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United Kingdom, George III, Sovereign 1817

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United Kingdom, George III, Sovereign 1817 (obverse) United Kingdom, George III, Sovereign 1817 (reverse)

On account of the leading role that Britain played in the world economy, the British sovereign was the most important world coin of the 19th century. It was minted in huge quantities. The coin's device, a picture of Saint George slaying the dragon, is the work of the coin engraver Benedetto Pistrucci, who was highly respected at the court in London. The depiction of Saint George enjoys great popularity in England up to this day and appears on many recent coins. According to tradition, George was a Roman soldier who died as a martyr for the Christian faith. The best known tale around his person is the one in which he rescued a princess from being eaten by a dragon. After her rescue, the princess converted to Christian faith, together with all her subjects. As slayer of the dragon, Saint George became one of the most venerated saints of Christianity.

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