Gold, UNC, NGC Graded MS 70 (3325120-250)
13 mm (1/2”), 3.1 grams
HISTORY: Great Britain’s King George III (1738—1820) issued a new sovereign design three years before his death, featuring his profile on the obverse and Saint George slaying a dragon on the reverse. In 1816, Benedetto Pistrucci (1783—1855) was hired to design both faces of the coin. As his subject for the reverse, he chose the dramatic legend of beloved Saint George slaying the dragon, a popular literary and pictorial theme for centuries. Pistrucci immigrated to London from Italy where he was already established as a successful gem engraver and sculptor. In fact, he modeled this coin in stone, which was then converted to steel dies by mint engravers. The coin was first issued in 1917 with Pistrucci’s signature on both sides, outraging the public. It was subsequently removed.
OBVERSE: Right facing profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II shown with the initials “IRB” below her neckline. Around the perimeter are the words “ELIZABETH • II • DEI • GRA REGINA • FID • DEF”.
REVERSE: Benedetto Pistrucci sculpted a nude Saint George slaying a dragon with sword in hand. Traditionally, Saint George is illustrated in full armor confronting the dragon with a long spear. The year “2009” is at the bottom, and to the right beneath the ground are the initials “BP”.