United Kingdom: Coin Half Sovereign 1821 - detailed information

United Kingdom: Coin Half Sovereign 1821
CoinHalf Sovereign 1821

A half-sovereign was current at 10 shillings. This is the first Half Sovereign issue for George IV (1820-1830).

The reform of 1817 terminated all guinea-denominated issues in favor of the sovereign. This one year type is rare as it was withdrawn almost as soon as issued, on account of its likeness to the contemporary sixpence. Unlike the later issues, it features a heavily garnished shield on the reverse which is rounded, whereas the later ones were angular.

From Whitman's "Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries":

"The half sovereign of 1821 has the laureated head of the King designed by Pistrucci. The reverse side has an oval shield garnished with roses, thistle and shamrock. Although designed by Merlen, the letters WWP (for William W. Pole, Master of the Mint) are in the centers of the shamrock leaves.

This half sovereign was quite similar in size and design to the sixpence, and as a consequence many of the sixpences were gilded and passed as gold pieces. To stop this practice the issue was withdrawn, which accounts for their scarcity."

MintRoyal Mint
Obverse
United Kingdom / Half Sovereign 1821 - obverse photo

Laureate head of King George IV facing left; hair short; the tie has a loop and two hanging ends; the King's neck is bare. Below in small lettering the artist's initials, B.P. (Benedetto Pistrucci); around, the legend GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:

Obverse Inscription GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Reverse
United Kingdom / Half Sovereign 1821 - reverse photo

A garnished shield, surmounted by the royal crown, bearing the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom. The Hanoverian arms within an escutcheon surmounted by the royal crown in the centre of the shield. The shield is surrounded by roses, thistles and shamrocks. Inscription ANNO ("year" in Latin) to the left reading downwards, the date 1821 on the right reading upwards. The letters W.W.P. (standing for William Wellesley Pole, then Master of the Mint) are in the respective centres of three of the shamrock leaves.

The coin is struck with a reverse die axis.

Reverse Inscription ANNO 1821
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Half Sovereign. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Coins, 1982. pp. 4-8.

Half Sovereign 1821: Known varieties
Variety Proof FDC
Mintage unknown
All Coins of Country: United Kingdom, Type: Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal) (100)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Half Sovereign 1817 2,080,197 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Half Sovereign 1818 1,030,286 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Half Sovereign 1820 35,043 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
Half Sovereign 1821 231,288 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1823 224,280 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1824 591,538 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1825 761,150 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1826 344,830 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1826
Half Sovereign 1827 492,014 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1827
Half Sovereign 1828 1,244,745 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1828
Half Sovereign 1831 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1834 133,899 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1835 772,554 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1836 146,865 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1837 160,207 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1838 273,341 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Half Sovereign 1839 (Proof only) 1,230 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Half Sovereign 1841 508,835 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Half Sovereign 1842 2,223,352 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Half Sovereign 1843 1,251,762 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Half Sovereign 1844 1,127,007 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Half Sovereign 1845 887,526 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Half Sovereign 1846 1,063,928 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Half Sovereign 1847 982,636 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Half Sovereign 1848 410,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Half Sovereign 1849 845,112 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Half Sovereign 1850 179,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Half Sovereign 1851 773,573 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Half Sovereign 1852 1,377,671 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Half Sovereign 1853 2,708,796 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Half Sovereign 1854 1,125,144 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Half Sovereign 1855 2,391,362 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Half Sovereign 1856 2,391,909 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Half Sovereign 1857 728,223 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Half Sovereign 1858 855,578 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Half Sovereign 1859 2,203,813 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Half Sovereign 1860 1,131,500 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Half Sovereign 1861 1,130,867 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1861
Half Sovereign 1862 unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1862
Half Sovereign 1863 1,371,574 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1863
Half Sovereign 1864 1,758,490 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Half Sovereign 1865 1,834,750 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1865
Half Sovereign 1866 2,058,776 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1866
Half Sovereign 1867 992,795 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1867
Half Sovereign 1869 1,861,764 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1869
Half Sovereign 1870 1,159,544 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1870
Half Sovereign 1871 2,242,970 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1871
Half Sovereign 1872 3,604,627 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1872
Half Sovereign 1873 2,092,084 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1873
Half Sovereign 1874 1,884,432 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1874
Half Sovereign 1875 768,240 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1875
Half Sovereign 1876 2,785,187 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1876
Half Sovereign 1877 2,337,482 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1877
Half Sovereign 1878 2,081,941 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1878
Half Sovereign 1879 255,201 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1879
Half Sovereign 1880 1,089,049 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1880
Half Sovereign 1881 104,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Half Sovereign 1882 158,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1882
Half Sovereign 1883 3,090,457 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1883
Half Sovereign 1884 1,181,756 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1884
Half Sovereign 1885 4,479,871 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1885
Half Sovereign 1886 120,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1886
Half Sovereign 1887 Young head 198,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1887
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head 1,070,567 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1888 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1889 64,000 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1890 2,266,023 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1891 1,233,286 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1892 13,680,486 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1893 Shield 4,536,649 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1893 St George 4,677,398 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1894 3,794,591 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1895 2,869,183 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1896 3,165,551 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1897 3,798,156 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1898 2,878,527 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1899 3,459,103 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1900 4,799,668 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1901 2,037,664 Portrait by Sir Thomas Brock (Veiled Head) VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Half Sovereign 1902 4,343,580 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1903 2,753,057 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1904 1,777,470 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1905 3,023,993 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1906 4,635,482 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1907 4,233,421 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1908 4,964,622 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1909 4,240,831 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1910 5,497,881 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Bare Head) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1911 6,490,243 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1912 6,502,316 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1913 6,094,290 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1914 7,573,124 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1915 3,196,630 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1916 448,000 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1918 unknown Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1923 (Proof only) 655 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1925 946,615 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1926 806,540 Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Half Sovereign 1937 (Proof only) 5,501 King George VI by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Half Sovereign 1953 (not released) unknown Portrait by Mary Gillick (First Portrait) ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D: +
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Half Sovereign 1821: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
PeriodPound Sterling (pre-decimal) (1801 - 1971)
Coin TypeHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield)
Issued1821
MonarchKing George IV
EffigyPortrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head)
Face Value1/2 (x Pound)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage231,288
RarityR2 (Very Rare)
Material0.9167 Gold
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size (mm)19.3000
Thickness (mm)0.9900
Mass (g)3.9940
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Half Sovereign 1821: Photos
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Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
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Notes: Proof.
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Great Britain 1821 1/2 sovereign
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Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
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Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
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Half Sovereign 1821: Catalogue Reference IDs