Once this plan was abandoned in 1820, the Bank encouraged the circulation of gold sovereigns, but acceptance among the British public was slow. Pistrucci refused to copy the work of another artist and was barred from further work on the coinage.  The unlucky holder of a lightweight gold coin could only turn it in as bullion, would lose at least a penny because of the lightness and often had to pay an equal amount to cover the Bank of England's costs. The 1925-dated George V sovereign was restruck in 1949, 1951 and 1952, lowering the value of the original, of which only a few had hitherto been known.  These standards resulted in a high rejection rate for newly coined sovereigns, though less than for the half sovereign, which sometimes exceeded 50 per cent. The sovereign was a gold coin of the Kingdom of England first issued in 1489 under King Henry VII. 1989 Royal Mint 500th Anniv Gold Half Sovereign Coin NCG PF 69 ULTRA CAMEO BOXED. , William Wellesley Pole, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington, was appointed Master of the Mint (at that time a junior government position) in 1812, with a mandate to reform the Royal Mint. Last struck over 214 years before, the marriage of this classic denomination with the precocious talent of engraver Benedetto Pistrucci was a masterstroke, and by the middle of the 19th century the Sovereign â¦ The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VIIâs reign. Possibly it may be destined to hold in the future the same kind of international position as was held for several centuries, in the days of a silver standard, by the Mexican dollar. , The obverse design for George IV's sovereigns featured a "Laureate head" of George IV, based on the bust Pistrucci had prepared for the Coronation medal. The British government promoted the use of the sovereign as an aid to international trade, and the Royal Mint took steps to see lightweight gold coins were withdrawn from circulation. About ten per cent lighter than the final sovereigns, the new coin was called the unite, symbolising that James had merged the Scottish and English crowns. The 2017 collector's piece returned to Pistrucci's original design of 1817 for the modern sovereign's 200th birthday, with the Garter belt and motto. Recognized worldwide for its purity and historical significance, the British Gold Sovereign Coin is minted in 22-karat gold. Many of the Australian pieces struck in the postwar period were to back currency, while the South African sovereigns were mostly for export and to pay workers at the gold mines. On the obverse of the coin there was a portrait of Henry VII on his throne, wearing his coronation gown. The Royal Mint Limited whose registered office is at Llantrisant, Pontyclun, CF72 8YT, United Kingdom (registered in England and Wales No. 1489 Sovereign Replica. The most recent special designs, in 2016 and 2017, were only for collectors. Now for the first time a coin denomination was issued with a value of one pound sterling. $10.99 shipping. , The sovereign's role in popular culture continued: in the 1957 novel From Russia, with Love, Q issues James Bond with a briefcase, the handle of which contains 50 sovereigns. This was changed to a sword when the garter that originally surrounded the design was eliminated in 1821, and George is intended to have broken his spear earlier in the encounter with the dragon. Price:  Coins were at the time valued by their precious metal content, and the price of gold relative to silver rose soon after the guinea's issuance. 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