1983 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Half Sovereign
Gold proof Half Sovereign from The Royal Mint, dated 1983 in original box.
History Of The Half Sovereign
The first Sovereigns date back to the time of the fifteenth century and the reigns of the Tudor monarchs. Their prestigious name was revived in 1817 for a new gold coin, introduced following a major overhaul of British coinage. Full Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns remained in circulation until the First World War and thereafter gained a reputation as a sought-after bullion coin: trusted to contain a known quantity of gold.
The Royal Mint did not start minting new Half Sovereigns for decades, striking their first proof Half Sovereign in 1980. When they did they utilised the specification set down in the time of George IV: 3.99 grams of 22 carat gold and a diameter of 19.30 millimetres, jump starting an old tradition for a new audience.
Arnold Machin's Royal Portrait
Like most gold Half Sovereigns struck in the last century, this 1983 edition features an instantly recognisable image of Saint George to the reverse. This classic engraving, showing England's patron saint in the act of slaying a dragon, dates back to 1817 and is the work of Italian artist, Benedetto Pistrucci.
Half Sovereigns don't carry a mention of their value - £1 / One Pound - on their face so the sight of St George is an easy identifier for many collectors as this design has become synonymous with these gold coins.
The 1983 proof Half Sovereign is one of just four to feature Arnold Machin's portrait of Her Majesty the Queen on its obverse. It's a youthful effigy which shows Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. It was replaced in 1985 with a new profile by Raphael Maklouf.
Original Box and Certificate
This proof Half Sovereign comes in it is original presentation packaging from The Royal Mint. This consists of a clear capsule and a velvet lined blue leather box with gold lettering to the exterior. There's a certificate of authenticity enclosed but these weren't numbered at this time.
Reportedly, 19,710 proof Half Sovereigns were issued in 1983, including those in sets.
If you're thinking about buying a 1983 Half Sovereign you might also be interested in our best value, mixed year Half Sovereigns. Like this proof edition they are VAT and Capital Gains Tax exempt.
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