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This Sovereign dates from 1863. Stuck in 22 carat gold, it features Queen Victoria’s Young Head portrait on the obverse, which was her favourite portrait for coinage. The Young Head portrait was created by William Wyon RA, chief engraver at The Royal Mint, and shows Victoria when she acceded to the throne at 18 years of age. The queen liked the design so much that it was struck on coins for 47 years. The reverse features Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon, one of the most popular numismatic designs.

The 827 die number on the bust was for some years an intriguing mystery and it also exists for an 1863 Sovereign with die number 22 reverse. The first example ever noted and recorded was one found in the Hatton Hoard in Derbyshire in 1954 which had the die 22 reverse which was retained by the British Museum for the National Collection. It was not until an article by Royal Mint Curator Graham Dyer in the Spink Numismatic Circular of October 1977, page 421 that a reason for the existence of 827 variety was proposed. They are thought to have been produced from a particular batch of remelted scissel and scrap gold that had emanated from N. M. Rothschild brittle gold ingots that had been delivered to the Mint circa November-December of 1863. Such coins of both varieties have sporadically turned up since the first discovery in 1954. They remain elusive and extremely rare.


Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.98 g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Jean Baptiste Merlen
Specification Value
Obverse Designer William Wyon
Quality Circulating
Year 1863
Pure Metal Type Gold
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