cause.
The main flaw is clearly a die crack. We see many of these in various stages on Victorian sovereigns, particularly the young head types, and find them very interesting. We photograph them whenever we see dies cracks and flaws particularly when the coins are in better grades.
We also photographed the obverse of a normal 2005 half sovereign, without a die crack, for comparison.
Die cracks are exactly what they sound like, cracks which start to appear in the die used to strike the coin, caused by stress on the steel dies during striking. It frequently appeared on older sovereigns and other coins. Often we do not consider it much of a problem, and a Victorian sovereign could still be in perfect mint condition even though it may have an extensive die crack. Die cracks usually show as raised lines on the coins, usually rather random and jaggy, but often following the lettering in the legend or date.
Camera Shy Half Sovereigns
Although we were pleasantly surprised to be able to get a good photograph first time, of a 2005 full sovereign, the half sovereigns seem to be much less obliging. Some coins photograph well, and others don't, and it looks as if these halves are not going to co-operate and smile nicely for the camera.
2005 Half Sovereigns
Obverse of Faulty 2005 Half Sovereign with Die Crack
Obverse of 2005 Half Sovereign Without Die Flaw