The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom that has a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck since 1817, it was originally a circulating coin that was accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world; it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery.
The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VII’s reign. On 28th October 1489, the king ordered the officers of his Royal Mint to produce “A new money of gold.”
Up to that point, gold coins had been in circulation for over a hundred years, so the Sovereign certainly wasn’t the first gold coin to be minted in England. It was, however, the largest and most valuable ever seen at that time. On the obverse of the coin there was a portrait of Henry VII on his throne, wearing his coronation gown. The royal arms featured on the reverse, with a magnificent double rose that symbolised the union of York and Lancaster after the Wars of the Roses.
An ever-popular image
Pistrucci’s design has appeared on the Sovereigns of every monarch since Victoria’s reign. It has featured on every bullion Sovereign of the twentieth century apart from five special occasions, including Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee year in 2002 and the 200th anniversary of the modern Sovereign itself in 2017.
Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon continues to reign supreme in the gold Sovereign family, representing the highest standards of the coin maker’s art. It graces all five coins in the Sovereign family. Each one has been manufactured using the original master tools, which means they truly display Pistrucci’s dynamic masterpiece in all its original glory.