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Identifying the Head Types on the Shillings of Victoria

First Head 1838-1839
Second Head 1839-1867
Third Head 1867-1879
Fourth Head 1878-1887
As you can see, there are only a few years in which you have overlap. Those years are 1839, 1867, 1878, and 1879. If your coin is one of those years, use the images above to determine which head is portrayed.

1839: Look at the curl depicted by Arrow A. If the final curl points to the back of Victoria's neck, it is the First Head. If it points away, it is the Second Head.

1867: Again, look at the curl pointed to by Arrow A. If the Curl is 'loose' (more space inbetween the curls) then it is the Third Head, if it is 'tight' then it is the Second Head. Also look at the hair behind the ear pointed to by Arrow B. If the shape of the hair is more triangular, then it is the Second Head, if it forms more of a rectangle or trapezoid, then it is the Third Head.

1878 and 1879: Look at the hair below the band behind the ear. On the Fourth Head, this hair is much shorter and does not extend as far down.

FAQ | Coins of England and Great Britain