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This Sovereign was struck in 1873, the same year that saw the grand opening of Alexandra Palace. The palace was officially opened on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday on 24 May with celebrations including a concert and fireworks. However, a fire broke out in the palace just 16 days later causing extensive damage. The palace did not reopen again until 1875.

Stuck in 22 carat gold, it features Queen Victoria’s Young Head portrait on the obverse, which was her favourite portrait for coinage. The queen liked the design so much that it was struck on coins for 47 years. 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 1873
Pure Metal Type Gold
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