1968 Gold Sovereign
Highly sought-after by investors and collectors, gold bullion Sovereigns are possibly the most famous of all gold coins. Often referred to as 'The Chief Coin of the World' owing to the Sovereign's international trading in the 19th and 20th centuries. The contemporary gold Sovereign has been minted in Britain since 1817, and again from 1817-1917, 1925, 1957–59, 1962–68, 1974, 1976, 1978–82 and 2000 to the present day. Modern gold bullion Sovereign production was paused after 1982 up until the year 2000, although Proof versions were still issued.
The first of the modern Sovereigns hosted a portrait of King George III and the 'St George and the Dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci. Pistrucci was an Italian engraver who became Chief Medallist at The Royal Mint. This 1968 Sovereign coin hosts a portrait of the longest reigning monarch of all time, HM The Queen, Elizabeth II.
Buy a 1968 Gold Sovereign
- This pre-owned 1968 gold bullion Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.98g and contains 7.32g of fine gold.
- A mintage of 4,203,000 bullion coins were produced at The Royal Mint for the year 1968.
- The gold Sovereign is considered to be one of the world's oldest coins still in production and a pinnacle of minting excellence.
The year 1968
The year 1968 was characterised by; Vietnam War protests in the US, the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and US Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, the launch of the Boeing 747 (Jumbo Jet), Apollo 8 reaching the moon, the outbreak of Hong Kong Flu, the beginning of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Prague Spring and Paris riots, the election of US President Richard Nixon, Black Power salutes at the Olympic Games, The Beatles release of hit single 'Hey Jude' and the horrors of famine and war in Biafra (now Nigeria). 1968 was a significant year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
The 1968 Gold Bullion Sovereign Coin
The Obverse (front, heads) presents Queen Elizabeth II's first portrait by Mary Gillick. The first Portrait of Elizabeth II was issued on British coinage in 1953, the year of Her Majesty's Coronation. The image hosts a youthful uncrowned Queen, which is still used on Maundy Money today. The Royal Maundy traditions date back to the Bible, with generations of monarchs giving to the poor on Maundy Thursday. The first Maundy Money ceremony took place in 1662, when Charles II gave his subjects undated hammered coins. By 1670, it was customary to give a dated set of four coins. Today, recipients of Royal Maundy are elderly men and women, chosen for their dedication as Christians in their communities. However, they are now given a red purse containing ordinary coins and a white purse with silver Maundy Money.
The Reverse (back, tails) of the 1968 gold bullion Sovereign hosts the signature 1817 'St George and the Dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci. In the 19th century, talented Italian engraver Pistrucci was instructed to develop designs for George III's silver and gold coins by William Wellesley-Pole, The Master of The Mint and the Waterloo Medal for the British Government, a commission which took the artist 30 years to create.
The coin includes the inscription, 'DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF', which translates to 'By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith'. The inscription refers to HM Queen Elizabeth II's position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Elizabeth II has held the role since her accession to the throne in 1952.
No Proof version of the 1968 gold Sovereign was issued. This 1968 bullion coin may be supplied in an acrylic capsule.
St George and the Dragon
St George's legacy dates back to the 3rd century, often depicted as a heroic defender of the Christian faith. The most widely shared story recounts St George as a rescuer on horseback sent to slay a dragon in order to save a young maiden or princess. It is widely believed that the dragon in the mythical tale was slain at Uffington's Dragon Hill, a Bronze-age site just 20 miles from our premises in Royal Wootton Bassett. As the Patron Saint of England, St George celebrated in the country on the 23rd April every year since 1222.
The Reverse of this 1968 Sovereign depicts 'St George and his dragon', in the classic design by Benedetto Pistrucci. The Obverse design of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is the first portrait design, by Mary Gillick. This is the last time we see Gillick's Portrait of Her Majesty on a Sovereign coin as the UK moves to decimal coinage by 1971.
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