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The Sovereign 2008

25 January 2008 was a poignant day in the South Wales Valleys as Tower Colliery, the last deep mine in the area, officially closed. In London, Boris Johnson was elected Mayor, while sporting triumphs dominated the headlines throughout the year. The British Olympic team enjoyed their best performance in a century in Beijing, and Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion. Journey back to a memorable year and capture those special memories for posterity with this magnificent gold Sovereign, our most revered and sought-after coin.

Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS portrait

The idea of replacing the Maklouf portrait came about during a competition to design the obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown. The standard of entries for the conjoint portrait of The Queen and Prince Philip was so high that it was decided to explore the possibility of a new coinage portrait for circulating coins, too.

The winning design by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, introduced in 1998, makes for an interesting contrast with its predecessor, being less idealised and more strongly realistic.  Ian Rank-Broadley explained there was: “No need to disguise the matureness of The Queen’s years. There is no need to flatter her. She is a 70-year-old woman with poise and bearing.” The portrait also appeared as large as possible within the framework of the coin, as he wanted to maximise its impact on smaller coins like the new 5p, 10p and 50p pieces.

The first gold Sovereign to feature this special portrait was the 1998 Proof and the last was the 2015 Proof Sovereign.


Specification Value
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Quality Proof
Year 2008
Specification Value
Pure Metal Type Gold
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