1991 Proof Gold Sovereign
Just 5,000 of these individually boxed 1991 Sovereign coins were minted. The 1991 gold Proof Sovereign hosts the classic reverse design by Benedetto Pistrucci, in which St George slays the dragon on horseback. The obverse features the 3rd Portrait of HM The Queen by Raphael Maklouf.
The 1991 Gold Proof Sovereign Coin
The obverse (heads) presents the 3rd Portrait of HM The Queen by Raphael Maklouf. The 3rd 'couped' Portrait by Maklouf shows Elizabeth II wearing the royal diadem, which she normally wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament.
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 Sovereign is considered by many to be the flagship of The Royal Mint. 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 1991 Gold Sovereign
This pre-owned 1991 gold Proof Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 7.98g 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 1991
1991 witnessed landmark change including; the online launch of the first World Wide Web website built at CERN by Tim Burners-Lee and contributors, the ending of the Cold War and the Gulf War, the dissolvement of the Soviet Union, and Jaffa Cakes in a battle with the UK government making us all question - is it a biscuit or cake? On the music scene, Nirvana introduced us to the 'grunge' genre in the renowned album, Nevermind. We also saw the sad passing of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, leading to a chart-topping re-release of Bohemian Rhapsody, which raised funds for AIDS charities. This Royal Mint 1991 collection marks an extraordinary year for coinage and current affairs, and now you can purchase a piece of this historical year.
The Legend of St George and the Dragon
In a legend dating back to third century Britain, sees a story of the triumph of 'good over evil'. The inspiration behind the 'St George and the dragon' story is drawn from a Roman soldier who refused to give up his Christian faith. By the 13th century, 'St George the Dragon Slayer' was being portrayed with the red cross of the crusader. 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.
Gold, gold everywhere!
The expression 'a sea of gold' is soaked in truth. Gold exists naturally in oceans and there is more gold in the sea than people have ever mined. However, to refine gold from the sea is far more expensive than traditional gold-mining. It is also widely believed that gold exists on other planets including Mercury, Venus and Mars. Though it is not currently plausible, there may come a day when a gold coin like this gold Proof Sovereign may be quite literally out of this world!
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