Sovereign 1817, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Sovereign 1817, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1891)
CoinSovereign 1817

The 1817 sovereign of George III has a laureate head, with St. George and dragon reverse inside an inscribed garter.

It is the first date of George III Sovereign, which makes it also the very first of the "modern" Sovereigns. Previously, gold coins called "Sovereigns" had been minted on and off between 1489 and 1604, whereupon James I (VI) changed the name of the 20/- gold piece to a "Unite".

The modern sovereign was introduced in 1817 as part of a re-coinage at the end of the Napoleonic wars. From 1816 the silver coins no longer contained their intrinsic value of silver; they are therefore termed a "token coinage". The gold content of the sovereign was however retained at full metal value.

The sovereign was a 20 shilling or 1 pound coin and was struck at the same standard, 22 carats, as the guinea it replaced. As the guinea was current at 21 shillings and the sovereign at 20, the weight of the sovereign was fixed at 20/21 that of the guinea. This gave the sovereign the the standard weight of 123 274/1000th grains.

The coins were struck in the new Royal Mint building on Tower Hill with steam powered presses supplied by Messrs Boulton, Watt and Rennie. The reverse design of St. George and the dragon was developed by Benedetto Pistrucci.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage3,235,239 (3.2 million), Rarity: N (Normal)
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Sovereign 1817 - obverse photo

Laureate head of King George III facing right with short hair; the tie has a loop with two ends; the neck is bare. Around, the monarch's legend GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: (George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of the Britains, Defender of the Faith). Below, the date 1817.

Obverse Inscription GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: 1817
Reverse
United Kingdom / Sovereign 1817 - reverse photo

St. George on horseback to right, wearing helmet with a flowing streamer and cape, holding a broken lance, above fallen dragon; around, the Garter inscribed with motto HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE · (May he be shamed who thinks badly of it).

Reverse Inscription HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE ·
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Remick, Jerome. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins, Regency Coins and Stamps Ltd, Winnipeg, Canada, 1971, p257
[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Sovereign. Cambridge Coins, Cambridge, UK, 1980. (2017 ed. pp 10-11)

Sovereign 1817: Known varieties
Variety Proof FDC (Marsh 1A)
Mintage Issued: unknown. Rarity: R5 (9 to 14 examples known)
Details

Milled edge proof.

Variety Medal alignment (Marsh 1B)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total). Rarity: R4 (15 to 25 examples known)
Sovereign 1817: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mintage
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Varieties Proof
Marsh, The Gold Sovereign 1980 Varieties Proof FDC, Medal alignment
Showing 100 from a total of 148 coins of type: Sovereign (Pre-Decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Sovereign 1817 3,235,239 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: 1817
Sovereign 1818 2,347,230 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: 1818
Sovereign 1819 3,574 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: 1819
Sovereign 1820 931,994 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: 1820
Sovereign 1821 9,405,114 King George IV - Laureate Head GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1822 5,356,787 King George IV - Laureate Head GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1823 616,770 King George IV - Laureate Head GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1824 St George 3,767,904 King George IV - Laureate Head GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1824 Shield (Pattern) unknown King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1824
Sovereign 1825 St George 4,200,343 King George IV - Laureate Head GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1825 Shield 4,200,343 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1825
Sovereign 1826 5,724,196 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1826
Sovereign 1827 2,266,629 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1827
Sovereign 1828 386,182 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1828
Sovereign 1829 2,444,652 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1829
Sovereign 1830 George IV 2,387,881 King George IV - Bare Head GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1830
Sovereign 1830 William IV unknown King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1831 598,697 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1832 3,737,065 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1833 1,225,269 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1835 723,441 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1836 1,714,349 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1837 William IV 1,172,984 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Sovereign 1837 Victoria unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1837
Sovereign 1838 2,718,694 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Sovereign 1839 503,695 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Sovereign 1841 124,054 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Sovereign 1842 4,865,375 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Sovereign 1843 5,981,968 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Sovereign 1844 3,000,445 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Sovereign 1845 3,800,845 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Sovereign 1846 3,802,947 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Sovereign 1847 4,667,126 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Sovereign 1848 2,246,701 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Sovereign 1849 1,755,399 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Sovereign 1850 1,402,039 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Sovereign 1851 4,013,624 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Sovereign 1852 8,053,435 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Sovereign 1853 10,597,993 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Sovereign 1854 3,589,611 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Sovereign 1855 8,448,482 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Sovereign 1856 4,806,160 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Sovereign 1857 4,495,748 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Sovereign 1858 803,234 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Sovereign 1859 1,715,142 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Sovereign 1860 2,555,958 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Sovereign 1861 7,624,736 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1861
Sovereign 1862 7,836,413 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1862
Sovereign 1863 5,921,669 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1863
Sovereign 1864 8,656,352 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Sovereign 1865 1,450,238 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1865
Sovereign 1866 4,047,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1866
Sovereign 1868 1,653,384 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1868
Sovereign 1869 6,441,322 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1869
Sovereign 1870 2,189,960 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1870
Sovereign 1871 Shield 11,581,250 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1871
Sovereign 1871 St George 11,581,250 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D:
Sovereign 1872 Shield 16,049,708 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1872
Sovereign 1872 St George 16,049,708 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1873 Shield 3,846,215 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1873
Sovereign 1873 St George 4,598,215 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1874 Shield 1,893,713 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1874
Sovereign 1874 St George 3,792,713 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1875 Shield 2,122,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1875
Sovereign 1875 St George 4,010,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1876 St George 7,055,866 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1877 Shield 1,590,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1877
Sovereign 1877 St George 1,487,002 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1878 Shield 1,259,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1878
Sovereign 1878 St George 3,262,275 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1879 Shield 1,366,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1879
Sovereign 1879 St George 4,126,013 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1880 Shield 4,511,800 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1880
Sovereign 1880 St George 8,161,880 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1881 Shield 3,684,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Sovereign 1881 St George 3,684,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1882 Shield 3,764,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1882
Sovereign 1882 St George 3,764,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1883 Shield 1,535,450 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1883
Sovereign 1883 St George 3,158,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1884 Shield 4,537,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1884
Sovereign 1884 St George 6,306,635 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1885 Shield 4,442,500 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1885
Sovereign 1885 St George 5,160,223 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1886 Shield 4,568,500 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1886
Sovereign 1886 St George 4,568,500 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1887 Shield 2,915,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1887
Sovereign 1887 St George, Young head 2,915,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1887 St George, Jubilee head 3,054,077 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1888 7,294,424 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Sovereign 1889 13,251,455 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1890 11,811,424 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1891 11,675,068 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1892 13,430,470 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1893 Jubilee head 3,147,352 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D
Sovereign 1893 Veiled head 10,159,433 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA DEI . GRA . BRITT . REGINA . FID . DEF . IND . IMP .
Sovereign 1894 11,016,485 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA DEI . GRA . BRITT . REGINA . FID . DEF . IND . IMP
Sovereign 1895 9,209,186 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA DEI . GRA . BRITT . REGINA . FID . DEF . IND . IMP
Sovereign 1896 10,334,997 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA DEI . GRA . BRITT . REGINA . FID . DEF . IND . IMP
Sovereign 1897 7,662,565 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA DEI . GRA . BRITT . REGINA . FID . DEF . IND . IMP
Showing 1 to 100 of 148 Coins.
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Sovereign 1817: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeSovereign (pre-Victorian)
Issued1817
MonarchKing George III
EffigyPortrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head)
Face Value1 (x Pound)
Total Mintage3,235,239 (3.2 million), Rarity: N (Normal)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1891
MaterialGold
DesignerBenedetto Pistrucci
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size22.050 mm
Thickness1.520 mm
Mass7.980 g
OCC IDPNXY-DONZ-CPMG-OVRB
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Sovereign 1817: Photos
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Coin - Sovereign, George III, Great Britain, 1817
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Coin - Sovereign, George III, Great Britain, 1817
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Great Britain 1817 sovereign
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Great Britain 1817 sovereign
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Sovereign 1817: Catalogue Reference IDs