Sovereign (Decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Sovereign (Decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1974 - )
Coin TypeSovereign (Decimal)

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.

In most recent years, it has borne on the reverse Benedetto Pistrucci's design of Saint George and the Dragon, created in 1817. Occasionally, the Royal Mint also releases one-year types.

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 is a continuation of the pre-decimal sovereign, and has been issued as a decimal coin since 1974.

The designs of all denominations are identical, as - according to tradition - this type of coin has never had its value and denomination spelled out anywhere on the coin. The various denominations are only distinguished by size and weight, these being exactly in proportion to their face value. Since 1817, the composition has always been 22 carat (91.7%) gold.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Sovereign (Decimal) - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend.

Obverse InscriptionLegend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Sovereign (Decimal) - reverse photo

The reverse depicts, within a beaded border, an illustration of the legend of St George as the slayer of the dragon.

St George is on horseback, advancing to right, wearing a helmet and chlamys (cape, or cloak) fastened in front by a fibula, and holding a sword. His left hand clutches the rein of the horse's bridle, and he does not wear armour, other than on his lower legs and feet, with his toes bare. The saint's horse appears to be half attacking, half shrinking from the dragon, which lies wounded by George's spear and in the throes of death. The point of a spear is broken off in the dragon’s side; the shaft lays on the ground behind the horse.

In exergue, the date: [year].

Below the exergue line at right are the artist's initials B.P. (for Benedetto Pistrucci).

Reverse Inscription[year]
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

If you keep your coins in 2x2 cardboard holders, the best size for one sovereign coins is 22.5mm.

All Coins of Type: Sovereign (Decimal) (48)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Sovereign 1974 5,002,566 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1976 4,150,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1978 6,550,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1979 9,150,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1980 5,181,200 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1981 5,032,960 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1982 2,970,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1983 (Proof only) 21,250 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1984 (Proof only) 12,880 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait, by Arnold Machin ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1985 (Proof only) 11,393 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1986 (Proof only) 5,079 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1987 (Proof only) 9,979 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1988 (Proof only) 7,670 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary 23,471 Seated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Sovereign 1990 (Proof only) 4,767 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1991 (Proof only) 4,713 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1992 (Proof only) 4,772 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1993 (Proof only) 4,349 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1994 (Proof only) 4,998 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1995 (Proof only) 7,500 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1996 (Proof only) 7,500 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1997 (Proof only) 7,500 Portrait by Raphael Maklouf (Third Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1998 (Proof only) 10,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 1999 (Proof only) 11,903 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2000 138,978 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2001 58,377 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2002 Golden Jubilee 87,764 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2003 55,663 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2004 40,863 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2005 58,042 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2006 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2007 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2008 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2009 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2010 252,814 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2011 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2012 Diamond Jubilee 10,060 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2013 10,938 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2014 4,695 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2015 (Fourth Portrait) 5,436 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2015 (Fifth Portrait) unknown Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2016 (Fifth Portrait) 1,251 Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait 7,995 Portrait by James Butler ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2017 (Bullion) unknown Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2017 Garter 12,681 Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·
Sovereign 2018 Sapphire Jubilee unknown Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2019 unknown Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2020 unknown Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait) ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Advertising
Family-run store trading in rare coins and bullion, plus jewellery design and sales
Family-run store trading in rare coins and bullion, plus jewellery design and sales
Sovereign (Decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Sub-types Sovereign, St George (Decimal)
Sovereign, One year types (Decimal)
From1974
Face Value1 (x Pound)
CurrentYes
Material0.917 Gold
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)22.0500
Thickness (mm)1.5200
Mass (g)7.9881
Advertising (helps this site)
Buy coins at Amazon
Sovereign (Decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain 1979 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Great Britain 1979 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Great Britain 1998 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source