Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Sovereign's revival in 1817 with this impressive coin. Half sovereigns provide all the beauty of the Gold British Sovereign at a lower price point, appealing to more purchasers.
- Contains a total of .1177 oz of Gold.
- Comes in a custom wood box with a certificate of authenticity.
- Limited edition presentation mintage of 2,500 celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Sovereign's revival in 1817.
- Obverse: Includes an effigy of Her Majesty Elizabeth II as well as the date. This marks for first time the date has appeared on the obverse since 1887.
- Reverse: Features St. George and the dragon by Benedetto Pistrucci, an image that has endured for almost 200 years. The original inscription created for The Sovereign when it was revived in 1817 is included on this anniversary edition. The Latin "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE", meaning "Evil unto him that thinks evil of it".
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The Sovereign continues to be recognized as a Gold coin of beauty, quality and value, and is considered by many as the flagship coin of The Royal Mint. Add this 2017 Gold British 1/2 Sovereign to your cart today!
In 2017 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the "modern" Sovereign; a coin with a rich history, world-renowned for its quality and iconic design. Its story may be more than five centuries old but 200 years ago the Gold coin set new standards for accuracy that defined a currency.
Now, 200 years later, we return to Pistrucci’s original "garter" design for this important anniversary. The Sovereign 2017 Proof range features the design struck with tools that were carefully remastered from the 1817 originals. The design created by Pistrucci for The Sovereign of 1817 reflects the inscription which appears on the Order of the Garter. The garter is represented, with a buckle, on the outer edge. The design is a typical contemporary depiction of the Order of the Garter Badge, often produced as a carved gem; Pistrucci's particular specialism.
Benedetto Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon design has become synonymous with The Sovereign. He created an interpretation that defied the medieval image of St George, instead opting for a Greek interpretation, bare and muscular, not weighed down with the usual chain mail and armor. The original inscription created for The Sovereign when it was revived in 1817 has been revisited for this celebratory, anniversary edition of The Sovereign for 2017. The Latin "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE", meaning "Evil unto him that thinks evil of it", is a phrase that has featured on the coat of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom for centuries.
One of the oldest institutions in the world, the Royal Mint began producing coins for England, and eventually Great Britain, more than 1,100 years ago. The mint also produces and exports coins for other countries, as well as military medals, and other products for the British government. The Royal Mint has been witness to the legendary kings and queens, political upheavals, social and governmental progress, and scientific and technological breakthroughs.
The minting of coins began in England around the end of the second century B.C. Around A.D. 650, coins were made by craftsmen called “moneyers” in London. In 886, during the reign of Alfred the Great, the London Mint was designated to be a single institution, though there were many other mints in operation around this time. In 1279 the London Mint was moved to the Tower of London where it remained for the next 500 years. Famed physicist Sir Isaac Newton was the Warden of the Mint in 1696 and as such was responsible for investigating cases of counterfeiting. Three years later he was made Master of the Mint, until his death in 1727, and was responsible for moving England from the Silver standard to the Gold standard in 1717.
The Royal Mint had outgrown its home in the Tower of London so during the 18th century the rickety wooden shacks the mint occupied were rebuilt to accommodate mechanized and rolling mills and coining presses and provide more space. Soon, however, the mint outgrew this new location and in 1809, the mint moved from the Tower of London to an adjacent site in East Smithfield called Tower Hill. By 1899, the Royal Mint was striking 100 million coins a year.
In 1967 it was announced that mint would move from its location at Tower Hill to Llantrisant, Wales, following Parliament’s decision to decimalize currency and in 1968 the first coins were officially struck by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the new location in Wales. In 1986, the Royal Mint celebrated 11 centuries of continuous minting. In 2009, the Royal Mint was vested into a government-owned company to provide greater operating and commercial freedom.
One unique aspect of the Royal Mint is a procedure known as the Trial of the Pyx, dates back to 1282 and ensures newly-minted coins meet required government standards. The trials have been held once a each year since their inception and have changed very little over time. These trials are presided over by a judge with a jury of expert assayers and were held at the Palace of Westminster before they were moved to the modern-day site at the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. The ceremony was so named after the boxwood chest in which coins were placed for presentation to the jury.