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 Inscription Legend 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]
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

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

See also:
- Saint Helena Sovereign

Coin Type: Sovereign (Decimal) - (54) Coins
Coin NameReverseObverseIn my collection(s)
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Sovereign (Decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Sub-types Sovereign, St George (Decimal)
Sovereign, One year types (Decimal)
From1974
Face Value1 (x Pound)
CurrentYes
Material0.9167 Gold
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size22.0500 mm
Thickness1.5200 mm
Mass7.9881 g
Sovereign (Decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Sovereign (Decimal): Photo Great Britain 1979 sovereign Great Britain 1979 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Sovereign (Decimal): Photo Great Britain 1979 sovereign Great Britain 1979 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Sovereign (Decimal): Photo Great Britain 1998 sovereign Great Britain 1998 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source