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 five sovereigns coin - with face value of £5 is a continuation of the pre-decimal five sovereigns, 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 quintuple 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.
This coin is part of a two-coin set, which is the second release of the Heritage Series by the Commonwealth Mint, following the Una and the Lion series.
This release commemorates the Gothic Crown, an 1847 Queen Victoria design by former Royal Mint engraver William Wyon. Only 8,000 of the original Gothic Crowns were ever struck many remain firmly in the hands of delighted collectors.
This 2021 issue features a unique young effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in Gothic styling by Jody Clark. Queen Elizabeth II has never been styled in this way before, and the effigy was approved by the Palace exclusively for use on the 2021 Alderney Gothic Crown.
The first coin in the series features the reverse of the Gothic Crown; this second coin is dedicated to Queen Victoria's Gothic portrait, which was on the obverse of the original crown.