2023 marked the 200th anniversary of the gold double sovereign, the third coin in the ‘family’ of sovereign coins that was Britain’s, and the world’s, Gold Standard in the 19th and early 20th centuries. First struck in 1823, the double sovereign featured the Classical Depiction of St George and the dragon created by a master of coin design, Benedetto Pistrucci. His design has become known the world over, and is today synonymous with the gold sovereign itself.
For the 200th anniversary of the double sovereign a special celebration one eighth sovereign has been minted. To tie in with the original of 1823, the design is that same tale of St George – but in a new 2023 re-imagining of it by a modern day master of design, Jody Clark.
To imbue this new coin with a rarity similar to the 1823 originals, the mintage has been been kept low, in fact it is very, very low. Just 999 of these new one-eight sovereigns have been produced meaning it is quite possible this 200th anniversary coins is rarer than the 1823 original it celebrates!
Here are the most important benefits:
- This coin commemorates the 200th anniversary of the double sovereign, one of the four sovereign coins of the Gold Standard ‘family’ that circulated as British currency. Sovereigns are highly sought after for their purity, reliability and historic longevity.
- Both the portrait of the king on the obverse side, and St George on the reverse side, are by Jody Clark
- The new St George image maintains an historic tradition and is by the modern-day master of coin design, Jody Clark. His expertise has succeeded in creating a powerful portrayal of the time-honoured battle between good and evil. The new design is accompanied by the year-date of the first double sovereign in Roman numerals ‘MDCCCXXIII’, as a tribute to the original coin of 1823.
- The production of this coin has been strictly limited: only 999 one eighth sovereigns have been produced!
This incredibly restricted mintage ensure this 200th anniversary coin is imbued with rarity similar to the 1823 original it celebrates.
The King’s portrait and St George are by Jody Clark!
Benedetto Pistrucci created a depiction of St George slaying the dragon for the first British gold sovereigns of 1817, after which he reworked it into what we know today as the Classical Depiction which first appeared on the coins of 1821, alongside Pistrucci’s portrait of King George IV.
In 2023, Jody Clark, a modern master of coin design, becomes the first artist since 1825 to produce those designs on either side of sovereign coins, making them of great interest to sovereign buyers.
The designs are skilfully rendered by Mr Clark who was, in 2015 the youngest artist ever to have his portrait of a monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) chosen for use as a definitive coinage portrait on British currency. His work is admired around the world for its refinement and detailed accuracy, especially in the realm of portraiture.
The 200th anniversary of the double sovereign is a significant moment in the history of this illustrious gold coin and Jody Clark’s exceptional new design calls to mind the skillful precision of Pistrucci’s original work.
World class adaptation of one of the world’s most famous coin designs
Benedetto Pistrucci’s design that appeared on the George IV double sovereign of 1823 is a classical portrayal of the chivalrous tale of St George and the dragon that went on to become one of the most famous coin designs in history.
The composition of Jody Clark’s 2023 adaptation mirrors the 1823 original but his clean lines and use of space make the image more distinct. In both, the horse is rearing and St George is taut with strength and intent to deliver the fatal blow. In Pistrucci’s original, the dragon appears submissive; in Clark’s its head is raised high and its powerful tail encircles the horse’s leg, maintaining a threatening stance until the last moment.
Where Pistrucci’s is a whirl of action and dust, Clark’s is the embodiment of poise and control – all the more satisfying because we know how the battle ends. Clark’s design faces left, the opposite direction to that of Pistrucci, and the same way as his portrait of King Charles III on the obverse of the coin.
Authorised by Tristan Da Cunha and approved by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Buckingham Palace, it is a wonderful commemoration.
The best part is that you may own this landmark gold coin at the introductory price of just £69 (plus £4.99 postage and packing) – but only until 30th April 2024 after which the price will be £149, subject to availability. There is a limit of one coin per household at this introductory price.