Under King Henry VIII, the half-sovereign coins came into existence in 1544. These coins were real circulating coins until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Its face value was half-pound or ten shilling which was half that of one sovereign. Its design was a scaled-down version of the full sovereign coin. These coins were issued from 1544 up to 1604 and then discontinued. It was again introduced in 1817 after the Recoinage Act of 1816 and issued till 1926 after which annual production was ceased and only commemorative issues in coronation years were released until 1980. Since 1980, the British Half Sovereign Coins have been issued as limited edition collector’s coins. The Great Britain Gold Half Sovereign is one of the most historic gold coin series. Obverse: Features a bust portrait of the reigning monarch at the time of minting the coin. Reverse: Most dates feature St. George mounted on horseback slaying a dragon, a design by Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. Some coins from Queen Victoria’s reign feature a crowned shield.