1982 Proof Gold Sovereign
Just 22,500 of these 1982 Sovereign coins were minted. The 1982 gold Proof Sovereign hosts the classic reverse design by Benedetto Pistrucci, in which St George slays the dragon on horseback. The obverse features the 2nd Portrait of HM The Queen by Arnold Machin RA.
The 1982 Gold Proof Sovereign Coin
The obverse (heads) presents the 2nd portrait by Arnold Machin RA of HM The Queen. An updated version has also appeared on British stamps since 1967. The 2nd Portrait by Machin shows Elizabeth II in a full portrait wearing a gifted tiara from her grandmother Queen Mary.
The reverse (tails) of the Sovereign hosts the signature 1817 'St George and the Dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci. In the 1800s, Italian engraver Pistrucci was instructed to create designs for George III's silver and gold coins by The Master of The Mint. He soon became known as an exceptionally talented engraver and artist. Although best known for the Sovereign, Pistrucci also undertook a 30-year-long commissioned project by the British government to design the Waterloo Medal.
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.
The History of the Sovereign
The first ever Sovereign coin was commissioned by Henry VII in 1489, and by each Tudor Monarch until the reign of James I, when the Sovereign disappeared for two centuries. Revived in 1817 as part of the great coinage reform at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, it traditionally featured a heraldic reverse. This was later abandoned in favour of a 'St George and the dragon' design by Benedetto Pistrucci. The Sovereign ceased being in circulation during the First World War, when the public were asked to surrender gold Sovereigns to; support the war effort, pay off international debts, and build up the Bank of England reserves.
Buy a 1982 Gold Sovereign
This pre-owned 1982 gold Proof Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.988g and contains 7.32g of fine gold. Today, the Sovereign is considered to be one of the world's oldest coins still in production and a pinnacle of minting excellence.
The year 1982
The year 1982 saw; the birth of Prince William, Channel 4 and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album, the launch of satellite TV in the UK, the Falklands conflict and director Steven Spielsberg introducing the world to his 'ET' movie. In the technology sector; The Commodore 64 computer and the first CD player by Sony were launched Over in the minting world, £1 coins were nonexistent, a twenty piece was introduced, and the halfpenny was still in circulation. There were widespread fears that the demise of the halfpenny would cause inflation as retailers rounded up prices to the nearest 1p. 1982 was a remarkable year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
The Legend of St George and the Dragon
In a legend dating back to third century Britain, the inspiration behind the 'St George and the dragon' story was drawn from that of 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 English hero 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 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 away from The Britannia Coin Company's Royal Wootton Bassett premises.
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