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The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Prior to 1932 it was a fully circulating coin within Britain's then Gold Standard currency. Named after the English gold sovereign, last minted in 1604, the name was revived with the Great Recoinage of 1816. Sovereigns have been minted in the United Kingdom from 1817 to 1917, in 1925, and from 1957 to the present. In the past Australia, Canada, and South Africa all occasionally minted the coins. In Victorian times it was the practice of the Bank of England to remove worn sovereigns and half sovereigns from circulation and to have them recoined.
Similar coin with mintmark (S or M) below head of the Queen is Australian Sovereign issues (KM# 7).
Head of HM Queen Victoria facing to left (the 'Young Head' portrait), with a plain band and fillet around hair. The first effigy was introduced in 1838 and was used until 1895 on bronze coins. It shows Victoria at only 18 years of age, when she acceded to the throne. It has a neoclassical feel with the Queen's gently waved hair gathered into a loosely knotted bun or small ponytail. A small narrow plait appears behind the ear and narrows in width as it disappears into the tied arrangement at the back of her head from which two tight ringlets hang down. The hair sweeps low across her forehead and is restrained by two ribbons which are elaborately embroidered with Greek key designs. There are five small variations for the 'Young Head' portrait which are referred to as 'types'. Most of the types show differences in the ribbons which may also be called 'fillets' but the fifth type shows inferior workmanship. The artist's initials W.W. partly visible on the truncation of the neck.
VICTORIA D:G: BRITANNIAR:REG:F:D:
Depicts St. George on horseback holding short sword, the horse rearing to right over a fallen dragon which has a broken lance in its chest; in exergue, the date and the artist's initials B.P.