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

Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinSovereign 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 modern sovereign is a continuation of the pre-decimal sovereign, and has been issued as a decimal coin since 1974.

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 Mintage23,471
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Obverse
United Kingdom / 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 / Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary - reverse photo

At centre, the reverse design of the coin displays the crowned Royal Shield of Arms of the United Kingdom, over a double Tudor rose and surrounded by a beaded circle.

The standard variant of the Coat of Arms (as used outside of Scotland) has the shield 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 crowned with St Edward's Crown (the lion standing on it on the full version is not present on this coin).

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

10,535 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
Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom Mintage
All (50) coins of type: Sovereign (Decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Sovereign 1974 5,002,566 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1976 4,150,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1978 6,550,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1979 9,150,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1980 5,181,200 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1981 5,032,960 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1982 2,970,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1983 (Proof only) 21,250 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1984 (Proof only) 12,880 Queen Elizabeth II - Second Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Sovereign 1985 (Proof only) 11,393 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1986 (Proof only) 5,079 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1987 (Proof only) 9,979 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1988 (Proof only) 7,670 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary 23,471 Seated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·
Sovereign 1990 (Proof only) 4,767 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1991 (Proof only) 4,713 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1992 (Proof only) 4,772 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1993 (Proof only) 4,349 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1994 (Proof only) 4,998 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1995 (Proof only) 7,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1996 (Proof only) 7,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1997 (Proof only) 7,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D
Sovereign 1998 (Proof only) 10,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 1999 (Proof only) 11,903 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2000 138,978 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2001 58,377 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2002 Golden Jubilee 87,764 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2003 55,663 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2004 40,863 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2005 58,042 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2006 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2007 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2008 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2009 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2010 252,814 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2011 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2012 Diamond Jubilee 10,060 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2013 10,938 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2014 4,695 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2015 (Fourth Portrait) 5,436 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2015 (Fifth Portrait) unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2016 (Fifth Portrait) 1,251 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait 7,995 Queen Elizabeth II - Portrait by James Butler ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2017 (Bullion) unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2017 Garter 12,681 Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF · 2017 ·
Sovereign 2018 Sapphire Jubilee unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2019 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2020 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF
Sovereign 2021 unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
Sovereign 2022 Platinum Jubilee unknown Queen Elizabeth II - Fifth Portrait ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
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Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeSovereign, One year types (Decimal)
Issued1989
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigySeated on Throne, by Bernard Sindall
ReverseRoyal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Face Value1 (x Pound)
Total Mintage23,471
CurrentYes
Material0.9167 Gold
DesignerBernard R. Sindall
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size22.050 mm
Thickness1.520 mm
Mass7.988 g
OCC IDZQRA-POBN-CWZK-OYJD
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Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Photos
ImageDetails
1989 Sovereign Coin Gold Proof
Copyright: Chards
Source
1989 Sovereign Coin Gold Proof
Copyright: Chards
Source
Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United KingdomSC3 (was 4272)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 956