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

Half Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinHalf 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.

The Royal Mint issues several denominations of the Sovereign: Five Sovereigns (Quintuple Sovereign, five pounds gold), Double Sovereign, Full Sovereign, Half Sovereign and Quarter Sovereign; the half sovereign is a continuation of the pre-decimal half sovereign, 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 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.

In most recent years, the reverse has had Benedetto Pistrucci's design of Saint George and the Dragon; from time to time though - starting in 1989 - the Royal Mint issues one year type coins with different designs, as a celebration for major events (usually Royal in nature).

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 Mintage21,824
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Half 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 / Half 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

8,888 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
Half Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Royal Mint 2016 Mint link
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom Mintage
Royal Mint 2016 Design link
All (44) coins of type: Half Sovereign (Decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Half Sovereign 1980 (Proof only) 76,700 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Half Sovereign 1982 2,519,090 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Half Sovereign 1983 (Proof only) 19,710 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Half Sovereign 1984 (Proof only) 12,410 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Half Sovereign 1985 (Proof only) 9,951 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1986 (Proof only) 4,575 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1987 (Proof only) 8,187 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1988 (Proof only) 7,074 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary 21,824 Seated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 1990 (Proof only) 4,231 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1991 (Proof only) 3,588 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1992 (Proof only) 3,783 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1993 (Proof only) 2,910 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1994 (Proof only) 5,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1995 (Proof only) 4,900 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1996 (Proof only) 5,730 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1997 (Proof only) 7,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Half Sovereign 1998 (Proof only) 6,147 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 1999 (Proof only) 9,403 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2000 154,280 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2001 99,359 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2002 Golden Jubilee 71,347 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2003 52,686 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2004 39,370 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2005 35,310 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2006 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2007 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2008 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2009 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2010 21,855 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2011 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2012 Diamond Jubilee 4,440 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2013 2,914 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2014 2,039 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2015 (Fourth Portrait) 2,204 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2015 (Fifth Portrait, Proof only) 348 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2016 (Fifth Portrait) 472 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait 1,995 Portrait by James Butler ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF
Half Sovereign 2017 (Bullion) unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2017 Garter 4,648 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·
Half Sovereign 2018 Sapphire Jubilee 4,273 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2019 (Proof only) unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2020 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Half Sovereign 2021 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
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Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Half Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeHalf Sovereign, One year types (Decimal)
Issued1989
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigySeated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall
ReverseRoyal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Face Value1/2 (x Pound)
Total Mintage21,824
CurrentYes
Material0.917 Gold
DesignerBernard R. Sindall
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.300 mm
Thickness0.990 mm
Mass3.994 g
OCC IDDBYN-KODD-CXNL-OPQM
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Half Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United KingdomSB3 (was 4277)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 955