Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinDouble Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary

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.

In most recent years, it has borne on the reverse Benedetto Pistrucci's design of Saint George and the Dragon, created in 1817. Occasionally, the Royal Mint also releases one-year types with different designs, as a celebration for major events (usually Royal in nature).

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 double sovereign - with face value of £2 is a continuation of the pre-decimal double sovereign, and has been issued as a decimal coin since 1974.

The designs of all denominations are identical, as - according to tradition - this type of coin has never had its value and denomination spelled out anywhere on the coin. The various denominations are only distinguished by size and weight, these being exactly in proportion to their face value. Since 1817, the composition has always been 22 carat (91.7%) gold.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first hammered gold sovereign coin issued by King Henry VII in 1489, the designs chosen for both sides of the 1989 gold coins reflect the designs originally used five centuries earlier. Very few coins or currencies can boast such lengthy service.

Those first gold sovereigns were the first pound coin, as they were issued with a value of one pound sterling. They were called a sovereign as they featured the "sovereign" (monarch) on the obverse. The coins represented the majestic power, wealth and prestige of Britain and were intended to be used as a symbol of Britain's importance, to impress the rest of Europe.

The obverse is reminiscent of the King Henry VII engraving of the sovereign on his throne. It features a majestic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II seated facing on a throne. The reverse bears a crowned shield within a Tudor double rose. The similar original sovereign designs continued in use through to Queen Elizabeth I over a century after their introduction. Some gold coins of King James I also used a similar obverse up until 1619.

The coins were issued in Proof FDC grade only.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage14,936
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary - obverse photo

The obverse shows Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, seated enthroned in King Edward's Chair as at her coronation, facing forward, just having received the Sceptre with the Cross and the Rod with the Dove.

Around, in Medieval script, the monarch's legend ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·; translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith. The dividers between the letters are trefoils.

The entire design, including the style of the lettering, is inspired by the original 1489 sovereigns.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Reverse
United Kingdom / Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary - reverse photo

A crowned Royal Shield of Arms at the centre of a double Tudor rose, surrounded by a beaded circle.

Around, the inscription ANNIVERSARY · OF · THE · GOLD · SOVEREIGN · 1489 · 1989. As on the obverse, the design and the lettering are in a style similar to that on the very first gold sovereign issues. The dividers between the letters are trefoils.

Reverse Inscription ANNIVERSARY · OF · THE · GOLD · SOVEREIGN · 1489 · 1989
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

2,000 individual coins issued boxed, with numbered Certificate of Authenticity, plus coins in sets.

Issued in Set
500th Anniversary of the First Gold Sovereign 1489-1989 Gold Proof Sovereign Collection, mintage 5,000
4 coins: Five Sovereigns, Double Sovereign, Full Sovereign, Half Sovereign
500th Anniversary 1489-1989 Gold Proof Sovereign Three-Coin Set, mintage 7,936
3 coins: Double Sovereign, Full Sovereign, Half Sovereign
Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom Mintage
All (34) coins of type: Double Sovereign (Decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Double Sovereign 1980 (Proof only) 10,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Double Sovereign 1982 (Proof only) 2,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Double Sovereign 1983 (Proof only) 13,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Double Sovereign 1985 (Proof only) 5,849 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1987 (Proof only) 1,801 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1988 (Proof only) 1,551 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary 14,936 Seated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Double Sovereign 1990 (Proof only) 716 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1991 (Proof only) 620 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1992 (Proof only) 476 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1993 (Proof only) 414 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1996 (Proof only) 742 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Double Sovereign 1998 (Proof only) 1,349 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2000 (Proof only) 2,250 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2002 Golden Jubilee 6,947 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2003 (Proof only) 3,787 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2005 (Proof only) 2,958 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2006 (Proof only) 2,290 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2007 (Proof only) 2,401 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2008 (Proof only) 2,333 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2009 (Proof only) 2,416 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2010 (Proof only) 2,019 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2011 (Proof only) 2,149 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2012 Diamond Jubilee 2,054 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2013 2,019 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2014 1,516 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2015 (Fourth Portrait, proof only) 1,100 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2015 (Fifth Portrait, proof only) 1,046 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait 925 Portrait by James Butler ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF
Double Sovereign 2017 Garter 1,198 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·
Double Sovereign 2018 Sapphire Jubilee 1,600 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Double Sovereign 2019 (Proof only) unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Double Sovereign 2020 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Double Sovereign 2021 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
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Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeDouble Sovereign, One year types (Decimal)
Issued1989
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigySeated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall
ReverseRoyal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Face Value2 (x Pound)
Total Mintage14,936
CurrentYes
Material0.917 Gold
DesignerBernard R. Sindall
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size28.400 mm
Mass15.980 g
OCC IDYMXK-DEKQ-CLYA-EWQJ
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Double Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United KingdomSD3 (was 4262)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 957