World’s first seven-sided gold sovereign coins celebrate the seven-sided 50p and decimal changeover
This year we mark the 50th anniversary of decimalisation in Britain, the biggest single change to our currency in over 1,000 years. The introduction of a decimal system of currency was a huge undertaking: almost a decade in the planning, it affected just about every facet of everyday life. In the lead-up to changeover in 1971 the government undertook a ‘saturation’ advertising campaign – it was difficult to look in a newspaper or watch TV without seeing an ad, or a news piece, about the change to decimal currency. And yet, when the change came, no amount of preparation was enough – people were still unprepared. Everyone in Britain at that time had spent their whole lives calculating with twelve pennies to the shilling and twenty shillings to the pound and now, with one action, this was swept aside and a new way of calculating replaced it.
It was a revolutionary change in British currency, which is why this year’s commemoration is so significant.
To celebrate 50 years of decimal changeover an important new series of gold sovereign coins has been struck. Why are they so important? Well, these are the world’s first seven-sided gold sovereigns, in recognition of the fifty pence, one of Britain’s new decimal coins and at the time the world’s first seven-sided coin! Its revolutionary shape made it not only incredibly distinctive, but also the only coin of its kind anywhere in the world. It remains today one of Britain’s most popular coins and a source of national pride.
Each of the new sovereigns in the series features a different design, and each one pairs an iconic predecimal coin motif with a decimal one, showcasing some of our best-loved national symbols. Proud Britannia, the Tudor Rose, Parliament’s Portcullis are all celebrated here. This finely balanced combination of historic and beautiful motifs is by the talented artist Matt Dent. His name may already be familiar to you? He is the designer of Britain’s current circulating decimal coins: the one penny to one pound with the ‘jigsaw’ of the Shield of Arms. There is a significance in having the creator of Britain’s current decimal coins create the designs for this 50th anniversary of decimalisation – yet another feature that makes these new sovereign coins exciting.
Decimalisation’s 50th anniversary celebrated with a series of designs by the creator of Britain’s current decimal coins!
The change from predecimal to decimal coins is illustrated on these world first gold sovereigns in these new designs created by Matt Dent. He is famed for creating the designs on Britain’s current circulating decimal coins: the ‘jigsaw’ designs of the Shield of Arms where each coin has a piece of the shield design. In his designs for this new series, the one-eighth sovereign pairs Britannia, symbol of naval might and courage, with the imposing portcullis gate of Henry Tudor. On the quarter sovereign we see the three lions of the English coat of arms, a symbol of the strength and power of the monarch, alongside the heraldic emblem of the Tudor rose. The half sovereign combines the famous Elizabethan ship ‘The Golden Hind’ with the national emblem of Scotland, the resilient Scottish thistle. In each of these designs, the predecimal motif is shown on the left, with the decimal motif on the right of the coin, illustrating the transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’.
Each coin is struck in the highest possible Proof quality. All have low mintages – the one-eighth sovereign is limited to 4,999 coins, with both the half and the quarter sovereign at 1,971 coins (reflecting the year of decimal changeover).
The larger mintage of the one-eighth sovereign is likely to create considerable demand pressure for the two other coins in this set: of all those who can own the one-eighth sovereign, less than a third will be able to own the quarter sovereign and half sovereign.
Authorised by Alderney, and approved by both the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Buckingham Palace, it is a wonderful celebration.
Benefit from the SELL OUT GUARANTEE
The total number of The 2021 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation Gold Fractional Sovereign Sets minted will not exceed 1,971 sets, but this set is subject to our new SELL OUT GUARANTEE. What this means is that availability of this set will end on 31st October 2021. At that time, any sets that are unsold will be melted down and verified to that effect.
At that point, we will issue to owners of this set a new certificate stating the final mintage which may be lower, or possibly considerably lower, than 1,971. If the mintage remains at 1,971 then this means the set sold out entirely to keen customers, and if not you may have secured for yourself a low mintage rarity.
Either way, there will be little or no surplus of this set on the secondary market and so the set you own will be a rarity in the gold sovereign series.
Why not have a look at the 2021 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation Gold Sovereign range available here.