George VI (1936-52), gold proof 4 Coin Sovereign Set, 1937
Obverse - bare head left, initials HP below neck for engraver Humphrey Paget, legend and outer border surrounding, GEORGIVS VI D:G: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:,
Reverse - St. George and dragon right, date in exergue, B.P. to upper right of exergue, edge plain
The Latin legend translates as "George the Sixth by the grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India."
These plain edge Proof gold Sovereign's were produced to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI on the 12th May 1937 as part of gold Proof sets, with a mintage of approximately 5,501 pieces, they were technically patterns as they did not have a milled edge like earlier gold Proof Sovereigns.
In 1893 a man was born who would go onto to become one of the most highly regarded coin designers in Royal Mint history. Humphrey Paget was raised into a family already well established in the art world and he, himself would add to this when he went on to study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts at the Royal Academy Schools.
He served his country during The Great War, but would return to his true passion after World War One had ended to teach his craft at the school where he had studied. Soon after, his talents would become noticed by The Royal Mint, who asked him to design a medal for the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and for the obverse he produced a portrait of the Prince of Wales. The portrait received much acclaim and was brought to the attention of the Deputy Mint Master who asked Paget to produce a version for a possible future coin. In 1936, The Prince of Wales would become Edward VIII and it was Paget’s design that was chosen to appear on the new Kings coinage.
It must have been very disappointing for Paget not to see his coins widely circulated following Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936, but redemption was made when he was appointed to design the portrait of George VI in 1937, which incredibly he did in just one month! Despite the tight schedule, his portrait of the new King was a success and has been described as “the classic coinage head of the 20th century” and “near perfect.”
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Obverse Designer||Humphrey Paget|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|