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.
This coin is part of the 2020 series of five sovereign denominations which features five different designs dedicated to King George III.
The Mint says about this coin:
King George III ascended the British throne in 1760 and was to become England’s longest-ruling monarch until his granddaughter Queen Victoria. During his 59-year reign he presided over victory in the Seven Years’ War, a successful resistance to the threat of a Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and most famously the loss of the American Revolution. His reign saw the acquisition of Australia and New Zealand to the British Empire, the abolition of the Slave Trade throughout British colonies and the uniting of Great Britain and Ireland by the Act of Union creating a new "United Kingdom".
A devoted family man, King George III was conscientious and well educated with a keen interest in science and the arts. Commemorating one of Britain’s most famous and controversial monarchs on the 200th anniversary of the end of his reign in 1820, this series of five 2020 Sovereign denominations promises to be one of the most faithful and unique tributes to his reign celebrating some of his most exceptional coin designs and exploring the fascinating stories behind them.
The half sovereign design is inspired by the 1817 silver half crown. This was the first crown coin to be issued after the Coinage Act of 1816.