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Detailed information about Coin: Half Sovereign 1821 from United Kingdom

Coin: Half Sovereign 1821
Description

A half-sovereign was current at 10 shillings. This is the first Half Sovereign issue for George IV (1820-1830).

The reform of 1817 terminated all guinea-denominated issues in favor of the sovereign. This one year type is rare as it was withdrawn almost as soon as issued, on account of its likeness to the contemporary sixpence. Unlike the later issues, it features a heavily garnished shield on the reverse which is rounded, whereas the later ones were angular.

From Whitman's "Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries":

"The half sovereign of 1821 has the laureated head of the King designed by Pistrucci. The reverse side has an oval shield garnished with roses, thistle and shamrock. Although designed by Merlen, the letters WWP (for William W. Pole, Master of the Mint) are in the centers of the shamrock leaves.

This half sovereign was quite similar in size and design to the sixpence, and as a consequence m any of the sixpences were gilded and passed as gold pieces. To stop this practice the issue was withdrawn, which accounts for their scarcity."

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Face value1/2 (x Pound) TypeHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield)
Year1821 CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage231,288 (231288) RarityR2 (Very Rare)
Mints
NameMintageMint mark
Royal Mint 231,288 (231288) No mint mark
Material0.917 Gold DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
MonarchKing George IV EffigyPortrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head)
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)19.3000 Thickness (mm)0.9900
Mass (g)3.9940
Obverse

Laureate head of King George IV facing left; below in small lettering the artist's initials, B.P. (Benedetto Pistrucci); around, GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:

Obverse inscription GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Reverse

A garnished shield, surmounted by the royal crown, bearing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom. The Hanoverian arms within an escutcheon surmounted by the royal crown in the centre of the shield. The shield is surrounded by roses, thistles and shamrocks. Inscription ANNO ("year" in Latin) to the left reading downwards, the date 1821 on the right reading upwards. The letters W.W.P. (standing for William Wellesley Pole, then Master of the Mint) are in the respective centres of three of the shamrock leaves.

The coin is struck with a reverse die axis.

Reverse inscription

ANNO 1821

EdgeMilled Edge inscription

None

Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Half Sovereign. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Coins, 1982. pp. 4-8.

Half Sovereign 1821: Known varieties
VarietyMintageRarityDetails
Proof unknown
Half Sovereign 1821: Photos
Half Sovereign 1821: Photo Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
source
Half Sovereign 1821: Photo Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
source
Half Sovereign 1821: Photo Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
source
Half Sovereign 1821: Photo Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
source
Half Sovereign 1821: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign403
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldGreat Britain 235
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 681
Spink/Seaby, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3802
Half Sovereign 1821: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign 1982 Coin description
Museum Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint
Whitman, Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 1962 Mintage
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mintage
CoinFactsWiki 2016 Varieties link Proof
Whitman, Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 1962 Design
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Half Sovereign 1821: Links to sites that (may) sell similar coins
Tax Free Gold: Half Sovereigns For Sale: George IV 1820 - 1830
Half Sovereign 1821: Some useful external links
Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821 Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign - CoinFactsWiki
American Numismatic Society: Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
List of all (100) coins of type: United Kingdom / Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal)
Half Sovereign 1817 Half Sovereign 1818 Half Sovereign 1820 Half Sovereign 1821 Half Sovereign 1823 Half Sovereign 1824
Half Sovereign 1825 Half Sovereign 1826 Half Sovereign 1827 Half Sovereign 1828 Half Sovereign 1831 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1834
Half Sovereign 1835 Half Sovereign 1836 Half Sovereign 1837 Half Sovereign 1838 Half Sovereign 1839 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1841
Half Sovereign 1842 Half Sovereign 1843 Half Sovereign 1844 Half Sovereign 1845 Half Sovereign 1846 Half Sovereign 1847
Half Sovereign 1848 Half Sovereign 1849 Half Sovereign 1850 Half Sovereign 1851 Half Sovereign 1852 Half Sovereign 1853
Half Sovereign 1854 Half Sovereign 1855 Half Sovereign 1856 Half Sovereign 1857 Half Sovereign 1858 Half Sovereign 1859
Half Sovereign 1860 Half Sovereign 1861 Half Sovereign 1862 Half Sovereign 1863 Half Sovereign 1864 Half Sovereign 1865
Half Sovereign 1866 Half Sovereign 1867 Half Sovereign 1869 Half Sovereign 1870 Half Sovereign 1871 Half Sovereign 1872
Half Sovereign 1873 Half Sovereign 1874 Half Sovereign 1875 Half Sovereign 1876 Half Sovereign 1877 Half Sovereign 1878
Half Sovereign 1879 Half Sovereign 1880 Half Sovereign 1881 Half Sovereign 1882 Half Sovereign 1883 Half Sovereign 1884
Half Sovereign 1885 Half Sovereign 1886 Half Sovereign 1887 Young head Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head Half Sovereign 1888 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1889
Half Sovereign 1890 Half Sovereign 1891 Half Sovereign 1892 Half Sovereign 1893 Shield Half Sovereign 1893 St George Half Sovereign 1894
Half Sovereign 1895 Half Sovereign 1896 Half Sovereign 1897 Half Sovereign 1898 Half Sovereign 1899 Half Sovereign 1900
Half Sovereign 1901 Half Sovereign 1902 Half Sovereign 1903 Half Sovereign 1904 Half Sovereign 1905 Half Sovereign 1906
Half Sovereign 1907 Half Sovereign 1908 Half Sovereign 1909 Half Sovereign 1910 Half Sovereign 1911 Half Sovereign 1912
Half Sovereign 1913 Half Sovereign 1914 Half Sovereign 1915 Half Sovereign 1916 Half Sovereign 1918 Half Sovereign 1923 (Proof only)
Half Sovereign 1925 Half Sovereign 1926 Half Sovereign 1937 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1953 (not released)