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The coin was the first Sovereign reverse design change in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and, for the first time in over 100 years, a design other than St George and the Dragon appeared on the reverse side. The coins obverse is very special as for the first time Queen Elizabeth II was depicted not with a portrait but seated on the coronation throne.

The reverse is equally as stunning, depicting a crowned shield of the Royal Arms, set upon a double Tudor Rose, in homage to the original Gold Sovereign of 1489, during the reign of Henry VII.
Finally, the reverse legend is completely unique as it reads ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN 1489-1989, which is the first and only time in history the word ‘sovereign’ has ever appeared on a British coin.

The Royal Mint is the guardian of the British Sovereign and back in 1989 we didn’t take the decision to replace St George and the Dragon and remove the portrait of the reigning monarch lightly. However, for such an important event as the 500th anniversary of the first ever Gold Sovereign, it was deemed appropriate to produce these special one off pieces that would go on to become one the most sought after coins of Her Late Majesty’s reign.


The Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary proof

Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.98 g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Bernard Sindall
Specification Value
Obverse Designer Bernard Sindall
Quality Proof
Year 1989
Pure Metal Type Gold
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