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2022 Royal Coat of Arms Gold Sovereign

Author: Amy Billington - Commemorative and Bullion Editor

Published: 27 Sep 2021

Last Updated: 21 Oct 2021

Synopsis

2022 UK gold sovereigns will have a special Royal Coat of Arms design for the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee. Facts, opinion, possible designs, information, and more.

2022 Royal Coat of Arms Gold Sovereign Design

According to a series of Privy Council notices issued on 25th June 2021, the 2022 sovereigns will feature the Royal Coat of Arms on the reverse. The Royal Coat of Arms is the official coat of arms for Queen Elizabeth II and the change in design will coincide with her Platinum Jubilee. 

The first Privy Council notice states the following:

GOLD COINS

‘Every five-pound piece, two-pound piece, sovereign and half-sovereign shall have for the obverse impression Our effigy with the inscription “· ELIZABETH II ∙ DEI ∙ GRA · REGINA ∙ FID ∙ DEF” and for the reverse a depiction of Our Royal Coat of Arms and the date of the year. The coins shall have a grained edge.’

The quarter sovereign Privy Council notice states:

‘For the obverse impression Our effigy with the inscription “· ELIZABETH II ∙ DEI ∙ GRA · REGINA ∙ FID ∙ DEF” and for the reverse a depiction of Our Royal Coat of Arms and the date of the year. The coin shall have a grained edge.’

We show a screenshot and the full text of both proclamations below.

What Are the Royal Arms?

The United Kingdom Royal Coat of Arms is unique to each monarch and consists of a crest, motto and shield, with two 'supporters' on each side. Queen Elizabeth II's Coat of Arms features the quartered shield of the United Kingdom, surmounted by a royal crown. The shield of the United Kingdom dates back to the 1707 Act of Union and symbolises the alliance of the four Great British nations. It displays the three passant lions for England, the rampant lion for Scotland, the three lions for Wales and the golden harp for Northern Ireland. The supporters of the shield are a golden lion and a silver unicorn. The motto reads "DIEU ET MON DROIT", meaning "GOD AND MY RIGHT".

The Royal Coat of Arms

Possible Royal Arms Sovereign Designs

Whilst we do not know what the final design will look like, we can look at previous coins featuring the Royal Coat of Arms for inspiration. The reverse of the 1983 £1 coin was designed by Eric Sewell. It is a very detailed design, which features most of the elements of the original image. Our interpretation (left image) shows how it may look as a sovereign.

Another version of the Royal Coat of Arms was used on the 2021 Royal Arms bullion coins. Designed by Timothy Noad, it features a close-up image of the lion and unicorn, who are shown turning to face the shield. Whilst the details lend themselves to the sovereign (middle image), we would much rather see a new design on the actual coin, instead of a re-hash of a recent issue.

Our final interpretation (right image) shows the Royal Coat of Arms surmounted onto a coin. As you can see, not all aspects of the design lend themselves to the circular format of a coin, however, a few small tweaks could fix this. 

2022 Royal Arms Sovereign Possible Design Version 1

2022 Gold Sovereign Possible Design Version 2

2022 Gold Sovereign Possible Design Version 3

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Sovereign

While the official announcements do not explicitly state that these new designs are for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it is practically certain that they are, and it would be too much of a coincidence if they were not.

The new sovereign design will coincide with Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. Elizabeth ascended the throne on 4th February 1952 after the sudden death of her father, King George VI, although Elizabeth's Coronation did not take place until 2nd June 1953.

2022 will mark 70 years of Elizabeth's rule. It is a milestone event that no other British monarch has achieved. The Royal Mint would undoubtedly wish to honour the UK's longest-reigning monarch with the utmost prestige - and what better way than with a new sovereign design?

Which 2022 Sovereigns Will Be Issued?

We can expect to see proof versions of the new design across the entire sovereign range. We expect, although it is not certain, that the 2022 bullion sovereigns will also feature the new design.

Denomination Face Value Metal Diameter Weight Fineness Actual Metal Weight
Quintuple Sovereign £5 Gold 36.02 mm 39.94 g 916.66 1.1771 oz
Double Sovereign £2 Gold 28.4 mm 15.976 g 916.66 0.4708 oz
Sovereign £1 Gold 22.05 mm 7.988 g 916.66 0.2354 oz
Half Sovereign £0.50 Gold 19.3 mm 3.994 g 916.66 0.1177 oz
Quarter Sovereign £0.25 Gold 13.5 mm 1.997 g 916.66 0.0589 oz

This table does not include special “premium” editions, such as a piedfort sovereign, BU quintuple sovereign, strike-on-the-day sovereign or any reverse proof issues. 

2022 Bullion Gold Sovereigns

As stated, we expect the 2022 bullion sovereigns will feature the Royal Arms design, but The Royal Mint may want collectors to purchase both proof and bullion coins, by issuing the bullion coins with the definitive St George reverse and the proof coins with the Royal Coat of Arms design.

Looking at previous special design sovereigns, we cannot be certain. The 2002, 2005 and 2012 coins were issued as both proof and bullion editions, whereas 2017's 'legend in garter' design was exclusive to the proof coins. There were no bullion sovereigns issued in 1989.

When Will the 2022 Sovereigns Be Released?

The Royal Mint has not yet made any official announcements.

Normally they release “Trade Information” a few days before the release date, but this is subject to embargo, so if and when we get to know the release date, we would not share it until the embargo was lifted. Previous year's proof sovereigns have been released at the end of October / early November, with the bullion coins following soon after. The rumour on coin forums is that the coins will be released in early November.

Special Sovereign Designs

Although the Royal Mint have already stated “Today, it is extremely rare for The Sovereign to feature a design other than Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic depiction of St George and the dragon, which makes this a poignant moment in numismatic history", we have seen several different designs over recent years. 

Royal Mint 2022 Sovereign Announcement

The last change on the sovereign reverse design was the 200th Anniversary of the Modern Sovereign Coin in 2017. That wasn't a new design per se, but rather a reissue of Benedetto Pistrucci's St George and the Dragon design, with the reinstated legend in garter border.

Other special designs include the 1989 sovereign design by Bernard Sindall. Issued to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the sovereign, the coin features the Royal Arms shield, surmounted by the royal crown, upon a double Tudor rose. The Royal Arms also feature on the 2002 sovereign, by Timothy Noad. The coin was issued to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

Noad also designed the 2005 coin, which features a close-up version of St George and the Dragon. 2012's Diamond Jubilee sovereign featured a more stylised version of St George and the Dragon, and was designed by Paul Day. 

How Can I Find Out More About the 2022 Proof Sovereigns?

Make sure to set up stock alerts on the 2022 sovereign pages!

Summary

British 2022 gold sovereigns will feature the Royal Coat of Arms reverse. Proofs are expected to be released late October / early November 2021. Whilst we haven't seen the final design, our artist's impressions have given us an idea as to what the coin will look like.

Hopefully it won't be too long until we get to see the coins! Make sure to follow our socials so you don't miss out on all the latest news about the 2022 sovereigns - InstagramYouTubeFacebook and Twitter

If you spot anything we have missed please let us know.

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