Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinFive Sovereigns 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 five sovereign piece - with face value of £5 is a continuation of the pre-decimal gold five pounds, and has been issued as a decimal coin since 1980.

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 normally only distinguished by size and weight, these being exactly in proportion to their face value; however, five pound pieces issued after 2009 are an exception in that they have the designer's full name PISTRUCCI in the exergue and not just his initials.

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.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage10,694
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Five Sovereigns 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 / Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary - reverse photo

At centre, the reverse design of the coin displays the crowned Royal Shield of Arms of the United Kingdom, over a double Tudor rose and surrounded by a beaded circle.

The standard variant of the Coat of Arms (as used outside of Scotland) has the shield quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland. The crest is crowned with St Edward's Crown (the lion standing on it on the full version is not present on this coin).

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

Mintage includes 5,000 coins in the Sovereign Anniversary Gold Proof Set and 5,694 brilliant uncirculated coins distributed separately.

Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary: Known varieties
Variety Proof FDC
Mintage Issued: 5,000 (included in total)
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
Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Royal Mint Mint link
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom Mintage
All (44) coins of type: Five Sovereigns (Decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Five Sovereigns 1980 (Proof only) 10,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Five Sovereigns 1981 (Proof only) 5,400 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Five Sovereigns 1982 (Proof only) 2,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Five Sovereigns 1984 23,104 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Five Sovereigns 1985 19,756 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1986 7,723 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1987 5,694 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1988 3,315 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary 10,694 Seated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 1990 2,947 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1991 2,312 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1992 1,962 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1993 1,984 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1994 1,918 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1995 1,718 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1996 1,643 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1997 1,662 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Five Sovereigns 1998 1,614 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 1999 1,961 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2000 1,994 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2001 2,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2002 Golden Jubilee 4,370 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2003 2,862 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2004 2,749 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2005 3,097 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2006 2,481 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2007 2,518 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2008 2,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2009 2,750 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2010 2,461 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2011 1,685 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2012 Diamond Jubilee 1,452 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2013 650 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2014 1,050 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2015 (Fourth Portrait) 1,116 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2015 (Fifth Portrait) 598 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2016 (Fifth Portrait) 996 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2016 90th Birthday Portrait 575 Queen Elizabeth II - Portrait by James Butler ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF
Five Sovereigns 2017 Garter 1,741 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·
Five Sovereigns 2018 Sapphire Jubilee 1,207 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2019 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2020 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2021 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Five Sovereigns 2022 Platinum Jubilee unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
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Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeFive Sovereigns, One year types (Decimal)
Issued1989
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigySeated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall
ReverseRoyal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Face Value5 (x Pound)
Total Mintage10,694
CurrentYes
Material0.917 Gold
DesignerBernard R. Sindall
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size36.020 mm
Mass39.940 g
OCC IDDRMK-GEZA-CMRX-ONXQ
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Five Sovereigns 1989 500th Anniversary: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United KingdomSE6 (was 4253)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 958