The Sovereign 2009

2009 was a momentous year. In Britain, Harry Patch the last surviving soldier to serve in the First World War, passed away at the age of 111. As one chapter in history closed a new one opened as the people of the United States of America elected Barack Obama as president - the first African-American to achieve the influential position. In cricket, England regained the Ashes and the Statue of Liberty's crown finally reopened to the public, eight years after the attacks on the Twin Towers. Recall an eventful year with this majestic gold Sovereign from The Royal Mint, where it was struck in 2009.

Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS portrait

The idea of replacing the Maklouf portrait came about during a competition to design the obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown. The standard of entries for the conjoint portrait of The Queen and Prince Philip was so high that it was decided to explore the possibility of a new coinage portrait for circulating coins, too.

The winning design by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, introduced in 1998, makes for an interesting contrast with its predecessor, being less idealised and more strongly realistic.  Ian Rank-Broadley explained there was: “No need to disguise the matureness of The Queen’s years. There is no need to flatter her. She is a 70-year-old woman with poise and bearing.” The portrait also appeared as large as possible within the framework of the coin, as he wanted to maximise its impact on smaller coins like the new 5p, 10p and 50p pieces.

The first gold Sovereign to feature this special portrait was the 1998 Proof and the last was the 2015 Proof Sovereign.

Specification

Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.98 g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Specification Value
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Quality Proof
Year 2009
Pure Metal Type Gold
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