2018 Gold Proof Quarter Sovereign
The Sovereign is one of the most easily recognisable coins in Britain and this Quarter-Sovereign hosts the famous design in miniature form. This 2018 gold Proof ¼ Sovereign presents the classic reverse design by Benedetto Pistrucci, in which St George slays the dragon on horseback. The obverse features the 5th Portrait of HM The Queen by Jody Clark. Just 2,500 of these individually boxed 2018 Sovereign coins were minted.
2018 Gold Proof Sovereign Coin
The obverse (heads) presents the 5th Portrait of HM The Queen by Jody Clark, the youngest designer of Her Majesty's effigy. The 5th 'couped' Portrait by Clark shows a close-up of Elizabeth II in the crown usually worn at State openings and visits.
The reverse (tails) of the ¼ 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. The design has been a familiar presence on Sovereign coins for over 200 years.
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.
Each coin includes a 'crown' mint mark in celebration of Her Majesty's Sapphire Coronation anniversary. Royal Mint coin designers, Natasha Preece and Joseph Melia, crafted this 'royal cypher crown' privy mark with the number '65' in honour of the Sovereign coin's royal connections and to mark 65 years since Elizabeth II's 1953 Coronation.
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. Since the minting of the modern Sovereign began in 1957, over 80 million gold Bullion and Proof Sovereigns have been struck.
However esteemed, the Sovereign fell to the plight of the First World War. It ceased being in circulation 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. It is unlikely that there is anyone alive today who can remember carrying Sovereigns in a silver purse, ringing them in at shop counters, and weighing the coins with pocket scales.
Buy a 2018 Gold Sovereign
This pre-owned 2018 gold Proof ¼ Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold, weighs 1.997g and contains 1.8305g 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 2018
There was renewed hope in 2018 for a united Korea, with both North and South Korea agreeing to officially end their long war. In other world politics; the #MeToo movement gained traction leading to the arrest of Hollywood's Harvey Weinstein, Saudia Arabia's women were given the right to drive, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Germany's Angela Merkel were re-elected, and Xi Jinping was given indefinite right to remain the lifelong President of China. It was also a sombre year with the Syrian conflict and the Salisbury poisonings. In tech; the EU's GDPR privacy controls were on everyone's minds as Facebook was involved in a data mining scandal with Cambridge Analytica, Apple reached a $1 trillion dollar value, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos became the world's richest man. NASA also launched their first mission to the sun and wildfires hit California. Meanwhile, The British Royal family celebrated; the marriage of Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle, the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child Prince Louis, and The Queen's Sapphire Coronation anniversary marking 65 years on the throne. Over in entertainment, Marvel impressed cinema-goers with their new film, Black Panther, a superhero film with a predominantly black cast. The year 2018 was an extraordinary year in history, now immortalised in coinage.
65 Years of Royal Duty
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 in 1953 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-five years on, the longest-reigning monarch celebrates her Sapphire Coronation anniversary. Her reign has witnessed numerous major events, which include; Roger Bannister achieving the four-minute mile in 1954, the opening of the M1 - Britain's first motorway, Beatlemania, the abolishment of the death penalty, England's 1966 World Cup win, the launch of decimal currency, the Miners' Strike, election of first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Live Aid concert of 1985, the world's first test tube baby, Nelson Mandela's release from prison, the invention of the World Wide Web, the UK both joining and leaving the European Union (EU), and Barack Obama becoming the first black US President. Her Majesty's Sapphire Jubilee in 2017 was a more low key affair than her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees. However, it was still marked with events including; blue Royal Mail stamps, gun salutes by the King's Troops in Green Park and the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London, and the reissue of an official 2014 portrait of Elizabeth II by David Bailey, in which Her Majesty wore sapphire jewellery received as a wedding present from her father, George VI. This gold Proof ¼ Sovereign includes a privy mark in the form of a crown, acknowledging her Sapphire Coronation anniversary in 2018.
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.
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