ON THIS DAY Creator of classic St George gold coin design is born | New Coin Releases

ON THIS DAY Creator of classic St George gold coin design is born

Right now is the birthday of Benedetto Pistrucci, creator of a single of the world’s most hugely revered gold coin styles.


Bust of Benedetto Pistrucci

Born in Italy on 29 Might 1783*, Pistrucci moved to England in 1815 exactly where he became Chief Medallist at the Royal Mint.

Below the laws of the day, foreigners were technically ineligible for the leading job. Nevertheless, in the words of the Mint Master, his skills “place him above all competition”.

Pistrucci’s reputation in London soared with the creation of a wax model of St George in the ‘Greek style’ for aristocrats Lord and Lady Spencer.

On joining the Mint, he developed styles for Britain’s Wonderful Recoinage of 1816, suggesting St George and the Dragon for the new gold sovereign valued at 1 pound.

Pistrucci&#8217s design and style showed St George as a Greek horseman mounted on a Parthenon-style horse slaying a dragon. The new coin made its look in 1817 right after Britain’s victory at Waterloo.

The outcome was a masterpiece of numismatic art, a style combining such grace and dramatic impact that it now ranks as one particular of the best loved and most enduring of all British coin styles.

Australia boasts a connection with his iconic reverse. It was struck millions of times on sovereigns created at the Sydney, Melbourne and Perth Mints prior to 1931.
Qtr_red-sovereignToday’ the British Mint continues to strike the style on magnificent gold coins such as this 2014 Quarter Sovereign struck from 22-carat red gold. Pistrucci would undoubtedly be really proud to know his masterpiece nonetheless commands such admiration and respect.

(*In the course of our investigation we found some sources quoting Pistrucci&#8217s date of birth to be 24 May. Others we discovered have the year of birth as 1874, but this is now regarded to be incorrect. We apologise if any inaccuracy is reflected in this post).


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