November 29, 2012 – In celebration of 60 years of Her Majesty the Queen’s coinage, The Royal Mint has unveiled the 2013 Sovereign Collection. The definitive St George and the dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci graces the coin once more, just as it did on the first Sovereigns of the Queen’s reign 60 years ago.
2013 sees the 60th anniversary of the first time Sovereigns, and all UK coins, were struck in the Queen’s reign. There were 16 months between the Queen’s Accession and her Coronation with every moment needed to arrange the ceremony; during this time The Royal Mint was preparing the new Queen’s coinage.
The 2013 Sovereign: Great Britain / .9167 gold / 7.98 g / 22.05 mm / Design: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS (obverse), Benedetto Pistrucci (reverse) / Mintage: 10,295.
Considered as the flagship coin of The Royal Mint, the Sovereign continues to be recognised throughout the world as a gold coin of beauty and integrity. The classic design of Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon is regarded as a masterpiece of numismatic art; an icon of strength and dependability. Following the sell-out of the 2012 Gold Proof Sovereign, the 2013 Sovereign – struck in gold and to the highest Proof standard using Pistrucci’s original master tools – will be much anticipated by enthusiasts keen to add the iconic coin to their collections.
The Sovereign was first struck in 1489 while the St George and the dragon design first graced the coin in 1817. Quickly earning itself the name of ‘chief coin of the world’, the Sovereign – and Pistrucci’s design – have enjoyed such enduring popularity that the coin and the design are as widely recognisable today as they have ever been.
The definitive Sovereign design is an expression of the triumph of good over evil. The legend of St George and the dragon and his heroic battle with the fierce dragon has fascinated and inspired artists and sculptors for many centuries; since it was introduced, it has appeared on the Sovereigns of every monarch, only replaced on rare occasions, its return warmly welcomed again this year.
On the obverse, the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS has been influenced too by the first of the modern Sovereigns. Mr Rank-Broadley has confessed a great admiration for Pistrucci and “being inspired particularly by his portrait of George III, I wished to revive elements of his work in this portrait”.
Dr Kevin Clancy, Director of Historical Services at The Royal Mint, commented “Benedetto Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon has been with us for almost 200 years and there is a strong sense in that every year it graces the Sovereign, worldwide respect for it deepens. It is the classic depiction of St George and has become embedded in the popular imagination as firmly as the Sovereign itself.”
The 2013 Sovereign Collection includes a Quarter-Sovereign, a Half-Sovereign, a Sovereign, a Double-Sovereign and a £5 Sovereign. Sets and individual coins are available; each is presented in a walnut-veneer presentation case and comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
For detailed specification of all the coins and other information, please visit the website of The Royal Mint.