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.
The Royal Mint says about this edition:
Made for kings and queens since 1489, and representing the pinnacle of the art of minting, The Sovereign has been renowned throughout history for its strength, reliability and accuracy. In 2022, The Royal Mint unveils a special edition that commemorates a historic royal event - Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Since 1952, The Queen has carried out her royal duties with unwavering grace and dedication, honouring the promise she made in a televised speech where she pledged her ‘heart and devotion’ to the nations of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee marks a milestone in a truly remarkable reign and a feat of such eminence deserves special commemoration.
To honour this achievement, which we likely won’t see again for centuries, the 2022 Sovereign features a rare change in reverse design and instead displays an interpretation of the Royal Coat of Arms by the esteemed heraldic artist Timothy Noad, which makes this his third reverse design for The Sovereign.
Within a beaded border, he reverse of the coin displays the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. In its standard variant used outside of Scotland, the shield is 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 a statant guardant lion wearing St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown standing on a knight's helmet.
The dexter (right) supporter is a likewise crowned English lion; the sinister (left), a Scottish unicorn. In the ground below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland, England and Ireland respectively.
The motto of English monarchs, DIEU ET MON DROIT (God and my Right), which has descended to the present royal family, is in a ribbon below, while a Garter circlet which surrounds the shield is inscribed with the Order of the Garter's motto, HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (from old French: Shame on he who thinks evil).
The designer's monogram TN (T over N, for Timothy Noad) is below right, above the ribbon.
Around below, the date of issue 2022.