The Royal Mint has unveiled its 2022-dated sovereign featuring a rare design change in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
To mark Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the 2022 sovereign features a new interpretation of the royal coat of arms created by calligrapher and coin and medal designer Timothy Noad.
“It’s a huge privilege to be chosen three times to design reverses for the sovereign,” said Noad, who added he’s “very proud to be making it a hat-trick.”
“The first time was 20 years ago, for Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of 2002, and the second was the first new St. George and the Dragon since Pistrucci’s iconic design, in 2005.”
The sovereign, known for its depiction of Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci’s “St. George and the Dragon,” is one of the U.K. mint’s “flagship coins and has celebrated royal achievements throughout the centuries,” according to Clare Maclennan, the mint’s divisional director of commemorative coin.
“As such, it was fitting to include the royal coat of arms on the 2022 coin – celebrating Britain’s longest-serving monarch with an original design.”
Changes to the design are reserved for “special moments,” including the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the queen’s accession to the throne, according to another statement issued by the mint.
The 2022 sovereign is the first coin revealed in the Royal Mint’s Platinum Jubilee collection and is “expected to be extremely sought after by collectors,” the mint statement added. It will be followed by coins featuring a new, unique obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the first U.K. 50-pence coin to celebrate a royal event.
The sovereign’s history dates back to 1489, when King Henry VII ordered a “new money of gold” to symbolize the Tudor dynasty’s might. The large gold coin has since evolved to become one of the world’s most distinctive and recognizable pieces of coinage. More than 500 years since its inception, the “chief coin of the world” continues to share a close relationship with the crown.
Interpretations of the royal coat of arms have previously appeared on coins, including the old £1, and its long-standing association with the monarchy makes a “fitting design” for the 2022 sovereign, the mint added.