4 - The Queen Victoria Shield Reverse Sovereign 1843 -1845

Marsh (26A) : 1843 Queen Victoria Narrow Shield Reverse Sovereign

1843 (Marsh No26A) also gives us a very similar Narrow Shield variety to that seen in 1838 with a much larger and more defined reverse emblem featuring the thistle, Rose and Shamrock. Again with just 21 laurel leaves to either side of the shield, but one difference from its 1838 counterpart is just the 6 strings within the harp and not 7 as seen in the earlier version. This is an extremely rare sovereign and expect entry level price to be @£5000 for even the lowest Fair-Fine grades with better examples of around Very Fine £10,000-£12,000 and for top grades of which very few exist a bench mark price of £20,000 would be considered reasonable as a starting bid.

1843 does not finish with us here as it throws up another variety that of the overdate 1843/2 (first discovered by Marsh No26B), as it suggests the ‘3’ within the date is restruck over a slightly off centre‘2’. As the photo suggests not initially easy to spot other than the '3' is certainly not struck alone.  

Another Extremely Rare sovereign not particularly represented by its value of about 50% more than the standard coin.


The standard 1843 sovereign will be a very similar price in equivalent grades to that of the 1842, @£400-£600 Good Fine - Very Fine, £1000-£2000 Good Extremely Fine - uncirculated.

Marsh (27) : 1844 Queen Victoria Shield Reverse Sovereign (closer date).

1844 (Marsh No27) is all about the ‘4’s, the standard issue coin exhibits a slightly wider date arrangement with clear spacing between the digits. The 1844 also appears in narrow or closer date variety, my records suggest these are just as numerous, and there is no distinction in value between the 2. Like all 1840's sovereigns these will not be easy to find in top grades, and those around Extremely fine or better will command prices of £1500-£2000. With lower grades starting from around £500 for the more commonly seen Fine - Good Fine examples.

1844 Wide Date arrangement

1844 Closer/Narrow date Arrangement

Our first true variety for this year is the small '44' in date quite easy to spot just imagine using the wrong size text ‘1844’. Interestingly Marsh only quotes 2 date arrangements, and not 3, it is possible that Marsh quoted both normal sized digit dates under No27 with the small '44' quoted as No27B? Although this is an intriguing coin, there is no major value to be gained over the standard normal wide/closer date 1844. I have also recently seen an example exhibiting 1 standard size '4' and 1 small '4' '44' .

1844 Narrow Date small '44' digits

1846 '4' over inverted '4'

The 1844 error date type (Marsh 27A) which appears again in 1845 and shown above recently discovered 1846 exhibits the ‘4’ next to the ‘8’ struck over the top of an inverted ‘4’. An amazing error to see over 3 different years and is probably one of the most fascinating early Victorian sovereigns as quite how these got through for so long without being spotted is intriguing. A difficult coin to value as only listed by Marsh as R2 and Spink as ‘Extremely Rare’ but I think you have to expect to part with a minimum of £1000 for a coin @Very Fine and £2000-£2500 for examples in the Extremely Fine region.

As yet there are no recorded Roman I or inverted 1 over 1 sovereigns for 1844, but the likely hood is that they may well exist. 

1845 (Marsh No28) sees a amalgamation of previously seen errors, and adds a couple to the list for good measure. The standard issue coin is quoted again as the wider date version, but in truth these are actually quite out numbers in my records by those which have anything but. The far more common coin appears to be that with the closer or narrow date (Marsh 28B). The 1845 coin sees the reappearance of the true roman 'I' variety (Marsh 28C) thus far undiscovered for 1844, and the '4 over inverted 4' in error sovereign (Marsh No28A). We also see 2 new varieties, the angled '4' in date, not listed by Marsh, but one did sell in the Bentley collection as lot 978 achieving a hammer price of £2280 for an extremely fine example. The other is the tilted 'E' over 'E' in DEI, (Marsh 28D).

(No28) Wider Date

(No28B) Closer Date 

Angled '4' in Date

As for values, both wide/closer date arrangement coins will command similar figures, £400-£600 for low grade examples, @£800-£1500 for grades Good Very Fine to Extremely Fine and uncirculated in the range of £2000. The Roman 'I' as for the 1843 will be @£1000 in Very Fine with better examples £1500-£2500. The 'E' over tilted 'E' in DIE is slightly more difficult to price with just the one documented example of low grade, but I don't expect the rarity here to make much difference in price to that of the 2 principle types. The angled '4' in date appears a couple of times in my records, so I am not given to believe these are that rare, and unlikely to add much to the standard coin value.

Queen Victoria (1837-1901) - Part 1

Queen Victoria (1838-1839) - Part 2

Queen Victoria (1841-1843) - Part 3

Queen Victoria (1846-1849) - Part 5

Queen Victoria (1850-1854) - Part 6

Queen Victoria (1855-1859) - Part 7

Queen Victoria (1860-1863) - Part 8

Queen Victoria (1863-1874) - Part 9

Queen Victoria (1871-1887 Mel/Syd) - Part 10

Queen Victoria (1871-1887 St George Lon) - Part 11

Queen Victoria (1871-1887 St George Mel/Syd) - Part 12

Queen Victoria (1887-1893 Jubilee) - Part 13

Queen Victoria (1893-1901 Widow) - Part 14

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