The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck from 1817 until the present time, it was originally a circulating coin (see pre-decimal Sovereign) accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world; it is now a bullion coin not intended for circulation, the intrinsic value of which is much higher than its face value. There are several denominations of the Sovereign: Five Sovereigns (Quintuple Sovereign, five pounds gold), Double Sovereign, Full Sovereign, Half Sovereign and Quarter Sovereign; the current sovereign - with face value of 50 pence is a continuation of the pre-decimal half sovereign, and has been issued as a decimal coin since 1980.
Apart from the sovereigns of the United Kingdom, the British Crown dependency of Alderney has also authorised some mints to issue half sovereigns under its jurisdiction. These are denominated in Alderney Pounds - the local variation of the Pound Sterling. There is a long-standing tradition in the United Kingdom that this type of coin does not have its value and denomination spelled out on the coin; this is not, however, the case with Alderney sovereigns - which have the face value written on them.