Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A European common currency, with an Italian design

Two hundred years ago, the Royal Mint revived that Tudor innovation, the gold sovereign. Like the US dollar and Swiss franc of our day, it became a de facto common currency alongside the Maria Theresa silver thaler. Indeed, the sovereign was for a brief time legal tender in Portugal. The reverse was graced by "a St George and the dragon of classic beauty by the Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci". Clearly the Mint had no hang-ups about employing the best of continental Europe.

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