Brief Overview of a Unique Institution: the Sovereign coin. 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 accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world; it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery. In most recent years, it has borne the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reversethe initials (B P) of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, may be seen to the right of the date. The coin was named after the English gold sovereign, last minted about 1603, and originated as part of the Great Recoinage of 1816.
The Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole, had Pistrucci design the new coin, and his depiction was also used for other gold coins. With that competition gone, the sovereign not only became a popular circulating coin, but was used in international trade and in foreign lands, trusted as a coin containing a known quantity of gold. The British government promoted the use of the sovereign as an aid to international trade, and the Royal Mint took steps to see that lightweight gold coins were withdrawn from circulation. From the 1850s until 1932, the sovereign was also struck at colonial mints, initially in Australia, and later in Canada, South Africa and Indiathey have been struck again in India since 2013 (in addition to the production in Britain by the Royal Mint) for the local market. The sovereigns issued in Australia initially carried a unique local design, but by 1887, all new sovereigns bore Pistrucci's George and Dragon design.
Strikings there were so large that by 1900, about 40 per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. The coin was still used in the Middle East, and demand rose in the 1950s, which the Royal Mint eventually responded to by striking new sovereigns in 1957. It has been struck since then both as a bullion coin and, beginning in 1979, for collectors. Though the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United Kingdom. The item "Gold 1/2 Sovereign 1911 Great Britain King George V FIRST YEAR OF REIGN, RARE AU" is in sale since Monday, September 16, 2019.
This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ World\Europe\UK (Great Britain)\Gold". The seller is "redoubt_numismatics" and is located in San Antonio, Texas. This item can be shipped worldwide.