The brand-new UK 2024 Sovereign has just been revealed by the Royal Mint.
But what is the Sovereign?
When it comes to coins, few carry the weight of history and prestige quite like the Sovereign. From its humble beginnings in the late 15th century to its role as a symbol of British monetary stability and the grandeur of the British Empire, the story of the Sovereign coin is a fascinating journey through time. Join us as we explore the captivating history of this iconic gold coin in the video below.
The Birth of a Regal Coin:
The story of the Sovereign coin begins in 1489 during the reign of King Henry VII. This remarkable coin was aptly named the “Sovereign” and carried a face value of one pound. It featured a regal portrait of the reigning monarch on one side and the royal coat of arms on the other. This early version of the Sovereign set the stage for the coin’s enduring legacy.
The Tudor Period and Fluctuating Fortunes:
During the Tudor period, the Sovereign coin went through a series of changes in size and design. It was minted under various monarchs and experienced periods of discontinuation and revival, reflecting the turbulent political and economic landscape of the time.
The Great Recoinage of 1816:
The real turning point in the history of the Sovereign coin came during the reign of King George III. In 1816, a momentous event known as the Great Recoinage took place in the United Kingdom. It was here that the Sovereign received its iconic design featuring St. George slaying the dragon, a masterful creation by the Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. This marked the resurgence of the Sovereign as a symbol of British monetary stability and the reach of the British Empire.
A Star in the Gold Standard:
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the British Sovereign played a starring role in the international gold standard. Under this system, currencies were linked to a fixed quantity of gold, and Sovereigns were internationally recognised and accepted. They were both a symbol of British power and a vehicle for international trade.
The End of an Era:
The golden age of the Sovereign coin gradually faded with the dawn of the 20th century. The upheaval of World War I and the changing global economic landscape saw the United Kingdom officially abandon the gold standard in 1931. Gold coins, including the Sovereign, ceased to circulate.
A Collector’s Treasure:
Though no longer in everyday use, the Sovereign coin remains a beloved and coveted item among collectors and investors alike. The Royal Mint continues to produce gold Sovereigns in various designs and sizes, making it a timeless piece of numismatic history.
This years production of the 2024 Sovereign combines Pistrucci’s timeless design with the official coinage portrait of King Charles III, meticulously created by Martin Jennings, for the first time ever.
Join me on location at the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England’s ONLY Natural World Heritage site, to learn everything you need to know about today’s BRAND NEW 50p release.
As not just one, but THREE UK 50ps have been issued to celebrate one of the greatest fossil hunters and palaeontologists to have ever lived, Mary Anning.
And considering the huge popularity of the 2020 Dinosauria 50p collection, these THREE new UK 50ps really do have some big boots to fill.
So what are you waiting for? Give my latest video a watch to find out why today’s new releases are MUST-HAVE coins for your collection…
If you’re interested…
On 21st April, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 90th birthday – the first British monarch ever to do so.
In honour of the occasion a new coin has been issued – featuring a specially commissioned one-year-only birthday portrait.
The coin has been officially approved by Her Majesty the Queen, and proudly displays the royal cypher atop a large “90”. The central design is flanked by the Royal Standard and Union Flags on either side.
But it is the new effigy that will fuel collector demand. Replacing the familiar standard portrait for one year only, renowned sculptor Luigi Badia was tasked with creating a special 90th Birthday engraving of the Queen.
As you’ll appreciate, that is not a simple process, with an extremely rigorous approval procedure. To give you some idea, the Palace requested three separate revisions until they felt the effigy was perfect.
That’s why special portraits such as this are few and far between and are so popular with collectors.
Luigi, from New York, explains the concept behind the design:
“I was extremely honored to be commissioned to sculpt a brand new portrait to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. I was inspired to use the St Edward’s crown as it captures her sense of duty from when she first wore it during her Coronation in 1953, a sense of duty that she has had through-out her life and reign”
The design process…
Careful consideration has to be put into the shape and size of the coin. Luigi painstakingly hand-engraved the design – with the added complication of retaining the typesetting within the circular shape.
The finalised ‘plaster’ engraving is then ready to be reduced down into a die (shown opposite) – which is hardened and used to mint the commemorative coins collectors can own.
Struck to a variety of specifications…
The new coin is to be struck in a range of different specifications, from a face value version right up to a staggering 10oz gold edition – which has already sold out.
And the other coins are likely to prove just as popular – with a highly collectable proof coin, a pure silver coin, and a 1/4oz gold coin amongst those available, there is something to suit everyone.
These coins really do make a fitting tribute to Her Majesty, and the stunning 90th birthday portrait marks them out as truly prestigious commemoratives to forever remember this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
If you want to mark the occasion you can add a Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Proof £5 Coin to your collection today.