Queen Elizabeth II Sovereigns

Category: Collect


The Royal Mint is proud to be home to The Sovereign. Our long, illustrious history producing this famous coin dates back to the reign of Henry VII, when the first gold Sovereign was created in 1489. We have continued to strike these famous coins for kings and queens ever since, producing numismatic gems for centuries.

As the nation reflects on the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Sovereigns struck during her 70-year reign are more sought-after than ever. Marking significant anniversaries and enjoying rare reverse designs, this range of historic Sovereigns will stand out in any collection. These are the highly collectable Queen Elizabeth II Sovereigns.




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1974 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Sovereign

Mintage: 5,002,566

Designers: Arnold Machin and Benedetto Pistrucci

There are many features of the 1974 gold Sovereign that make it a significant coin in the series. It is the first Sovereign issued after Britain adopted the decimal system and it was the last generally released year that Sovereigns were struck at Tower Hill in London.

It was also the first Sovereign to feature Arnold Machin’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. This famous design will be familiar to many as it also featured on stamps during her reign. The design first appeared on British coinage in 1968, but it took another six years for the image to feature on The Sovereign.

The portrait has royal approval and is the most reproduced work of art in history, used on over 320 different stamps and coins. It depicts an enduring image of a younger Queen Elizabeth II which has stood the test of time to make the 1974 Sovereign one of the most popular coins in The Sovereign Collection.

Shop 1974 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Sovereign




1985 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Sovereign

Mintage: 17,242

Designers: Raphael Maklouf and Benedetto Pistrucci

The next significant design alteration for The Sovereign came in 1985 with the first issue of the Raphael Maklouf portrait. The third portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was crafted from photographs and two special in-person sittings to make minor adjustments to the design.

The portrait was a more mature representation, but at the time Maklouf was accused of making likeness ‘flatteringly young’. Maklouf was proud of his work and explained his intention to ‘create a symbol, regal and ageless’. The image shows Her Majesty wearing the royal diadem, the exquisite crown worn to and from the State Opening of Parliament.

The 1985 Sovereign was only struck to Proof standard, the highest quality coins in production, which means the minting numbers were kept low. These coins are struck at a slower speed to preserve the finest details of the design. Proof coins are extremely popular with collectors as they are immaculate representations of the coin.


1989 500th Anniversary of The Sovereign

Mintage: 23,471

Designer: Bernard Sindall

Reverse design changes are a rare occurrence for The Sovereign, and they are never undertaken lightly, marking some of the most significant events and royal occasions in history. In 1989, The Sovereign had its first reverse design change in over 100 years when Pistrucci’s famous image of St George slaying the dragon was replaced for one year only.

The new design was created to honour the first Sovereign, struck for Henry VII in 1489. Its reverse features a representation of the shield of the Royal Arms upon a double Tudor rose to commemorate the original design.

The 1989 design is also a significant coin for collectors because of its obverse. This is the first time that Queen Elizabeth would be shown enthroned. Her Majesty is depicted seated in St. Edward’s Chair, also known as the coronation chair, which has been used in the coronation of every king and queen since the 1300s.

Few things excite numismatists more than alterations and this is a coin of firsts. It is still the only UK coin that displays the word ‘Sovereign’. These unique features ensure the coin remains a sought-after Sovereign from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.


1998 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

Mintage: 11,349

Designers: Ian Rank-Broadley and Benedetto Pistrucci

The obverse of the 1998 Sovereign features the fourth definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and offers a striking contrast from previous portraits. Regarded as less idealistic than its predecessors and employing greater realism to portray an older monarch, the artist explained:

'[there is]...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.’

This coin was struck in limited numbers as it finished to Proof standard only. The low mintage numbers and the obverse design combine to make this edition of The Sovereign extremely popular with numismatists around the world.

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2002 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

Mintage: 19,447

Designers: Ian Rank-Broadley and Timothy Noad

In 2002 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Golden Jubilee to mark 50 years on the throne. To commemorate this royal occasion, The Royal Mint created a special edition of The Sovereign that featured a departure from the traditional Benedetto Pistrucci reverse design.

This celebratory coin bears the shield of the Royal Arms, reminiscent of the reverse struck for Queen Victoria in 1938. Its detailed depiction displays four quadrants with the three lions of England, the red lion of Scotland and the golden harp of Ireland. The design was created by Timothy Noad and it commemorates a significant year in royal history. The obverse features the fourth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley.

This historic coin honours a significant milestone in Her Majesty’s reign and features an alternative reverse design that makes the 2002 Sovereign a favourite among coin collectors.



2005 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

Mintage; 15,458

Designers: Ian Rank-Broadley and Timothy Noad

Following the success of the 2002 Golden Jubilee edition of The Sovereign, Timothy Noad was commissioned to produce another reverse change in 2005. The coin features a modern reimagining of the classic St George and the dragon scene by Benedetto Pistrucci that has graced The Sovereign since 1817.

Depicting a large dragon and with St George raising his sword ready to strike, the image is bolder than the traditional design, taking up more space on the coin’s surface. This increases the drama and tells a vivid story in an exceptional piece of numismatic art.

Timothy Noad's specially-created reverse was available for one year only, accompanied by Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of a mature Queen Elizabeth II. The fabulous coin was struck to Proof standard only for a spectacular edition in this historic series.



2012 Diamond Jubilee Sovereign

Mintage: 8,098

Designers: Ian Rank-Broadley and Paul Day

The 2012 Sovereign was created to honour the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking 60 years on the throne. We celebrated the occasion in true Royal Mint fashion with a coin.

The Diamond Jubilee Sovereign featured a daring new reverse design with an alternative St George and the dragon interpretation by Paul Day. Depicting a ferocious dragon in a dynamic pose, this romantic design draws on Arthurian legend with a valiant knight battling a strong foe.

Paul Day's reverse design was struck for one year only and featured Ian Rank-Broadley’s fourth definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.  The historic royal year and exceptional reverse design have made this edition a favourite among collectors.



2015 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Sovereign

Mintage: 8,540

Designers: Jody Clark and Benedetto Pistrucci

The 2015 Sovereign saw the introduction of the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jody Clark. It shows a distinguished, regal monarch wearing the royal diadem and facing stoically to the right.

Jody Clark was 33 when he won the competition to design Her Majesty's fifth definitive portrait, making him the youngest engraver to have designed a coinage portrait. He was also the first Royal Mint engraver to have his work feature on the obverse of a coin in over 100 years.

The historic image of St George and the dragon, created by Benedetto Pistrucci, takes its traditional place on the coin's reverse. The switch to the new royal portrait makes the 2015 edition a coveted coin in The Sovereign series.



2017 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

Mintage: 12,681

Designers: Jody Clark and Benedetto Pistrucci

When discussing striking Sovereign designs, the 2017 edition stands out amongst a stellar collection. It was produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Pistrucci’s famous St George and the dragon design that has featured on The Sovereign for two centuries.

The 2017 coin is unique, as it was the first time since 1820 that we used the original Pistrucci design in full, complete with the Order of the Garter inscription, Evil Be To He That Evil Thinks. This is a fine representation of one of the most historic coins ever struck by The Royal Mint and it honours a significant moment in numismatic history.

The obverse of this spectacular coin features the Jody Clark portrait that was introduced two years earlier. As a one-off commemorative coin marking a historic anniversary, the 2017 Sovereign is a fabulous addition to any collection.



2022 Platinum Jubilee Sovereign

Mintage: 13,040

Designers: Jody Clark and Timothy Noad

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II reached the historic milestone of her Platinum Jubilee, cementing her legacy as the longest-reigning monarch in British history with a momentous 70 years on the throne.

We honoured this event by creating a unique edition of The Sovereign that will excite numismatists for generations to come. Featuring the final definitive portrait of Her Majesty by Jody Clark, the coin had a rare change of reverse design change by esteemed heraldic artist Timothy Noad. Featuring a reinterpretation of the Royal Coat of Arms, the design displays a lion standing statant guardant, while on the dexter stands the English lion and on the sinister is a Scottish unicorn.

This magnificent coin has been created to mark an event that will likely remain unrepeated for centuries and is sure to be favoured by collectors.

The Sovereign holds a special place in the heart of British coin collectors and this collection of unique designs represent significant moments in the coin’s unique history. These editions make a spectacular collection that you can be proud of.



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