One of the oldest and most respected bullion coins in history, the British gold Sovereign coin has existed in its modern form since 1817 when Britain undertook coinage reform under new Master of the Mint, William Wellesly Pole, older brother of the Duke of Wellington. It bore Benedetto Pistrucci’s beautiful St.George and the Dragon design, that was said to have been chosen to remind the world of Britain’s defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. It was struck at the new Tower Hill premises of the Royal Mint on new steam-powered coin presses designed by Matthew Boulton and James Watt.
By the early 20th century, demand for the coin increased, so the Royal Mint established a mint in Bombay, India (now Mumbai), to recycle Indian gold and process South African gold into sovereigns. It did so for just one year, although other branch mints also produced it, such as in Pretoria, Ottawa and Sydney. The effigy of King George V by the Australian artist Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal is the only one to appear on sovereigns from all seven branches of the Royal Mint.
To celebrate the new strikes of the Sovereign now being undertaken in India, the Royal Mint has released this intriguing new two-coin set containing a 2014 Indian Sovereign with the ‘I’ mintmark, as well as an original 1918 coin. Packaged to the usual high standard in a quality wooden box, only 100 sets will be made available.