New Military Coins from The Royal Mint
New Military Coins from The Royal Mint

A Sovereign Fit for a King

Collect · Royalty


From its introduction during the reign of Henry VIII, its subsequent replacement by James I and its eventual revival during the reign of George III, the story of The Sovereign has been told numerous times. As such, numismatists and coin collectors know the history of the coin well. However, with such emphasis placed on the world of historical coinage, it can be easy to overlook the numismatic history we are living today..


The coins of His Majesty King Charles III represent history in the making and The Sovereign is no exception. When the coinage portrait of His Majesty The King first appeared on the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Sovereign in 2022, King Charles III became the latest in a long line of monarchs to appear on The Sovereign. Whilst the 2022 Sovereign featuring The King’s portrait honoured the passing of His Majesty’s mother, the 2023 Coronation Sovereign marks a celebratory occasion, as it commemorates The King’s historic coronation on 6 May 2023.


king charles III


Serving as a symbol of an important milestone in the reign of Britain’s oldest ascending monarch, the 2023 Coronation Sovereign coin is of notable significance for a number of numismatic reasons. The release of this collection marks only the second occasion a Sovereign has featured a portrait of King Charles III. Unlike previous coins bearing His Majesty’s likeness, the obverse of the 2023 Coronation Sovereign includes a new, crowned portrait of King Charles III in keeping with the ceremonial importance of the event it commemorates. Designed by Martin Jennings, the same artist behind the official coinage portrait of The King that made its debut in 2022, this new design shows His Majesty facing left, as per tradition, wearing a crown.

In addition to the crowned portrait of His Majesty, the 2023 Coronation Sovereign also rekindles a classic Sovereign custom on its reverse with the inclusion of Benedetto Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon design. First appearing on The Sovereign in 1817, Pistrucci’s design has become a recurring staple of Sovereign coinage. However, Jean Baptiste Merlen’s crowned shield of the Royal Arms replaced Pistrucci’s design in 1825 and remained the design of choice for almost half a century. Pistrucci’s design eventually returned in 1871, during Queen Victoria’s reign, and has since featured on the ‘chief coin of the world’.


king charles III coins


That being said, Pistrucci’s design has been conspicuously absent from The Sovereign on a few select occasions. These notable exclusions typically take place when we release special editions of The Sovereign that commemorate significant events, such as an anniversary of the coin or a special royal event. In keeping with this trend, the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Sovereign released in 2022 featured a new version of the Royal Coat of Arms. Designed by the same designer behind the fifth and final definitive coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the reverse of the coin depicts two heraldic beasts – the Lion of England and the Unicorn of Scotland – flanking a crowned shield.

In addition to featuring a crowned coinage portrait of His Majesty, the 2023 Coronation Sovereign is also notable as it is the first Sovereign of King Charles III’s reign to feature Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon design. With so many firsts associated with this release, it is a coin that numismatists and collectors will appreciate today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III

Celebrate the momentous coronation of His Majesty The King with the first Sovereign to feature the official crowned coinage portrait of King Charles III, designed by Martin Jennings.

Find Out MoreThe Sovereign

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The 2023 Coronation Sovereign of King Charles III

Commemorate one of the most memorable moments in modern royal history with a new Sovereign collection dedicated to the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

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