2015 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, but the modern gold Sovereign has been minted since 1817 and then in Britain 1817-1917, 1925 and 1957 onwards.
The gold Sovereign has a five-century long association with national pride, prestige and exceptional minting quality. The Monarch's head is almost always depicted on the Obverse of the sovereign and the 2015 gold bullion Sovereign coin hosts a portrait of Elizabeth II. HM Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning 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 2015 Gold Sovereign
This pre-owned 2015 gold bullion Sovereign coin is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.98g and contains 7.32g of fine gold. 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 2015
Beyond the walls of The Royal Mint, 2015 witnessed; Libby Lane become the UK's first female Bishop, the Hatton Garden Heist, the birth of Princess Charlotte to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Conservative David Cameron elected Prime Minister, and Jeremy Corbyn elected as Labour Party leader. Jeremy Clarkson was dismissed from hit show Top Gear for assaulting a producer, Facebook attained 1 billion users, and flowing water was discovered on Mars. It was also a more sombre year in many ways including the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the sinking of a migrant ship carrying around 550 people off the Libya coast. The year 2015 was a poignant year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
Description of the 2015 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 "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" Royal Diamond crown, a wedding gift from Queen Mary in 1947. This design has been used on gold Sovereigns since 1998. The idea of replacing the former Maklouf portrait occurred during a competition to design the Obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown. The Obverse of the next 2016 Sovereign will feature a new 5th portrait of Her Majesty by Jody Clark.
The Reverse (back, tails) of the 2015 Sovereign is that of the classical portrayal of 'St George slaying the Dragon', designed by Benedetto Pistrucci. St George, the Patron Saint of England, is on horseback, sword in hand. On the floor to the left is a broken spear from a previous offensive. Pistrucci's depiction dates back to 1817. He designed and engraved the artwork himself and was paid 100 guineas for his services. This is equivalent to about £8,000 today - it sounds like The Royal Mint got a bit of a bargain there!
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 2015 gold bullion Sovereign coin may be supplied in an acrylic capsule.
The Trial of the Pyx
This gold Sovereign coin benefits from being verified at the Trial of the Pyx for its 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
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).
The Reverse depicts patron saint of England, St George, in the classic design by Benedetto Pistrucci. The Obverse design of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is the fourth portrait design, by Ian Rank-Broadley.
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