King George III ascended the British throne in 1760 and was to become England’s longest-ruling monarch until his granddaughter Queen Victoria. During his 59-year reign he presided over victory in the Seven Years’ War, a successful resistance to the threat of a Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and most famously the loss of the American Revolution. His reign saw the acquisition of Australia and New Zealand to the British Empire, the abolition of the Slave Trade throughout British colonies and the uniting of Great Britain and Ireland by the Act of Union creating a new “United Kingdom”.
A devoted family man, King George III was conscientious and well educated with a keen interest in science and the arts. Commemorating one of Britain’s most famous and controversial monarchs on the 200th anniversary of the end of his reign in 1820, this series of five 2020 Sovereign denominations promises to be one of the most faithful and unique tributes to his reign celebrating some of his most exceptional coin designs and exploring the fascinating stories behind them.
In 1818, new crown coins of 5 shillings were minted in the fifty-eighth year of King George III’s reign, the first such coins ever issued since he became King in 1760. The reverse designs seen on these large silver coins included the classic and iconic numismatic masterpiece of Benedetto Pistrucci’s “St George slaying the Dragon”. His exemplary creation was first included on British gold Sovereigns in 1817 which were issued as part of Great Britain’s revised coinage that fundamentally changed the everyday commerce of Britain the year before with the introduction of the Great Recoinage.
This coin is part of the 2020 series of five sovereign denominations which features five different designs dedicated to King George III.
The coin was designed by Nick Martin, based on a drawing by Veronica Mackinnon.
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