1915 Half-Sovereign – George V


The 1915 Half-Sovereign

Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon is on the reverse of the coin.

King George V’s portrait by Bertram Mackennal can be seen on the obverse of the coin. 

Images used by permission of The Royal Mint


Mintage: 2,042,747 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1915 ?
The Monarch is King George V. Prime Minister is H. H. Asquith (Liberal, then Coalition from 25 May). US President is Woodrow Wilson (D-New Jersey). World War I gains pace, sadly with many atrocities. German Zeppelins bomb UK cities and towns. RMS Lusitania sunk on passage from New York to Britain by a German U-boat killing 1,198.
George V (1910-1936)
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936 and was King during World War 1. George was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson of Queen Victoria. After his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

In 1919-20, the Silver price rose dramatically so .925 silver coins began to made in 0.500 siver. Gold Sovereigns were produced in large quantities early in George's reign - over 30 million in 1911 and again in 1912, although there was no bullion sovereigns issued 1918-1924 (Commonwealth mints did continue mintage).
General Description: Half-Sovereigns
The 1915 Half-Sovereign - George V is an example of the Gold Half-Sovereign and is a gold coin, being as it's name suggests, half the value and half of the gold weight of a gold sovereign. Today, the half-sovereign is a commemorative coin, not issued every year and often only collected as part of a set.

The Half-Sovereign wa introduced a long time ago, in 1544 during the reign of Henry VII. However it was discontinued in 1604 (along with full sovereigns) and no more was minted until 1817. Production ended again in 1926 (1933 in Australia) and except for a few special issues during the Coronation years, it was 1980 when we saw half-sovereigns again.

As the value is half of one sovereign, that give the half-sovereign a face value of half a pound or ten shillings - 50p in post-decimal money, although you're going to have to pay somewhat over the gold price if you want to buy one.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (George V) and the Reverse is most often St George and the Dragon (usually the Benedetto Pistrucci version), although other backs have been used. 

Specifications for 1915 Half-Sovereign - George V
 
  • Weight: 3.99 g
  • Diameter: 19.30 mm
  • Thickness: 0.99 mm
  • Purity: 22 carat = 91.67% (11/12ths gold, 1/12th copper. Adding copper makes the coin more scratch and dent resistant)
  • Gold Content: 3.6575 g = 0.1176 troy ounce
  • Face value: £0.50 = 10 shillings (decimal: 50 pence)
  • Monarch: George V
  • These specifications apply to half-sovereigns from 1817.

History

Up until 1604 there was a coin called the English gold sovereign and in 1816 when there was the "Great Recoinage" the name was revived. At that time standard gold (22 carat) was valued at £46 14s 6d per troy pound; this meant a £1 coin needed to weigh 123.2744783 grains or 7.988030269 g. The weight is still the same today.

As a historical note: to maintain the Gold Standard, in 1816 the value of silver was set at 66 shillings for one troy pound and silver coins were only legal for denominations up to £2.

The diameter of a half-sovereign is 19.3mm and is only slightly smaller than a full sovereign (22.05mm) so first appearance may confuse inexperienced buyers. You can see in the image on the right, the half-sovereign on the right hand side is quite similar to the full sovereign on the left.

While you can buy half-sovereigns, many collectors only own them as part of a set.

Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Half-Sovereigns page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1915 GEORGE V GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
1915 GEORGE V GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
£ 255.00
22ct Gold Half Sovereign 1915 Perth Mint George V good condition bullion
22ct Gold Half Sovereign 1915 Perth Mint George V good condition bullion
£ 300.00
1915S GEORGE V GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
1915S GEORGE V GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
£ 280.00
1915  Sidney gold Half sovereign PCGS MS62
1915 Sidney gold Half sovereign PCGS MS62
£ 300.00
1915 UNC HALF SOVEREIGN
1915 UNC HALF SOVEREIGN
£ 335.00

List of items on: