|Coin||Half Sovereign 2019 Saint George|
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 Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha has also authorised some mints to issue half sovereigns under its jurisdiction. These are denominated in Saint Helena Pounds - the local variation of the Pound Sterling. Following long-standing tradition, this type of coin has never had its value and denomination spelled out anywhere on the coin.
The Mint says about this coin:
Minted to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, the 2019 Half Sovereign Gold Proof coin features the famous St George and the Dragon motif in a new design inspired by Queen Victoria’s half-sovereign which was issued between 1893 and 1901. This iconic scene is surrounded by the same motto and features the date of issue under the emblem. The Half-Sovereign is only available in either the three coins or five coin set.
This Gold Proof Sovereign is part of the 2019 Queen Victoria Sovereign Collection - a series of sovereign denomination proof coins which celebrate the most iconic coins of Britain’s most famous monarch.
Depicting the beautiful the shield reverse as seen on Victoria’s last silver half-crown coins, this faithfully designed Sovereign incorporates the British spade-shaped coat of arms depicted on a single quarter-divided shield, featuring representations of the three realms of the United Kingdom.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait" worldwide but "Sixth Portrait" in Australia, where the Queen's portrait by Vladimir Gottwald was fifth).
The Queen also wears the Coronation Necklace; originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858, it was also worn at the coronations (as Queen's Consort) of Queen Alexandra in 1902, Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) in 1937.
Unlike on British coinage, the effigy is "uncouped" (includes the Queen's shoulders). The artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark) are in tiny letters below left, above the Queen's shoulder.
Running continuously around the rim is the monarch's legend: ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · F · D · ST. HELENA ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.
The reverse depicts an illustration of the legend of St George as the slayer of the dragon, in a new interpretation.
St George is on horseback, advancing to left, wearing a helmet and chlamys (cape, or cloak), and holding a lance in his left hand with which he strikes the dragon. His right hand clutches the rein of the horse's bridle, and he does not wear armour, other than on his lower legs and feet. The saint's horse appears to be also attack the dragon, which is rearing its head high.
In the right field, the EIC mint mark of the East India Company; the letters are separated by arrows radiating from the centre around which they are situated.
Around, the inscription DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS; translated from Latin, it means "May the Lord direct my steps". The inscription was first used on the Una and the Lion five gold sovereigns in 1839. In the exergue, the date of issue · 2019 ·.
||DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS 2019
Available in sets only.
Saint Helena coins depicting Saint George and the Dragon:
- Half Gold Sovereign, Saint George and the Dragon, 2019
- Five Gold Sovereigns, Saint George and the Dragon (Veronica Mackinnon, Nick Martin), 2020
- Gold Sovereign, Saint George and the Dragon, 2021
- Half Gold Sovereign, Saint George and the Dragon, 2021
- Quarter Gold Sovereign, Saint George and the Dragon, 2021
- Double Gold Sovereign, Saint George and the Dragon (William Wyon), 2023
- 1 oz Gold, Saint George and the Dragon (William Wyon), 2023
- 1 kg Silver, Saint George and the Dragon (William Wyon), 2023
- 1 oz Silver, Saint George and the Dragon (William Wyon), 2023