In 1839, a Victorian era proof set was issued on the ﬁrst anniversary of the Queen Victoria’s coronation. Included in this ﬁfteen-piece set was a splendid ﬁve-pound gold piece featuring the Queen depicted as Lady Una. Designed by William Wyon, it became one of Queen Victoria’s most sought after and universally praised coins, and is today regarded as one of the most beautiful coins of all time.
2019’s most prestigious Sovereigns.
The 1816 Great Recoinage Act:
The Great Recoinage of 1816 brought to an end the era of the golden Guinea and ushered in the rebirth of the Sovereign. The economic consequences of the long and disruptive French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars had resulted in severe financial instability in Britain.
The huge cost of military engagement and the effects of years of disruption to European trade exports from Britain and its colonies, was exacerbated by a shortage of silver and copper used to mint coins and high corn prices. In an attempt to stabilise the currency the British government authorised an extensive recoinage programme to re-introduce silver coinage and replace the existing 21 shilling Guinea with a lighter 20 shilling piece – the Modern Sovereign. It was a turning point in coinage history as Britain formally adopted the gold standard.
2019 East India Company Sovereigns
\On the tenth anniversary of the accession of Queen Victoria an unusual commemorative crown was designed. The inﬂuence of the Gothic revival resulted in a magniﬁcent new effigy of Queen Victoria created by the most outstanding engraver of his day, William Wyon. This inventively beautiful Gothic style was repeated by Wyon on the reverse, creating a coin which remains highly sought after and a key masterpiece for collectors of British coinage.
As a tribute to this unique coin, the 2019 Double Sovereign takes its inspiration from the majestic reverse design of the Gothic Crown featuring the four crowned shields representing the primary realms of Great Britain. Situated between the angles of the shields, roses, a shamrock and a thistle can be found. In the centre, the Order of the Garter bears the French inscription ‘HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE’ replicating Wyon’s original composition. Surrounding the design in a similar gothic style as its predecessor, the words ‘DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS’ are repeated.
2017 East India Company Sovereigns
The 2017 Sovereign, is minted by the Royal Mint with tools remastered from Pistrucci’s 1817 originals. Featuring the iconic design of the very first modern Sovereign, the ‘garter’ surrounds Pistrucci’s famous motif, St George slaying the Dragon, struck for the first time since 1820. The coin’s date appears on the obverse for the first time since 1887. It is sold out as a single coin worldwide.