2012 Gold Sovereign
Gold Sovereigns are maybe the most famous of all gold coins and much sought after by both coin collectors and Bullion investors. Sovereigns have a long history dating back to 1603 but 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 date. The Sovereign disappeared from circulation during the First World War and did not return after the war, although colonial Mints continued to produce the Sovereign until 1932.
The gold Sovereign is associated with national pride, prestige and exceptional minting quality. The 2012 gold bullion Sovereign coin hosts a portrait of Elizabeth II. HM Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning British monarch ever. Born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Queen in 1952 and her Coronation was on 2 June 1953.
The first of the modern Sovereign coins carried the head of King George III and the 'St George and the Dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci, an Italian engraver who became Chief Medallist at The Royal Mint.
Buy a 2012 Gold Sovereign
- This pre-owned 2012 gold bullion Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.98g and contains 7.32g of fine gold.
- A mintage of 432,925 bullion Sovereign coins were produced at The Royal Mint for the year 2012 (inclusive of collectors' sets).
- Features the special Diamond Jubilee reverse by Paul Day.
- 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 2012
Beyond the walls of The Royal Mint, 2012 was characterised by; the Olympic Games held in London, US President Barack Obama's re-election, and HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. The year also witnessed; the deaths of singer Whitney Houston and Moon-walking astronaut Neil Armstrong, the UK Government proposing a controversial 'Snoopers Charter', the world skydiving record broken by Felix Baumgartner, and 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai narrowly escaping a Taliban shooting after campaigning for the right to go to school. The year 2012 was a poignant year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee
2012 saw a new interpretation by Paul Day of the classic Benedetto Pistrucci 'St George and Dragon' design. This special reverse was created in honour of Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Elizabeth II's accession to the throne took place on the death of her father, King George VI in 1952. Young Elizabeth was just twenty-five-years-old when she became Queen. Her Coronation at Westminster Abbey was the first to ever be televised, watched by 27 million people across the globe. Her Majesty has dedicated her life to public service.
Sixty years on, The Queen's long reign has witnessed numerous major events, which include;
- the opening of Britain's first motorway
- England's 1966 World Cup win
- the launch of decimal currency
- the invention of the World Wide Web
- the UK both joining and leaving the European Union (EU)
- Barack Obama becoming the first black US President
On the event of her Diamond Jubilee, a programme of special celebratory events took place such as; Royal Borough status being given to Greenwich, the awarding of 440,000 Diamond Jubilee medals to those in public service, and 'Big Jubilee Lunches' were held across the UK by citizens.
2012 Gold Bullion Sovereign Coin
The Obverse (front, heads) presents Queen Elizabeth II's fourth portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. Her Majesty is posed in the Royal Diamond crown, which she wore for her coronation, and this design has been used on gold Sovereigns since 1998. The idea of replacing the Maklouf portrait occurred during a competition to design the Obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown.
The Reverse (back, tails) of the 2012 gold bullion Sovereign coin is a new take on the classical portrayal of 'St George slaying the Dragon', originally designed by Benedetto Pistrucci. The new design by Paul Day was created in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee and shows St George on horseback with sword in hand, slaying the dragon. Pistrucci's original depiction dates back to 1817. He designed and engraved the artwork himself and was paid just 100 guineas (the equivalent of around £8,000 today) for his services.
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, a role Her Majesty has held since her accession to the throne in 1952.
The 2012 gold bullion Sovereign coin may be supplied in an acrylic capsule.
The Legend of St George and the Dragon
The ancient legend of 'St George and the dragon' dates back to the reign of William of Malmesbury, during the third century, where inspiration for the story was drawn from a Roman soldier who refused to give up his Christian faith. There are many fabled stories associated with St George, the majority of which honour him as a brave hero with English ideals and a symbol of Christianity. The most well-known tale sees St George as a heroic rescuer on horseback sent to rescue a young maiden or princess sacrificed to a dragon, which he slays to save her life. It is widely believed that the dragon was slain at Uffington's Dragon Hill, a Bronze-age site just 20 miles from our premises. Since 1222, St George has been celebrated on the 23rd April every year in England, the country of which the legend is the patron saint. 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).
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