The last Half Sovereign of Tower Hill
With a rich history that stretches back more than 500 years, The Sovereign has been subject to many reinventions. However, at the outbreak of the First World War, The Sovereign became an early casualty in the decline of gold coin production.
When The Royal Mint relocated to Tower Hill at the height of the Industrial Revolution in 1811, minting entered a new era. The new site was equipped with the latest in modern steam-driven machinery and workers benefitted from a more efficient layout. Gold and silver coins were struck at Tower Hill for more than a century, as The Royal Mint substantially increased production to meet ever-increasing demands for coinage.
However, by 1915 Britain was gripped by war and regular production of gold coins at Tower Hill began declining as gold reserves were channelled to the front line. The Sovereign was one of the first coins to be replaced by banknotes, with many of the last gold Sovereign coins that survived the war melted down to pay off war debts to the United States.
This coin provides a piece of British minting history direct from the original maker, The Royal Mint, capturing the final moments before gold disappeared from British circulating coinage forever, with the last Half Sovereign struck at Tower Hill from 1915.
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Obverse Designer||Bertram Mackennal|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|