Sovereign (British coin)
The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom that has a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck since 1817, it was originally a circulating coin that was accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world. It is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery. The coin was named after the English gold sovereign, which was last minted about 1603.
About Sovereign (British coin) in brief
The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom that has a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck since 1817, it was originally a circulating coin that was accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world. It is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery. In most recent years, it has borne the design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse; the initials of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, are visible to the right of the date. The coin was named after the English gold sovereign, which was last minted about 1603, and originated as part of the Great Recoinage of 1816. Although the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United States and India. The English sovereign, the country’s first coin to be valued at one pound, was struck by the monarchs of the 16th century. It had a diameter of 42 millimetres, and weighed 15. 55 grams, twice the weight of the existing gold coin, the ryal. The new coin was struck in response to a large influx of gold into Europe from West Africa in the 1480s, and Henry at first called it the double rYal, but soon changed the name to sovereign. Too great in value to have any practical use in circulation,. the original sovereign likely served as a presentation piece to be given to dignitaries. In the 1660s, following the Restoration of Charles II and the mechanisation of the Royal Mint that quickly followed, a new twenty-shilling gold coin was issued.
It had no special name at first but the public soon nicknamed it the guinea and this became the accepted term. The sovereign was struck at colonial mints, initially in Australia and later in Canada, South Africa and India, in addition to the production in Britain by the Royal mint. By 1900, about forty per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. With the start of the First World War in 1914, the sovereign vanished from circulation in Britain; it was replaced by paper money and did not return after the war, though issues at colonial Mints continued until 1932. The coin still used in the Middle East and demand rose in the 1950s, to which theRoyal Mint eventually responded by striking new sovereigns in 1957. The term sovereign, referring to a coin, does not appear in Samuel Johnson’s dictionary, compiled in the 1750s. The public came to like banknotes as more convenient than the odd-value guinea, but the British economy was disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, and gold was hoarded and hoarded. Thus, the coin’s value was set by the government at 21 shillings in silver in 1717, and was subject to revision downwards, though this did not occur in practice in the practice in this period. In 1750, the government set the price of gold relative to silver relative to trade at six shillingings or even more.