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Alluring Prooflike 1892 Victoria 50 Cents

Victoria 50 Cents 1892, Obverse 4, KM6, MS65 PCGS, Ex: Robins-Belzberg. While not as celebrated as the 1890H, judging by the certified population at PCGS it is equally as rare (if perhaps the subject of less demand), since this Gem is the finer of the precisely two examples in Mint State at that service; the other coin is an MS64 (7/09).

The late-series Victoria 50 Cents issues were produced sporadically, at best. A gap of nearly a decade intervenes between the 1872-H and 1881-H issues, after which no coins were made again until 1888. Two more years passed between the 1888 and 1890H, then two more before the 1892 entry. Although the production of the 1892 was a relatively plentiful (for the series) 151,000 coins, it appears that most examples entered circulation directly. The average grade of the 39 coins certified at PCGS--presumably the high end of the total population--is only a bit over XF40.

As mentioned, this is the only Gem of the issue graded at PCGS, and the finer of the only two Mint State pieces that service has seen. This piece's most notable hallmark is gorgeous, fully prooflike surfaces on both sides, which has caused some authorities to question if this might be a Specimen striking. The mirrored surfaces are a marvelous complement to the near-pristine fields, the full strike, and the prevailing lilac-pink patina. This is another coin that we feel could have graded higher, as there are precious few signs of contact on either side, and they are all minor at best. For pedigree purposes we note a tiny, dotlike indentation on the reverse, just to the right of the bow ribbon. Despite a single small mark on the cheek, the Queen's cheek and neck elsewhere are exceptionally clean, adding further to the immense allure.
From the Canadiana Collection

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January, 2010
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