The Sovereign of the Month
Sovereign of the Month
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George IV is a fascinating character in British royal history, famous for having an extravagant lifestyle and large ego. The coinage of his reign reveals a vain king who liked to be portrayed as young, handsome and slim, in contrast to the images created by the cartoonists of the king's time who painted him as gluttonous and overweight.

George IV went outside of the normal Royal Mint process and insisted that a new, more flattering portrait for coinage was commissioned. Therefore, his Sovereigns have two different portraits – the 'Laureate Head' by Benedetto Pistrucci, which was used from 1821 to 1825, and the 'Bare Head' by William Wyon from 1825 to 1830. 

George IV (1820-30), gold proof Half-Sovereign, 1826, engraved by William Wyon after Chantrey
Obverse - Second bare head left with extra tuft of hair,
Reverse - inverted die axis, engraved by Johann B Merlen, crowned shield of arms, quartered with the arms of Hanover as an escutcheon, REX FID: DEF: BRITANNIARUM, edge milled.

Toned, practically as struck, has been graded and slabbed as PR62 CAMEO, becoming rare.

The Latin legends translates on obverse as "George IV by the Grace of God," and on the reverse as "King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith."


Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 3.99 g
Diameter 19.00mm
Reverse Designer Jean Baptiste Merlen
Specification Value
Obverse Designer William Wyon
Quality Proof
Year 1826
Pure Metal Type Gold
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