This Sovereign dates from 1886, the year in which the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was first published, and William Ewart Gladstone was elected as Prime Minister for a third time.

Stuck in 22 carat gold, it features Queen Victoria’s Young Head portrait on the obverse, which was her favourite portrait for coinage. 1886 was the last year to feature this portrait of Victoria on Sovereigns. The queen liked the design so much that it was struck on coins for 47 years. The next portrait to appear on her Sovereigns was to be what we now call her ‘Jubilee Head’ by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. Victoria's love of her Young Head portrait was so great it is reported to have taken many years and designers to find a portrait she liked enough to replace it.

The Young Head portrait was created by William Wyon RA, chief engraver at The Royal Mint. The reverse features Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon design.


Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.98 g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Specification Value
Obverse Designer William Wyon
Quality Circulating
Year 1886
Pure Metal Type Gold
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