The Pound Coin was introduced in 1489 by a special commission of Henry VII. Struck in gold and featuring a design of the King enthroned in Majesty, the new coin was to be known as the Sovereign.
The Sovereign continued to be struck until shortly after the accession of James I in 1603 when it was replaced by other gold coins and eventually in 1663 by The Guinea.
When it was re-introduced in 1817 by George III, the Sovereign was given a new reverse design by the Italian engraver Bernedetto Pistrucci. The design depicts the Slaying Of The Dragon by St George.
This popular design has become intimately linked with the Sovereign and has in fact appeared on all Gold Sovereigns struck from 1887 until 1988.
- Manufacturer: Royal Mint
- Monarch: Elizabeth II (1971 – Present)
- Issuing Country: United Kingdom
- Year: 1989
- Brands: British Sovereign
- Series / Ranges: Tudor Rose
- Denomination: £5 Sovereign
- Metal: Gold
The 1989 Gold £5 piece features two new designs by Bernard Sindali, both of which are modern adaptions of the original sovereign design of 1489.
The reverse is a Shield of the Royal Arms ensigned by an open Royal Crown, the whole superimposed upon a double rose and the circumscription ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN 1489-1989.
The obverse shows Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II seated as at her Coronation, within the circumscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REG FID DEF, which may be translated as ‘Elizabeth II – By Grace Of God, Queen, Defender Of The Faith’.