The 2020 George III £5 was issued as part of the Annual Coin Set on the 1st January and today the coin has been individually released.

King George III was the first king of the United Kingdom (which was officially formed in 1800) and to this day remains the longest reigning king in British History, reigning for an astonishing 59 years.

Throughout his reign, Britain fought in wars against France and America and from these wars the country emerged as a world power.

And so, in this anniversary year marking 200 years since his death, it seems only fitting that a brand new United Kingdom George III £5 coin should be issued.

2020 King George III £5 Coin

This is the first time George III has been celebrated on modern UK coinage and the stunning design explores the multifaceted nature of Britain’s longest reigning king.

Designed by renowned Royal Mint designer, Dominique Evans, the famous Bull’s Head portrait of George III is shown in a crowned cartouche, with the royal residence and his place of death, Windsor Palace, to the left and the King’s Observatory, which was founded by King George, to the right.

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Our Top Three George III Coins

But of course this is not the first time that King George has featured on UK coinage…

Throughout his reign from 1760 – 1820, the portrait of the king featured on the obverse design of Britain’s circulating coins.

We’ve taken a look at what we feel are three of the most interesting coins issued during his reign and the stories behind them.

1819 Sovereign

The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VII’s reign in 1489, when the king ordered The Royal Mint to produce “A new money of gold.”

Originally Sovereigns were circulating coins accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world, however it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery.

Many recent Sovereigns feature the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse, along with the initials (BP) of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci.

1819 George III Sovereign. Credit: The Royal Mint

Now you might have heard of the 1819 Sovereigns already, and that’s because these coins are renowned for being exceptionally rare.

Remarkably, only 3,574 Sovereigns were minted during 1819 – struck on five separate occasions, between August and November 1819.

These coins were minted using gold provided by private merchants.

200 years after they were struck, it’s thought that potentially only ten of these Sovereigns are known to still exist.

Unsurprisingly, these coins sell for astonishing prices at auction, with the highest quality 1819 Sovereign known to exist achieving a price of £186,000 in 2013.

Cartwheel Penny

During the 18th century, the practice of melting down official copper coins and making lightweight forgeries had become so widespread that it prompted industrialist Matthew Boulton to offer a solution.

George III Cartwheel Penny

He proposed that each coin should actually be made to contain its value in copper, the quality should be improved by using a retaining collar during striking (to give a perfectly round coin) and thick raised borders would prevent them wearing so easily.

In 1797 Boulton was awarded a contract to supply 480 tonnes of pennies, each weighing one ounce and these were the very first British coins to be minted by steam power.

The George III Cartwheel Penny was also Britannia’s debut appearance on the penny – a position she held until decimalisation in 1971.

The remarkable story of when a British 2 pence weighed the same as a Mars Bar…
The modern 1p coin compared to the 2oz 2d coin

Because of their large size, Boulton’s coins soon earned the nickname ‘cartwheels’.

It is highly unusual for a low denomination to have such a substantial size and weight, and unsurprisingly they are in high demand from collectors for their status as Britain’s heaviest ever penny.

Eighteen Pence

In 1797, after a failed French invasion caused financial panic, British gold and silver coins disappeared from circulation, hoarded out of fear.

With so much coinage withdrawn from circulation, The Royal Mint found itself in a vulnerable position with a limited ability to issue coins.  

Incredibly, this lead to the extremely unusual situation where the Bank of England acted as a substitute for The Royal Mint by issuing an emergency currency. 

George III Eighteen Pence. Credit: Numisbids

Technically speaking, these emergency issues were not coins but tokens.

This is also the reason why they issued very unusual denominations, including the eighteen pence piece.

These tokens were issued for just 7 years until they were eventually withdrawn from circulation in 1817, by which time a massive silver recoinage had been undertaken.

So now you know the stories behind some of the most acclaimed coins issued during the reign of George III, how does the brand new 2020 £5 coin compare? And will you be adding it to your George III collection?


Secure your 2020 George III £5 Coin

The 2020 George III £5 Coin is now available to purchase individually in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

Click here to add this coin to your collection.

***UPDATE***

As of The Royal Proclamations issued on 11th October 2019, a further two new coins have been confirmed for release next year…

A new £2 coin will be issued to celebrate 100 Years of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels. .

2020 Agatha Christie £2

The design is said to feature a nearly completed jigsaw puzzle with the final piece ready to be inserted, and the inscription ‘1920 100 YEARS OF MYSTERY 2020′.

Agatha Christie published her first novel ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ in 1920, which introduced detective Hercule Poirot, who became a long-running character in Christie’s work. In total, the detective features in 33 novels and 54 short stories!

Following the incredible popularity of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p featuring fictional-detective Sherlock Holmes and the Samuel Pepys’ £2 in the 2019 Annual Coin set, we can’t wait to see another great British writer celebrated on UK coinage.

2020 75th Anniversary of VE Day £2

A further £2 coin will also be issued with the inscription ‘VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY‘ to commemorate 75 years since VE Day and the end of the second world war.

VE Day is commonly used to refer to Victory Day in Europe which celebrates the formal acceptance of the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on 8 May 1945, marking the end of the war.

Featuring a woman holding a newspaper aloft in crowd of celebrating people, set against a backdrop of the word VICTORY, this new £2 coin will mark a pivotal moment in British history.

Excitingly, this new £2 will also have an edge inscription reading ‘JUST TRIUMPH AND PROUD SORROW’.

Remember, you can sign-up for all our latest 2020 coin news using the sign-up for below!


The Royal Proclamation published on 12th July 2019 has officially revealed three new coins which will be released next year...

Last week we shared the news about the 2020 Team GB 50p coin, which is sure to be a firm favourite amongst collectors, especially following the resounding popularity of the 2012 Olympic 50ps.

The new Team GB 50p will be issued by The Royal Mint next year to support Great Britain in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, we also have another two coins to look forward to, including a Mayflower £2 coin and a George III £5 coin.

2020 Mayflower £2

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s voyage from Plymouth, England to the ‘New World’ in 1620.

102 Pilgrims and around 30 crew aboard the ship spent two months at sea, battling against the North Atlantic wind on their journey to America.

Upon arrival, the Mayflower Compact was signed, allowing the English Puritan settlers to establish the first permanent New England colony.

To celebrate this important anniversary, The Royal Mint will be issuing a Mayflower £2 coin in 2020.

Mayflower Trial £2

Did you know that back in 1994 The Royal Mint created the first trial bi-metallic £2 coins and these actually featured the Mayflower ship on the design?

There were just over 4,500 packs issued which makes it an incredibly rare example of a bi-metallic £2 coin. More than 100 times rarer than the UK’s rarest £2 coin in circulation, the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games.

Because of this, it can sell on the secondary market for well into three figures.

It will certainly be very interesting to see how the design of the 2020 coin compares to this 1994 trial piece.

2020 George III £5

Next year marks the 200th anniversary since the death of George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland.

He ruled the two countries separately until their union in 1801, after which his reign continued until his death in 1820.

George’s life and reign were longer than any British monarch before him, although his last 10 years were fraught with mental illness, resulting in his eldest son George IV ruling as Prince Regent.

To celebrate the life of George III, The Royal Mint will be issuing a new £5 coin in 2020.

Stay up to date with all the latest 2020 coin news…

At the moment the designs are still top secret, but we can’t wait to see what the 2020 coins will look like!

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