1995 Proof Gold Sovereign
The Sovereign is one of the most easily recognisable coins in Britain. This 1995 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. Just 7,500 of these 1995 Sovereign coins were minted.
The 1995 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 in the royal diadem, which she usually wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament. Maklouf's version received criticism for his 'flatteringly young' portrayal of the Queen but Maklouf responded that his intention had been 'to create a symbol, regal and ageless'.
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 shortened inscription, 'DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF', which translates to 'By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith'. The phase 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 and a symbol of the majesty and dignity of The Crown. 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 1995 Gold Sovereign
This pre-owned 1995 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 1995
Beyond the walls of The Royal Mint, 1995 saw; the trial of O.J. Simpson, the Queen's first visit to South Africa in 50 years, the Queen and Prince Philip visit Northern Ireland after the ceasefire, PhONEday change all UK dialling codes, and a record 22 million people watch Princess Diana give a revealing TV interview to Martin Bashir on BBC Panorama. Meanwhile, 1995 also witnessed; Pierce Brosnan become the new James Bond in Goldeneye, Philip Pullman release The Northern Lights, the first of His Dark Materials book series, and 1% of the UK population obtain internet access. This Royal Mint 1995 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
A classic tale of 'good vs evil' in a legend dating back to third century Britain. The story of 'St George the Dragon Slayer' draws on the anecdote of a Roman soldier who refused to give up his Christian faith. By the 13th century, St George 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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