The story began in 1489 in the reign of Henry VII when a commission dated 28th October was given to produce a high value coin from a double Ryal to be known as the "Sovereign". The coin was to have a value of 20 shillings. This would be the first time that a pound sterling was to be represented by one coin
The obverse featured the King seated facing on the Gothic throne and holding in his hands an orb and sceptre. The reverse was a large double rose having on it the royal escutcheon bearing the arms of France and England. It is believed that the engraver Michael Flynt had a great influence on the design however some details may have been copied from similar coinage from the Netherlands
Successive Monarch's continued to produce them until the accession of James I when their production was ceased until 1817.
After George III gained the throne he inherited some troubling times with his currency. Poor quality coinage resulted in the withdrawel of the Guinea and counterparts to be replaced by a Royal proclamation of the1st July 1817 with the modern sovereign being born.
The quality of the sovereign has not changed over these years being 7.98grams of 22 carat gold with a diameter of 22.03mm. However several designs have been placed on the reverse with more recent ones only having a one year issue, latest being the 2012. And of course the Monarch's obverse would have changed during this time though.