2017 Gold Proof Sovereign - The Reveal

Author: Lawrence Chard - Director and Expert Numismatist

Published: 25 Oct 2016

Last Updated: 26 Jul 2019

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Celebrating 200 Years - The 2017 Gold Proof Sovereign

The 2017 proof gold sovereign has been revealed and as expected it is a modern representation of the 1817 gold sovereign celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Modern Sovereign.

2017 Royal Mint Proof Sovereign - The 200th Anniversary of the Modern Sovereign

Celebrating 200 Years

It has been 200 years since the modern sovereign was introduced, as a result of the "Great Recoinage of 1816" but the timeless St George and the Dragon design remains strong.

Commemorative Design

2017 sees the gold sovereign design revert back to the 'garter' design used from 1817-1820. We believe this original design is going to be extremely popular as it should appeal to many numismatists / coin collectors due to this historic relevance.

Benedetto Pistrucci

Benedetto Pistrucci's original masterpiece has been used on all but four of the sovereign reverse designs issued during Queen Elizabeth II's reign and we believe it will continue to be used for many years yet.

2017 Sovereign Obverse Design

The obverse of the 2017 gold proof sovereign features the fifth definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jody Clark and first seen on the gold proof sovereign in 2015. The most exciting feature of the obverse is that the date is shown – the first time since 1887 that the date as appeared on the obverse of a sovereign.

2017 Gold Sovereign Obverse

2017 Sovereign Reverse Design

The reverse of the gold proof sovereign shows the Benedetto Pistrucci St George and the Dragon design in a garter. The garter surrounds the outer edge of the reverse and is completed with a buckle at the bottom. Contained within the garter is the inscription HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE.

Thank you to Mr Hodgson who pointed out that the 2017 design does not feature the WWP initials which was on the buckle of the garter on the 1817 reverse. William Wellesley Pole was the Master of the Mint at the time of the Coinage Act 1816. He was a huge supporter of Benedetto Pistrucci and as a mark of this relationship, the initials were added. 

Order of the Garter

The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry in England. It is limited to 25 members including the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales and a variety of Knights, both male and female, chosen by the monarch in recognition of their public service.

"HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE"

The motto of the Order of the Garter is "Honi soit qui mal y pense" or "Shame on him who thinks this evil" or "Evil be to him who evil thinks thereof". This French expression is featured on many British coins – you can read more about it on our "Honi soit qui mal y pense" page.

2017 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign

The 2017 uncirculated sovereign features a privy mark on the reverse of the coin; a quartered shield with 200 above it. These bullion coins are popular with gold investors and coin collectors.

We have no doubt that the 2017 gold proof sovereign will be highly sought after. If you would lik to read more about the history of the sovereign, read our blog The Sovereign, Britain's Favourite Gold Coin.  

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