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 quarter sovereign - with face value of 25 pence is the only sovereign denomination with no pre-decimal counterpart; it was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2009.
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 it:
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 2020 Quarter Sovereign Gold Proof coin tells the story of the famous Dorrien and Magens Shilling of 1798, King George III’s rarest shilling, in memory of his reign.The Dorrien Magens Shilling was never released into circulation when the Royal Mint realised that its face value was lower than its intrinsic value due to dropping silver prices, and halted distribution. Approximately 30,000 coins were ordered to be melted but a discrepancy in records indicated 285 coins had "gone astray". Today there are only 20 coins believed to have remained with 8 pieces held in museums and only 4 pieces seen in market during the last 10 years.