1976 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 1976 Sovereign coin hosts a portrait of the longest reigning monarch of all time, HM The Queen, Elizabeth II.
Buy a 1976 Gold Sovereign
- This pre-owned 1976 gold bullion Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.98g and contains 7.32g of fine gold.
- A mintage of 4,150,000 bullion coins were produced at The Royal Mint for the year 1976.
- The gold Sovereign is considered to be one of the world's oldest coins still in production and a pinnacle of minting excellence.
- Ideal for marking a Sapphire Wedding Anniversary (45 years) alongside other milestone occasions such as birthdays and weddings.
The year 1976
The year 1976 witnessed; the world's first supercomputer and the formation of Apple, London subjected to an IRA bombing, Iceland and the UK clash over fishing rights in the so-called 'Cod War', the first Concorde flight leave Heathrow for Bahrain, Harold Wilson resign as James Callaghan is elected British Prime Minister, the Soweto uprising in South Africa, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon separate, the UK win the Eurovision song contest with 'Save All Your Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood of Man, a sweltering heat wave arrive in June leading to a drought, Ford launch the Fiesta, both Catholic and Protestant women in Northern Ireland protest for peace while many are injured in riots between police and Notting Hill Carnival goers, the first punk rock single is released by The Damned, and the Royal National Theatre opens on London's Southbank. 1976 was a remarkable year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
The 1976 Gold Bullion Sovereign Coin
The Obverse (front, heads) presents Queen Elizabeth II's second portrait by Arnold Machin. An updated version of the same portrait has appeared on British stamps since 1967. The 2nd Portrait by Machin replaced the original Elizabeth II portrayal by Mary Gillick, to help new British decimal currency stand out when it was first released in 1968.
The Reverse (back, tails) of the 1976 gold bullion Sovereign hosts the signature 1817 'St George and the Dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci. In the 19th century, Italian engraver Pistrucci was instructed to create designs for George III's silver and gold coins by William Wellesley-Pole, The Master of The Mint.
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.
A VIP Proof version (FDC grade) was issued for the 1976 gold Sovereign but these are exceptionally rare coins.
This 1976 bullion coin may be supplied in an acrylic capsule.
The Trial of the Pyx
This gold bullion Sovereign coin is verified at the Trial of the Pyx, a 13th century ritual used to measure a coin's weight and quality. The Trial of the Pyx is one of Britain's oldest traditions, dating back to at least 1282 during the reign of Edward I. The ceremony usually includes; the Chancellor of the Exchequer, financial leaders, The Royal Mint's representatives and freemen of The Goldsmiths' Company. Coins are taken from every batch of each denomination struck, sealed in bags of 50 and locked away for testing at the Trial. The 'Pyx' is latin referring to the chests used to transport and store the coins. The ritual involves putting the coins in a copper bowl and selecting at random for testing. Each coin is checked to ensure it meets the specifications set out in the relevant section of the Coinage Act or Royal Proclamation.
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 on the 23rd April every year since 1222. This is despite St George being unlikely to have ever been deemed of English descent. Mythical St George is also the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to Saint Mark).
The Reverse depicts 'St George and his dragon', in the classic design by Benedetto Pistrucci. The Obverse design of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is the second portrait design, by Arnold Machin.
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