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The Half-Sovereign 1983

In 1983, the United Kingdom said goodbye to the familiar £1 banknote in favour of a more modern £1 coin. But while some things changed, others stayed the same, as the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher was elected for a second term as Prime Minister. Does 1983 evoke special memories for you or a loved one? Mark the moment with an original Half-Sovereign struck in 1983, bearing the classic St George and the dragon on its reverse and an early portrait of The Queen by Arnold Machin RA on its obverse. This authentic coin in original packaging will evoke nostalgia, sure to be enjoyed for years to come.

Historic treasures from the home of The Sovereign

Although the switch to decimalisation did not happen until 1971, decimal coins entered circulation before then. The 5p and 10p pieces were introduced in 1968 to replace the existing shillings and florins. They were the same size and value as the pre-decimal coins, so were able to circulate together until ‘D-Day’ in 1971. It was a useful first step in preparing the public for what was to come.

To help the new coins stand out from the older currency, a new portrait of The Queen was commissioned. Designed by Arnold Machin RA, the new portrait showed The Queen wearing a tiara instead of a wreath. The tiara had been given to The Queen by her grandmother, Queen Mary. Like Mary Gillick before him, Machin avoided using a ‘couped’ portrait – cut off by the neck – which had been the norm on coins issued earlier in the century.

Interestingly, a modified version of Machin’s portrait has appeared on British postage stamps since 1967, which means it is probably the most reproduced image in history.


Specification Value
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 3.99 g
Diameter 19.30mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Obverse Designer Arnold Machin RA
Specification Value
Quality Proof
Year 1983
Pure Metal Type Gold
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