|Coin||Half Sovereign 2021 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.
Released to celebrate the 95th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II, the 2021 Half Sovereign Gold Proof coin features the classic rendition of St George and the Dragon, and by special permission - the third portrait of the Queen.
The coin is part of a collection of Sovereign denominations depicting three of her most iconic effigies.
The obverse of the coin shows the crowned bust of Queen Elizabeth II, facing right (her effigy known as the "Third Portrait"). The Queen is wearing the royal diadem which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament, a pearl necklace and earrings.
Incuse in tiny letters on the neck truncation, the designer's initials RDM (for Raphael David Maklouf).
Around, 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.
Surrounding the image, a Garter circlet inscribed with the Order of the Garter's motto, HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE · (from old French: Shame on he who thinks evil).
In the exergue, the date of issue 2021.
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