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2021 – Great Britain Gold 1/2 Sovereign

2021 – Great Britain Gold 1/2 Sovereign

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The 2021 Half Sovereign, made by the Royal Mint are half the weight of a Sovereign at 0.147 ounces and as 22-carat gold coins, they contain 0.1176 ounces of gold.

The coin bears the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark of the Royal Mint, features the Queen in the King George IV State Diadem (worn during the annual State Opening of Parliament) and Diamond Jubilee drop pearl earrings. The Latin accompanying her is DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF. Expanded this is ‘Dei Gratia Regina’ or ‘By the Grace of God, Queen’. FID DEF stands for ‘Fidei Defensatrix’ which means ‘Defender of the Faith’.

In keeping with tradition, the reverse of the coin portrays St George on a horse slaying a dragon, as designed by Benedetto Pistrucci in 1816, ready for the Royal Mint’s revival of Sovereigns in 1817.

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Description

One of the oldest coins still produced today, The British Sovereign was first struck over 500 years ago in 1489, named to honor the king and has been a symbol of strength and prestige ever since. During the nineteenth century, the gold Sovereign was a recognized currency in more than 20 countries.

The tale of Saint George and the Dragon was brought back to Western Europe by returning crusaders. It would serve as inspiration when Pistrucci was commissioned by The Royal Mint to work on new designs as a reform of the coinage was undertaken in 1816, the government intervening to re-stabilize the currency after the Napoleonic Wars.

Pistrucci’s interest in St George had been aroused by Lady Spencer, to whom he had been introduced by Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society and friend of William Wellesley Pole, then Master of the Mint. Her Ladyship showed Pistrucci a wax model of Saint George and asked him to make another ‘in the Greek style’. Lady Spencer had no time for a figure dressed in gothic armour, an appealing sentiment to the Italian, whose favorite maxim was said to be ‘study Greek originals day and night’. Pistrucci’s iconic design first appeared on The Sovereign in 1817, instantly distinctive it became a classic and still endures 200+ years later.

A circulating coin, it was struck in 916.7 fine gold to withstand daily use and it is struck from that same durable, 22 karat gold today. Adorned by the renowned engraver Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic Saint George and the dragon design, which has endured for 200 years.

Additional information

Weight 0.2354 oz
Metal

gold

Weight

0.1451 oz

Product Type

Coin

Coin Year

2021

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