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Updated 06:44 18/11/19

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Sovereign Mintages


Sovereigns are a popular bullion coin, and for many years they were a circulated currency in Britain and territories abroad. Valued at the equivalent of a Pound, gold Sovereign coins have been a trusted investment option for many years.

Some buy Sovereign coins for their additional numismatic interest however, whether due to the limited mintage figures from the Royal Mint for that particular year, or due to their exceptional condition.

Below we have compiled a detailed list of Sovereign and Half Sovereign production from 1817 until 2016. This data also includes some proof coin figures, where data was available. More modern figures will be updated as and when they become available from official sources.


Jump to a specific monarch by clicking one of the links below:

George III | George IV | William IV | Victoria | Edward VII | George V | Edward VIII | George VI | Elizabeth II


Jump to a specific Mint location by clicking one of the links below:

Sydney (Australia) | Melbourne (Australia) | Perth (Australia) | Ottawa (Canada) | Mumbai (India) | Pretoria (South Africa)


Jump to a specific year by clicking one of the links below:

1817 - 1818 - 1819 - 1820 | 1821 - 1822 - 1823 - 1824 - 1825 | 1826 - 1827 - 1828 - 1829 - 1830 | 1831/1832 - 1833 - 1834 - 1835 - 1836 - 1837 | 1838 - 1839 - 1840 - 1841 - 1842 - 1843 - 1844 - 1845 - 1846 - 1847 - 1848 - 1849 - 1850 - 1851 - 1852 - 1853 - 1854 - 1855 - 1856 - 1857 - 1858 - 1859 - 1860 - 1861 - 1862 | 1863 - 1864 - 1865 - 1866 - 1867 - 1868 - 1869 - 1870 - 1871 - 1872 - 1873 - 1874 - 1875 | 1876 - 1877 - 1878 - 1879 - 1880 - 1881 - 1882 - 1883 - 1884 - 1885 - 1886 | 1887 - 1888 - 1889 - 1890 - 1891 - 1892 - 1893 | 1894 - 1895 - 1896 - 1897 - 1898 - 1899 - 1900 - 1901 | 1902 - 1903 - 1904 - 1905 - 1906 - 1907 - 1908 - 1909 - 1910 | 1911 - 1912 - 1913 - 1914 - 1915 - 1916 - 1917 - 1918 - 1919 - 1920 - 1921 - 1922 - 1923 - 1924 - 1925 - 1926 - 1927 - 1928 | 1929 - 1930 - 1931 - 1932 | 1937 - 1949 - 1951 - 1952 | 1957 - 1958 - 1959 - 1962 - 1963 - 1964 - 1965 - 1966 - 1967 - 1968 | 1974 - 1976 - 1978 - 1979 - 1980 - 1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984 | 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989 - 1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 | 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 | 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 -


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GEORGE III : 1817 - 1820

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Sovereign Half Sovereign
1817 3,235,239 2,080,197
1818 2,347,230 1,030,286
1819 3,574 None Issued
1820 2,101,994 35,043

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Background:

George III was the King of Great Britain and the King of Ireland between 1760 and 1801, at which point the two nations formed a union. George officially ruled the union until his death on January 29th, 1820, but his son - also George - acted as Prince Regent from 1811 due to the King's failing mental health.

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George III Sovereigns:

Sovereign coins were once a currency unit in England, and were reintroduced by the Royal Mint and the Treasury as part of the 1816 Great Recoinage. Britain was struggling with debt and a shortage of coins due to the ongoing Napoleonic Wars, which led to the creation of the Sovereign - a slightly lighter coin than the existing gold Guinea.

The gold Sovereign returned in 1817. Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci designed the coin, creating the classic St George & Dragon design that is still used to this day. He also produced the portrait of King George, often referred to as the 'bull head George'. These coins had a notably thick border.

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GEORGE IV : 1821 - 1830

Laureate head: 1821 - 1825 | Bare head: 1825 - 1830

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Sovereign Half Sovereign
1821 9,405,114 231,288
1822 6,356,787 None Issued
1823 616,770 224,280
1824 3,767,904 591,538
1825 4,200,343 * 761,150
1826 5,724,046 334,830
1827 2,266,629 492,014
1828 386,182 1,224,754
1829 2,444,652 None Issued
1830 2,387,881 None Issued

*includes both obverse designs due to transition period

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Background:

King George IV started his rule as the Prince Regent, deputising for his ill father. Following George III's death in 1820, George was crowned as his successor and the fourth of his name. The king was unpopular due to his lavish lifestyle and boisterous ways, with many labeling him irresponsible and unreliable.

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George IV Sovereigns:

The thick border of the George III Sovereigns was abandoned, allowing for a larger portrait of the King. George also commissioned another redesign for the gold coins, wanting to move away from Pistrucci's St George design. In 1825, the Royal Mint began a transition period from the laureate (wreathed) head of George IV with St George, to a more modest bare head obverse with a shield back design on the reverse portraying the royal coat of arms.

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WILLIAM IV : 1831 - 1837

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Sovereign Half Sovereign
1831/32 598,547 None Issued
1833 1,225,269 None Issued
1834 None Issued 133,899
1835 723,441 722,554
1836 1,714,349 146,865 *
1837 1,172,984 160,207

* + additional rarities produced by the Royal Mint using the Sixpence die for the obverse side

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Background:

William was the third son of George III, and succeeded his brother George IV in 1831. William was the third child of King George III and Queen Charlotte, as well as the third son. His older brother Frederick was a senior figure in the British Army and, unlike the eldest brother George, very well respected. Frederick died in 1827 to a swelling condition known as 'dropsy', and as such William became the heir to the throne.

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William IV Sovereigns:

Akin to George IV before him, William IV had two different gold Sovereign coins issued during his reign. Both types kept with the 'Shield Back' design that George had introduced, but instead had slightly differing portraits of King William; one with a furtive look, and one more peaceful.

Collectors are keen on William's reign due to the unknown number of proof Sovereigns made during this period.

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VICTORIA : 1838 - 1901

'Shield Back' & Young head: 1838 - 1887 | Jubilee head: 1887 - 1893 | Old head: 1893 - 1901

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Queen Victoria reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 1837 until her death in January 1901. In 1876 she also became Empress of India. Until our present monarch, Victoria was the longest-reigning ruler in British history. Her lifespan led to the era being dubbed the Victorian Age, with massive industrial and social change occurring in the UK, all while Britain expanded its colonial ambitions across the world with the British Empire.

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Sovereign Half Sovereign
1838 2,718,694 273,341
1839 503,695 None Issued
1840 None Issued None Issued
1841 124,054 508,835
1842 4,865,375 2,223,352
1843 5,981,968 1,251,762
1844 3,000,445 1,127,007
1845 3,800,845 887,526
1846 3,802,947 1,063,928
1847 4,667,126 928,636
1848 2,246,701 410,595
1849 1,755,399 845,112
1850 1,402,039 179,595
1851 4,013,624 773,575
1852 8,053,435 1,377,671
1853 10,597,993 2,708,796
1854 3,589,611 1,125,144

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Sydney Sovereigns:

In 1854, due to the prevalence of gold in Australia, the Royal Mint opened up its first refinery outside of the British Isles. The site, in Sydney, would allow gold mining in Australia to save on transportation time and cost in getting the gold refined and coined. The Sydney refinery produced Sovereign coins until 1926.

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Sovereign Half Sovereign Sovereign
(Sydney)
1855 8,448,482 1,120,362 502,000
1856 4,806,160 2,391,909 981,000
1857 4,495,748 728,223 499,000
1858 803,234 855,578 1,101,500
1859 1,547,603 2,203,813 1,050,500
1860 2,555,958 1,131,500 1,573,500
1861 7,624,736 1,130,867 1,626,000
1862 7,836,413 Mintage Unknown 2,477,500
1863 5,921,669 1,571,574 1,255,500
1864 8,656,353 1,758,490 2,698,500
1865 1,450,238 1,834,750 2,130,500
1866 4,047,288 2,058,776 2,911,000
1867 None Issued 992,795 2,370,000
1868 1,653,384 None Issued 2,319,000
1869 6,441,322 1,861,764 Mintage Unknown*
1870 2,189,960 981,408 1,220,000
1871 8,767,250 2,217,760 2,814,000

* Coins issued by the Sydney Mint in 1869 were dated 1868

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Melbourne Sovereigns:

In 1872, thanks to the success of the Sydney Mint, the Royal Mint granted permission to another franchise refinery to open in Australia - this time in Melbourne. The site had originally bid against Sydney in 1854 to create the first refinery, but narrowly missed out. The Melbourne site would continue production until 1931.

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Sovereign
(London)
Half Sovereign
(London)
Sovereign
(Sydney)
Half Sovereign
(Sydney)
Sovereign
(Melbourne)
Half Sovereign
(Melbourne)
1872 13,486,708 3,235,112 1,815,000 356,000 748,180 None Issued
1873 2,368,215 2,003,464 1,478,000 None Issued 752,199 165,034
1874 520,713 1,883,872 1,899,000 None Issued 1,373,298 None Issued
1875 None Issued 516,240 2,122,000 None Issued 1,888,405 None Issued
1876 3,318,866 2,785,187 1,613,000 None Issued 2,124,445 None Issued
1877 None Issued 2,197,482 1,590,000 None Issued 1,487,316 80,016
1878 1,091,275 2,081,941 1,259,000 None Issued 2,171,457 None Issued
1879 20,013 35,201 1,366,000 94,000 2,740,594 None Issued
1880 3,650,080 1,009,049 1,459,000 80,000 3,053,454 None Issued
1881 None Issued None Issued 1,360,000 62,000 2,324,800 42,009
1882 None Issued None Issued 1,298,000 52,000 4,559,631 107,522
1883 None Issued 2,807,411 1,108,000 220,000 2,050,450 None Issued
1884 1,769,635 1,121,600 1,595,000 None Issued 2,942,630 48,009
1885 717,723 4,533,605 1,486,000 None Issued 2,967,143 11,003
1886 None Issued None Issued 1,667,000 82,000 2,902,131 38,008

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Jubilee head Victoria Sovereigns:

In 1887, the Royal Mint updated Queen Victoria's portrait on Sovereign coins to better reflect her age. After all, she was no longer a teenage monarch. The new design was released in time for Victoria's golden jubilee and production ran for seven years.

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Sovereign
(London)
Half Sovereign
(London)
Sovereign
(Sydney)
Half Sovereign
(Sydney)
Sovereign
(Melbourne)
Half Sovereign
(Melbourne)
1887 1,111,280 841,200 2,002,000 134,000 2,856,424 64,013
1888 2,777,424 None Issued 2,187,000 None Issued 2,830,612 None Issued
1889 7,267,455 None Issued 3,262,000 64,000 2,732,590 None Issued
1890 6,529,887 2,243,200 2,808,000 None Issued 2,473,537 None Issued
1891 6,329,476 1,079,286 2,596,000 154,000 2,749,592 None Issued
1892 7,104,720 13,680,486 2,837,000 None Issued 3,488,750 None Issued
1893 None Issued 4,426,625 1,498,000 None Issued 1,649,352 110,024

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Old head Victoria Sovereigns:

The Royal Mint updated Sovereign coins once more during Queen Victoria's reign, in 1893. Her husband, Prince Albert, has passed away in 1861 from typhoid fever, though the Prince had been battling an unknown stomach condition for some years prior. In her grief, Victoria took to wearing only black, and a permanent veil to mark her mourning. She was significantly more reclusive during this period, and performed less public duties and appearances.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that production of the Jubilee head and Old head overlapped in 1893. The Royal Mint (for the most part) alternated production between types and refinery sites.

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Sovereign
(London)
Half Sovereign
(London)
Sovereign
(Sydney)
Half Sovereign
(Sydney)
Sovereign
(Melbourne)
Half Sovereign
(Melbourne)
1893 6,898,260 Mintage Unknown 1,346,000 250,000 1,346,000 Mintage Unknown
1894 3,782,611 3,794,591 3,067,000 None Issued 4,166,874 None Issued
1895 2,285,317 2,869,183 2,758,999 None Issued 4,165,869 None Issued
1896 3,334,065 2,946,605 2,544,000 None Issued 4,456,932 218,946
1897 None Issued 3,568,156 2,532,000 Mintage Unknown 5,130,565 None Issued
1898 4,361,347 2,868,527 2,548,000 None Issued 5,509,138 None Issued

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Perth Sovereigns:

Just before Queen Victoria's death and the end of a record-long tenure as monarch, the Royal Mint opened one final refinery in Australia - this time in the far west. The Perth refinery was near many of Australia's largest gold fields - fields which are still mined today - and following Australia's independence from the British Empire, the refinery became the private Perth Mint; an LBMA-approved gold refiner from whom we stock gold and silver coins here at BullionByPost.

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Sovereign
(L)
Half
Sov (L)
Sovereign
(S)
Half
Sov (S)
Sovereign
(M)
Half
Sov (M)
Sovereign
(P)
Half
Sov (P)
1899 7,515,978 3,361,881 3,259,000 None Issued 5,579,157 97,221 690,992 None Issued
1900 10,846,741 4,307,372 3,586,000 260,000 4,305,904 112,920 1,886,089 119,376
1901 1,578,948 2,037,664 3,012,000 None Issued 3,987,701 None Issued 2,889,333 None Issued

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EDWARD VII : 1902 - 1910

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Sovereign
(L)
Half
Sov (L)
Sovereign
(S)
Half
Sov (S)
Sovereign
(M)
Half
Sov (M)
Sovereign
(P)
Half
Sov (P)
1902 4,737,796 4,244,457 2,813,000 84,000 4,289,122 None Issued 4,289,122 None Issued
1903 8,888,627 2,522,057 2,806,000 231,000 3,521,780 None Issued 4,674,783 None Issued
1904 10,041,369 1,717,440 2,986,000 None Issued 3,743,897 None Issued 4,506,756 60,030
1905 5,910,403 3,023,993 2,778,000 None Issued 3,633,838 None Issued 4,876,193 None Issued
1906 10,466,981 4,245,437 2,792,000 308,000 3,657,853 82,042 4,829,817 None Issued
1907 18,458,663 4,233,421 2,539,999 None Issued 3,332,691 405,034 4,972,289 None Issued

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Background:

Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Due to Victoria's then-record reign as monarch, Edward set a new record for longest time as the Prince of Wales. Edward performed ceremonial tasks as a Prince, and was widely considered something of a playboy - a moniker which soured relations between him and his mother.

Following the death of Victoria, Edward was crowned King. His birth name was officially Albert, but he chose to use Edward so as not to devalue the name and accomplishments of his father.

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Edward VII Sovereigns:

King Edward VII, as he was officially known, only had one variety of Sovereign coin modelled upon himself.

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Canada Sovereigns:

In 1908, the Royal Mint's expansion continued - this time to Ottawa, Canada. The move was designed to help with debt-settlement between Britain and the US Treasury. Gold Sovereigns were shipped to Canada for smelting down and refining into ingots that the United States could use. The Royal Canadian Mint refinery opened, having been designed as an homage to Windsor Castle, but it also produced a small quantity of Sovereigns itself. The building still headquarters Canada's national mint to this day, though the company has a second, more modern refinery in Winnipeg.

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Sovereign
(L)
Half
Sov (L)
Sovereign (S) Half
Sov (S)
Sovereign
(M)
Half
Sov (M)
Sovereign (P) Half
Sov (P)
Sovereign
(Canada)
1908 11,729,006 3,996,992 2,017,000 538,000 3,080,148 405,034 4,875,617 24,668 633
1909 12,157,099 4,010,715 2,057,000 None Issued 3,029,538 186,094 4,524,241 44,022 16,300
1910 22,379,624 5,023,881 2,135,000 474,000 3,054,547 None Issued 4,690,625 None Issued 28,020

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GEORGE V : 1911 - 1932

Standard head: 1911 - 1928 | Small head: 1929 - 1932

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Background:

George was the second son of Edward VII, and became heir to the throne following the death of his older brother, Prince Albert Victor. Albert was engaged to Princess Mary of Teck, but died following a flu pandemic. Instead, Princess Mary married the younger brother George, and they had six children.

During George V's reign, the outbreak of the First World War heavily impacted upon British society. Anti-German sentiment was high, leading King George to rename the royal house to become the House of Windsor, rather than the existing House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

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Sov (L) Half
Sov (L)
Sov (S) Half
Sov (S)
Sov (M) Half
Sov (M)
Sov (P) Half
Sov (P)
Sov (C)
1911 30,044,105 6,104,106 2,519,000 252,000 2,851,451 None Issued 4,373,165 130,373 257,048
1912 30,317,921 6,224,316 2,227,000 278,000 2,469,257 None Issued 278,000 None Issued None Issued
1913 24,539,672 6,094,290 2,249,000 None Issued 2,323,180 None Issued 4,635,287 None Issued 3,717
1914 * 11,501,117 7,251,124 1,774,000 322,000 2,012,029 None Issued 4,815,996 None Issued 14,900
1915 20,295,280 2,042,747 1,346,000 892,000 1,637,839 125,664 4,373,596 136,219 None Issued
1916 1,554,120 None Issued 1,242,000 448,000 1,272,634 None Issued 4,096,721 None Issued 6,119
1917 1,014,714 None Issued 1,666,000 None Issued 934,469 None Issued 4,110,286 None Issued 58,875

* Outbreak of the First World War | Suspension of the Gold Sovereign as circulated currency

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India Sovereigns:

The Royal Mint expanded - albeit briefly - to Bombay (now Mumbai) in India as part of a push to increase output during the ongoing 'Great War'. The Indian refinery began production in August 1918 and ran until early 1919, with the conclusion of the First World War in November 1918 removing the need for a refinery in India.

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Sov
(L)
Half
Sov (L)
Sov
(S)
Half
Sov (S)
Sov
(M)
Half
Sov (M)
Sov
(P)
Half
Sov (P)
Sov
(C)
Sov
(India)
1918 None Issued None Issued 3,716,000 None Issued 4,809,493 None Issued 3,812,884 Mintage Unknown 106,570 1,294,372

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Sovereign coins would now not be minted in London until 1925, while Half Sovereigns would not be issued again in Britain during George V's reign. Half Sovereign coins in general were not issued at any Royal Mint site until 1925, and production only lasted for two years.

A year after India stopped producing Sovereigns, the Ottawa refinery in Canada also ceased operation. The mint stayed active, however, and simply passed over to the Canadian authorities for domestic production.

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Sovereign (Sydney) Sovereign (Melbourne) Sovereign (Perth) Sovereign (Canada)
1919 1,835,000 514,257 2,995,216 135,957

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Sovereign (Sydney) Sovereign (Melbourne) Sovereign (Perth)
1920 514,257 530,266 2,421,196
1921 839,000 240,121 2,314,360
1922 578,000 608,306 2,298,884

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South Africa Sovereigns:

In 1923, the Royal Mint expanded to one last new location. This site was to be in South Africa, with a new refinery established in Pretoria. The mint would operate until 1932, at which point it was turned over to local authorities. It is now better known as the Rand Refinery, and produces Krugerrand coins for the South African government.

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Sovereign
(London)
Sovereign
(Sydney)
Sovereign
(Melbourne)
Sovereign
(Perth)
Sovereign
(South Africa)
Half Sovereign
(South Africa)
1923 None Issued 416,000 511,129 2,124,154 406 None Issued
1924 None Issued 394,000 278,140 1,464,416 2,660 None Issued
1925 3,520,431 5,632,000 3,311,662 3,311,662 6,086,624 946,615
1926 None Issued 1,031,050 211,107 1,313,578 11,107,611 806,540

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The 1925 issue of the Gold Sovereign was particularly special, as the coin die - used to stamp the pattern into the gold - was kept by the Royal Mint and used (arguably lazily) again in 1949, 1951 and 1952.

The Sydney mint ceased production in 1926, with South Africa taking the lead in terms of production quantities for the Royal Mint and the British Empire as a whole.

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Sovereign (Melbourne) Sovereign (Perth) Sovereign (South Africa)
1927 310,156 1,383,544 16,379,704
1928 413,208 1,333,417 18,235,057

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A slightly smaller headed Sovereign was issued for the final three years of coin production under George V, with the Royal Mint ceasing production between 1933 and 1936. During this time, production was halted in Melbourne and Perth, with Pretoria following shortly after.

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Sovereign (Melbourne) Sovereign (Perth) Sovereign (South Africa)
1929 436,938 1,607,625 12,024,107
1930 77,588 1,915,352 10,027,756
1931 57,809 1,173,568 8,511,792

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Sovereign (South Africa)
1932 1,066,680

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GEORGE VI : 1937, 1949, 1951 - 1952

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Sovereign (London)
1937 5,500*
1949 138,000**
1951 318,000**
1952 430,000 **

* Coins issued in 1937 were part of a four-coin Sovereign set
** 1925 re-strikes using the George V Sovereign die

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Background:

George VI was born Albert Frederick Arthur George. He was the second son of George V and Mary of Teck. His older brother, Edward, was the heir to the throne but abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson; a divorcee who was in the process of her second divorce.

King George was a reluctant king, and a more introverted individual than previous monarchs. He famously admitted in his diary of speaking to his mother and breaking down in tears about the fact he was to become the monarch. His shy nature and severe stammer became the subject of the 2010 film 'The King's Speech'.

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George VI Sovereigns:

Very few Sovereigns were issued during the reign of George VI, with even less of the Half Sovereign coins minted. Coins issued in 1937 were done so as part of a four-coin Sovereign set to commemorate George VI's coronation, while coins produced in 1949, 1951 and 1952 used the 1925 die. This means that the latest gold coins issued by the Royal Mint in George VI's reign actually depicted his brother, George V.

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ELIZABETH II : 1957 - Present

Young head: 1957 - 1959, 1962 - 1968 | Decimal head: 1974, 1976, 1978 - 1984

Third head: 1985 - 1997 | Fourth head: 1998 - 2015 | Fifth head: 2016 - Present

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Background:

Elizabeth II became Queen in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. Unsurprisingly, the young Queen chose to stick with her birth name as her regnal (ruling) name, but more surprising was the refusal to change the royal household from the House of Windsor to the House of Mountbatten or the House of Edinburgh - in keeping with the tradition of the wife taking the husband's family name.

Queen Elizabeth is the longest-serving British monarch, the longest serving female head of state in the world, and the oldest current monarch. The Royal Mint has issued five different heads for coins such as the Sovereign, with the latest issue by Jody Clark expected to be the last (bar any commemorative designs in the future).

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Young head Elizabeth Sovereigns:

The first Sovereign coin to bear Elizabeth's face on the obverse came in 1957 - five years after her ascension to the throne and four after her coronation. The coin featured an appropriately young Elizabeth, and was designed by Mary Gillick.

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Sovereign (London)
1957 2,072,000
1958 8,700,000
1959 1,385,228
1962 3,000,000
1963 7,400,000
1964 3,000,000
1965 3,800,000
1966 7,050,000
1967 5,000,000
1968 4,203,000

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Decimal head Elizabeth Sovereigns:

Sovereign production ceased once more, with the approach of decimalisation. British currency switched from the old imperial system to metric on 'Decimal Day' - February 15th, 1971. The Royal Mint resumed production of Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns but with a new portrait of the Queen; a move designed to highlight the change in Britain's coinage, but also better reflect the Queen, who was now 17 years older than her previous portrait. This portrait was designed by Arnold Machin.

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Royal Mint Llantrisant:

It was during this transitional decimalisation period that the Royal Mint drew up plans for expansion. The Tower mint in London had always been short of space. The move from the Tower of London to the Tower Hill site had been for expansion purposes, and once again the Mint needed to grow in order to handle the change in circulated and non-circulated coinage. A new site was chosen in South Wales in the small town of Llantrisant, and the first Sovereign coins were minted there in 1976.

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Sovereign Proof Sovereign Half Sovereign Proof Half Sovereign
1974 5,002,566 Mintage Unknown None Issued Mintage Unknown
1975 1 * Mintage Unknown None Issued Mintage Unknown
1976 4,045,056 Mintage Unknown None Issued Mintage Unknown
1977 None Issued Mintage Unknown None Issued Mintage Unknown
1978 6,555,000 Mintage Unknown None Issued Mintage Unknown
1979 9,100,000 50,000 None Issued Mintage Unknown
1980 5,100,000 91,200 Mintage Unknown 76,700
1981 5,000,000 32,960 None Issued Mintage Unknown
1982 2,950,000 22,950 2,500,000 19,090
1983 None Issued 21,250 None Issued 19,710**
1984 None Issued 19,975 None Issued 12,410

* One Sovereign coin was minted in 1975 as the final issue from the Tower Hill site in London before closure
** Includes Half Sovereigns in three or four-coin Sovereign sets

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Third head Elizabeth Sovereigns:

Between 1983 and 1997, Sovereign coins were only issued in proof format - regardless of the size of Sovereign. Proof mintages issued by the Royal Mint for this period account for coins included in coin sets.

A more mature portrait of the Queen was chosen by the Royal Mint for the Sovereign coins, as designed by artist Raphael Maklouf.

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Proof Sovereign Proof Half Sovereign
1985 17,242 9,951
1986 17,579 4,575
1987 22,479 8,187
1988 18,862 7,074
1989 23,471* 8,888
1990 8,425 4,231
1991 7,201 3,588
1992 6,904 3,783
1993 6,090 2,910
1994 7,165 5,000
1995 9,330 4,900
1996 9,110 5,730
1997 9,177 7,500

* Proof Sovereigns issued in 1989 marked the 500th anniversary of the original English Sovereign, and depicted
Queen Elizabeth II in the same portrait fashion as Elizabeth I on the obverse, with a large Tudor rose on the reverse.

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Fourth head Elizabeth Sovereigns:

Perhaps the most recognisable portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was put into use in 1998 by the Royal Mint and the Royal household in general. Ian Rank-Broadley designed an older portrait of Elizabeth to more realistically portray her age, but also the significant position she held in British society as one of the longest ever reigning monarchs. The first two years of production continued to be proof-only, but in 2000 the Royal Mint decided to restart bullion Sovereign production.

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Proof Sovereign Proof Half Sovereign
1998 11,349 6,147
1999 11,903 7,500

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Sovereign Proof Sovereign Half Sovereign Proof Half Sovereign
2000 129,069 12,159 146,822 7,458
2001 49,462 15,000 94,763 4,596
2002 * 75,264 20,500 61,347 10,000
2003 43,230 16,220 47,818 4,868
2004 30,688 12,685 34,924 4,446
2005 + 45,542 15,458 30,299 5,011
2006 33,012 11,485 Mintage Unknown 4,173
2007 27,628 11,418 75,000 2,442
2008 58,894 10,872 75,000 2,465
2009 x 60,292 9,770 50,000 5,412
2010 243,158 8,828 250,000 5,370
2011 253,773 8,209 50,000 5,287
2012 # 432,925 8,158 250,000 2,303
2013 261,581 10,158 1,051 + 124 Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) 1,863
2014 261,216 7,500 9,900 BU 4,075
2015 113,177 9,800 5,000 BU 4,600

* Queen's Golden Jubilee, celebrating 50 years on the throne
+ A one-off design of Sovereign, as produced by Timothy Noad
x Proof figures from here onwards include coins in Sovereign collection sets
# A one-off design of Sovereign, as produced by Paul Day

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Fifth head Elizabeth Sovereigns:

The fifth and likely final head of Elizabeth II was introduced in 2016 to all Royal Mint coins. Designed by Jody Clark (one of the Royal Mint's own design team), it was the first time in the Mint's long history that a staff member had been chosen to design a Sovereign coin. Clark has since gone on to design many of the Queen's Beast series, amongst other Royal Mint coins.

Please note: Due to the recent issuing of these coins, official Royal Mint figures on output are scarce. These figures will be updated as and when information becomes available.

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Sovereign Proof Sovereign Half Sovereign Proof Half Sovereign
2016 Mintage Unknown 7,500* Mintage Unknown 3,675*
2017 Mintage Unknown 10,500 Mintage Unknown 5,150
2018 Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown
2019 Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown Mintage Unknown

* 2016 proof Sovereigns featured a unique obverse portrait to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday, as designed by James Butler

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Disclaimer:

The above Sovereign mintage figures are based on several methods of research and are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. If you notice an incorrect figure, or have an updated number, please email [email protected] and your query/suggestion will be directed across to our writing team.


References:

Thanks goes to the Royal Mint for their historic mintage figure data, as well as to the following sources:

The Gold Sovereign by Michael A. Marsh & The Gold Half Sovereign by Michael A. Marsh

Coins of England & the United Kingdom (Pre-Decimal Issues) by Spink & Coins of England & the United Kingdom (Decimal Issues) by Spink

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