|Coin||Quarter Sovereign 2017 Garter|
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.
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 quarter is the most recent addition to the range, having been issued only since 2009. Their designs 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 2017, the Royal Mint celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Sovereign denomination by a return to its original design by Benedetto Pistrucci. Used only between 1817 and 1820, this rendition had the figure of St George slaying the dragon surrounded by the Garter of The Most Noble Order of the Garter - an order of chivalry founded by King Edward III of England in 1348. The Order of the Garter is dedicated to the image and arms of Saint George, England's patron saint.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait").
Running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C (for Jody Clark).
The reverse depicts an illustration of the legend of St George as the slayer of the dragon, in its original 1817 interpretation.
St George is on horseback, advancing to right, wearing a helmet and chlamys (cape, or cloak) fastened in front by a fibula, and holding a broken lance. His left hand clutches the rein of the horse's bridle, and he does not wear armour, other than on his lower legs and feet, with his toes bare. The saint's horse appears to be half attacking, half shrinking from the dragon, which lies wounded by George's spear and in the throes of death. The point of the lance is broken off in the dragon’s side.
In relief in the left part of the ground line, the artist's initials B.P. (for Benedetto Pistrucci).
Surrounding the image, a Garter circlet inscribed with the Order of the Garter's motto, HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE · (from old French: Shame on he who thinks evil).
2,442 individual coins, plus 1,746 coins in sets (Spink lists a total of 4,575).