The English gold Sovereign came into existence in 1489 under King Henry VII. Authorities in Adelaide did not wait for London to act, but set up an assay office, striking what became known as the "Adelaide Pound". [43] There was also increased quality control within the Royal Mint; by 1866, every gold and silver coin was weighed individually. The 1989 Gold Proof Sovereign was minted to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first sovereign, minted in 1489 for Henry VII. [18] After completing Lady Spencer's commission, by most accounts, Pistrucci suggested to Pole that an appropriate subject for the sovereign would be Saint George. The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VII’s reign. Indian/Swiss joint venture company MMTC-PAMP mints under licence in its facility close to Delhi with full quality control from the Royal Mint. Pole had favoured retaining the guinea, due to the number extant and the amount of labour required to replace them with sovereigns. [83] The counterfeiting problem was minimised by the striking of about 45,000,000 sovereigns by 1968, and efforts by Treasury solicitors which resulted in the sovereign's acceptance as legal tender by the highest courts of several European nations. Old British Sovereign Gold Coins contain exactly 0.23542 oz (7.322381 g) of gold and have face values of £1 each. 1989 Great Britain 1/2 Sovereign 500th Anniversary NGC PF69 Ultra Cameo #LM153. Melbourne and Perth stopped striking sovereigns after 1931, with Sydney having closed in 1926. Ended: 08 Nov, 2020 15:37:42 GMT. Two slightly different busts were used, with what is usually called the "first bust" used for most 1831 circulating pieces (the first year of production) and some from 1832, with the "second bust" used for the prototype pattern coins that year, as well as for proof coins of 1831, some from 1832 and taking over entirely by 1833. 1989 Gibraltar gold Sovereign, Una and Lion, PF67 DCAM Deep Cameo PCGS. These were struck every year between 1821 and 1825, but the king was unhappy with the depiction of him and requested a new one be prepared, based on a more flattering bust by Francis Chantrey. The reverse depicts a Shield of Our Royal Arms ensigned by an open Royal Crown, the whole superimposed upon a double Rose (Known as the ‘Tudor Rose’), and with the circumscription ‘ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN 1489 – 1989’. [63] The 1932 sovereigns struck at Pretoria were the last to be issued intended as currency at their face value. Before making any investment decision, you may wish to seek advice from your financial, legal, tax and accounting advisers. [17], In 1816, Pole hired Pistrucci to create models for the new coinage. [42] The unlucky holder of a lightweight gold coin could only turn it in as bullion, would lose at least a penny because of the lightness and often had to pay an equal amount to cover the Bank of England's costs. Gold is a soft metal, and the hazards of circulation tended to make sovereigns lightweight over time. [74] Sovereigns continued to be struck at the Australian mints, where different economic circumstances prevailed. Historic financial performance of Bullion is not indicative of and does not guarantee future financial performance. [30] Another reason why few sovereigns were struck in 1819 was a proposal, eventually rejected, by economist David Ricardo to eliminate gold as a coinage metal, though making it available on demand from the Bank of England. To expedite matters, the Royal Mint is authorised to sell gold sovereigns directly to the public, rather than having its output channelled through the Bank of England as was once the case. The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom that has a nominal value of one pound sterling. $899.99. Succeeding monarchs all chose to strike new versions of the Sovereign themselves, indicating their own power and strength. Once this plan was abandoned in 1820, the Bank encouraged the circulation of gold sovereigns, but acceptance among the British public was slow. [78] Sovereigns in proof condition dated 1937 were struck for Edward's brother and successor, George VI, also designed by Paget, the only sovereigns to bear George's effigy. The reverse is a Shield of the Royal Arms ensigned by an open Royal Crown, the whole superimposed upon a double crown and the circumscription ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN 1489-1989. [8], The British economy was disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, and gold was hoarded. Henry also issued the first English shilling, a handsome, though scarce, coin with a… All the information you provide will help us improve your experience with royalmint.com. The obverse features a majestic portrait of Queen Elizabeth seated facing on a throne. Price: 500th Anniversary 1489-1989 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign 3 Coin Set: Condition:--not specified. The coin features a picture of his majesty King Henry VII, on a throne with his Royal Sceptre. Our gold sovereign price is the cheapest around. [56], The 1851 discovery of gold in Australia quickly led to calls from the local populace for the establishment of a branch of the Royal Mint in the colonies there. Other articles where Sovereign is discussed: coin: Gold coinage: …introduction in 1489 of the sovereign, a splendid gold coin of 240 grains, current for 20 shillings, with, obverse, Henry VII seated on an elaborate throne and, reverse, a Tudor rose with central shield of arms. By signing up to our newsletter The Royal Mint will keep you up to date with information about our competitions, products, services, offers and news that may interest you. Since The Royal Mint struck the first Sovereign in 1489, the gold coin has survived retirement, rebirth and reform to become a modern classic with a unique legacy. [21], Pistrucci's design for the reverse of the sovereign features Saint George on horseback. Complete with its own booklet/Certificate of Authenticity. £750.00. [97] The coins, which date from 1847 to 1915, were found by a technician who had been asked to tune the piano, 'stitched into seven cloth packets and a leather drawstring purse' under the piano's keyboard. The 827 likely is an ingot number, used for some sort of experiment, though research has not conclusively established this. It was his desire to promote England position within Europe and saw his coinage as a way of making grand propaganda. From 1871 onwards, the Saint and the dragon appeared on the reverse alongside a shield design, both of which bore an image of the young Queen Victoria on the obverse. Second Engraver (later Chief Engraver) William Wyon was assigned to translate Chantrey's bust into a coin design, and the new sovereign came into use during 1825. The reverse featured an image of St George and the dragon that had been designed by one of the most celebrated gem engravers in the world, Benedetto Pistrucci. Joseph Conrad, in his novels set in Latin America, refers several times to ship's captains keeping sovereigns as a ready store of value. [55] Victoria's death in 1901 led to a new obverse for her son and successor, Edward VII by George William de Saulles, which began production in 1902; Edward's death in 1910 necessitated a new obverse for his son, George V by Bertram Mackennal. Almost every speaker supported having a coin valued at twenty shillings, rather than continuing to use the guinea. You can buy a 2017 sovereign from the Royal Mint at about 50% over the gold price. However, Henry the VIII reduced the gold content to 92% or 22 carats and that’s still considered the gold standard (crown gold) today in both the United States and England. Limited Edition Royal Mint Sovereign Coin Sets available at very reasonable margins. By the early 1840s, the Bank of England estimated that twenty per cent of the gold coins that came into its hands were lightweight. In total, the Royal Mint produced more than 40 millions Victoria gold sovereigns, which circulated until World War I. [58] These coins were not initially legal tender outside Australia, as there were concerns about the design and about the light colour of the gold used (due to a higher percentage of silver in the alloy) but from 1866 Australian sovereigns were legal tender alongside those struck in London. With a bust of King Edward by Humphrey Paget and the date 1937, these sovereigns were not authorised by royal proclamation prior to Edward VIII's abdication in December 1936, and are considered pattern coins. [62] Branch mints at Bombay (1918; mint mark "I") and Pretoria (1923–1932; mint mark "SA") also struck sovereigns. £1,800.00, Price: [2], The English sovereign, the country's first coin to be valued at one pound,[3] was struck by the monarchs of the 16th century, the size and fineness often being altered. On 28th October 1489, the king ordered the officers of his Royal Mint to produce “A new money of gold.” Then in 1817 a new gold coin almost half the weight and diameter of the original Sovereign, but it was equally as beautiful. Mint officials decided to continue to use the late king's head on coinage for the remainder of the year. [87] The last coin minted at Tower Hill, in 1975, was a sovereign. The general admiration of Pistrucci’s design led one critic in the London Illustrated News to declare that the new Half-Sovereign of 1893 was “Vastly pretty… by far the most artistic Half-Sovereign I have yet seen.”. [81], Sovereigns were struck in 1953, the coronation year of Elizabeth II, bearing the portrait of her by Mary Gillick, though the gold pieces were placed only in the major museums. £1,135.00, Price: Originally, the coin was unpopular because the public preferred the convenience of banknotes but paper currency of value £1 was soon limited by law. [79] These were struck to meet the need for sovereigns, and to maintain the skills of the Royal Mint in striking them. The British gold sovereign was first minted in 1489 to honor King Henry VII. Gold coin; Denomination: Sovereign Royal Mint, London Henry VII (1485-1509) Type IV. The 1925-dated George V sovereign was restruck in 1949, 1951 and 1952, lowering the value of the original, of which only a few had hitherto been known. The Five-Sovereign Piece 2019 Gold Brilliant Uncirculated Coin, The Piedfort Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof Coin, Queen Victoria Portrait Sovereign Collection. Beginning in 1829, the Mint was able to eliminate the silver, but the drain on sovereigns from before then continued. Reverse designs of the 1817 and 1893 Half-Sovereigns. P&P: + £24.50 P&P . * Bullion product prices displayed include the precious metal price and any applicable premium. This was changed to a sword when the garter that originally surrounded the design was eliminated in 1821, and George is intended to have broken his spear earlier in the encounter with the dragon. Please check the box below, by doing so you are acknowledging that you are above the age of 16 and consent to being contacted. Many of the Australian pieces struck in the postwar period were to back currency, while the South African sovereigns were mostly for export and to pay workers at the gold mines. Like modern gold sovereigns, these original coins included the portrait of Henry VII as depicted sitting on his throne in a coronation gown. [70] Restrictions were placed on sending gold abroad, and the melting-down of coin made an offence. The 1989 Gold Proof Half-Sovereign was issued to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the First Gold Sovereign. [12] Formal instruction to the Mint came with an indenture dated February 1817, directing the Royal Mint to strike gold coins weighing 7.988 grams,[b] that is to say, the new sovereign. [10] A committee of the Privy Council recommended gold coins of ten shillings, twenty shillings, two pounds and five pounds be issued, and this was accepted by George, Prince Regent on 3 August 1816. Further protection is provided by the helmet, with, on early issues, a streamer or plume of hair floating behind. The Royal Mint would like to keep you up to date with information about our competitions, products, services, offers and news that may interest you. £565.00. Now for the first time a coin denomination was issued with a value of one pound sterling. [61], Following the Klondike Gold Rush, the Canadian Government asked for the establishment of a Royal Mint branch in Canada. Pistrucci’s design has appeared on the Sovereigns of every monarch since Victoria’s reign. [58][60] Dies for the Australian coinage were made at London. [46] These standards resulted in a high rejection rate for newly coined sovereigns, though less than for the half sovereign, which sometimes exceeded 50 per cent. Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon continues to reign supreme in the gold Sovereign family, representing the highest standards of the coin maker’s art. [46] The Coinage Act 1889 also authorised the Bank of England to redeem worn gold coins from before Victoria's reign, but on 22 November 1890 all gold coins from before her reign were called in by Royal Proclamation and demonetised effective 28 February 1891. In part to boost the sovereign's reputation in trade, the Bank undertook a programme of recoinage, melting lightweight gold coins and using the gold for new, full-weight ones. [47] When the Royal Mint was rebuilt in 1882, a decisive factor in shutting down production for renovation rather than moving to a new mint elsewhere was the Bank of England's report that there was an abnormally large stock of sovereigns and that no harm would result if they could not be coined in London for a year. [25] Also removed in 1821 was the plume of hair, or streamer, behind George's helmet; it was restored in 1887,[26] After people criticised the poor state of the coin designs, the St George design was reinstated during Queen Victoria’s reign. Beginning in 1870, the designs were those used in London, though with a mint mark "S" or "M" (or, later, "P") denoting their origin. Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee took place in 1887, when new designs were unveiled for the gold and silver coins. [108], Gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling, "Whereas We have thought fit to order that certain Pieces of Gold Money should be coined, which should be called 'Sovereigns or Twenty Shilling Pieces', each of which should be of the Value of Twenty Shillings, and that each Piece should be of the Weight of Five Pennyweights Three Grains ​, Bullion and collectors coin (1979 to present), The indenture, dated 6 February 1817, directed that there be 934​, The British monarch also ruled Hanover between 1714 and 1837. With the start of the First World War in 1914, the sovereign vanished from circulation in Britain; it was replaced by paper money and did not return after the war, though issues at colonial mints continued until 1932. The new coin was struck in response to a large influx of gold into Europe from West Africa in the 1480s, and Henry at first called it the double ryal, but soon changed the name to sovereign. Struck since 1817, it was originally a circulating coin that was accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world; it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery. Although many sovereigns were melted down for recoining on reaching a foreign land (as were those for the Smithsonian) it was regarded as a circulating coin in dozens of British colonies and even in nations such as Brazil and Portugal. While the coin typically had a nominal value of one pound sterling and one Shilling, or twenty one shillings, the sovereign was primarily an official piece of bullion … On 28 th October 1489, the king ordered the officers of his Royal Mint to produce “A new money of gold.” Up to that point, gold coins had been in circulation for over a hundred years, so the Sovereign certainly wasn’t the first gold coin to be minted in England. [31] Many more sovereigns were exported to France in the 1820s as the metal alloyed with the gold included silver, which could be profitably recovered, with the gold often returned to Britain and struck again into sovereigns. [50], In 1871, the Deputy Master of the Mint, Sir Charles Fremantle, restored the Pistrucci George and Dragon design to the sovereign, as part of a drive to beautify the coinage. As difficulties over the exchange of wartime banknotes were overcome, the sovereign became more popular, and with low-value banknotes becoming scarcer, in 1826 Parliament prohibited the issuance of notes with a value of less than five pounds in England and Wales. The effort failed—Churchill regarded it as the worst mistake of his life—but some lightweight sovereigns were melted and restruck dated 1925, and were released only later. Records of why the numbers were used are not known to survive, with one widely printed theory that they were used to track die wear. Allen converted five sovereigns from his own pocket into notes, and the workers made no further objection. [39] Sovereigns struck in London with the shield design between 1863 and 1874 bear small numbers under the shield, representing which coinage die was used. The small strikings of 1925-dated sovereigns in the postwar period were not enough to meet the demand, which was met in part by counterfeiters in Europe and the Middle East, who often put full value of gold in the pieces. "The combination of the demand for sovereigns in India and Egypt with London's situation as the distributing centre of the South African gold is rapidly establishing the sovereign as the predominant gold coin of the world. Very low issue at 30,000 . [22] He is otherwise naked[23]—the art critic John Ruskin later considered it odd that the saint should be unclothed going into such a violent encounter. Bullion sovereigns began to be issued again in 2000, and this has continued. This new coin weighed 240 grains which equals 0.5 troy ounces or 15.55 grams, and was made using the standard gold coinage alloy of 23 carat, equal to 95.83% fine. The Royal Mint's engravers were not able to successfully reproduce Pistrucci's imagery in steel, and the sculptor undertook the engraving of the dies himself. The Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole had Pistrucci design the new coin; his depiction was also used for other gold coins. It did not bear the George and Dragon design, as the new Master of the Mint, Thomas Wallace, disliked several of the current coinage designs, and had Jean Baptiste Merlen of the Royal Mint prepare new reverse designs. [104] As well as the 1937 Edward VIII and 1953 Elizabeth II sovereigns, rare dates in the series include the 1819,[105] and the 1863 piece with the number "827" on the obverse in place of William Wyon's initials. It has featured on every bullion Sovereign of the twentieth century apart from five special occasions, including Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee year in 2002 and the 200th anniversary of the modern Sovereign itself in 2017. [59], Early issues for Sydney, until 1870, depicted a bust of Victoria similar to those struck in Britain, but with a wreath of banksia, native to Australia, in her hair. [5], In the 1660s, following the Restoration of Charles II and the mechanisation of the Royal Mint that quickly followed, a new twenty-shilling gold coin was issued. On the obverse is the Tudor Rose with the heraldic arms in the centre. At first it was intended to re-introduce the 21 shilling guinea but it was found that, “A very general wish prevails among the Public in favour of a Coinage of Gold Pieces of the value of Twenty Shillings and Ten Shillings, in preference to Guineas, Half Guineas and Seven Shilling Pieces.” Hence a new gold 20 shilling coin was born and given the old name of Sovereign. It had a diameter of 42 millimetres (1.7 in), and weighed 15.55 grams (0.500 oz t), twice the weight of the existing gold coin, the ryal. The Coinage Act 1870 tightened standards at the Royal Mint, requiring sovereigns to be individually tested at the annual Trial of the Pyx rather than in bulk. ... 1489-1989 ANNIVERSARY COIN. Any promotions or discounts are applied to the premium above the precious metal price only and not on the metal price itself. The reverse was distinctive as well, with the name of the mint, the word AUSTRALIA and the denomination ONE SOVEREIGN on the reverse. The mints at Melbourne and Sydney were allowed to continue striking the shield design even though it had been abandoned at the London facility, and did so until 1887 due to local popularity. The wear problem continued: it was estimated that, on average, a sovereign became lightweight after fifteen years in circulation. The royal arms featured on the reverse, with a magnificent double rose that symbolised the union of York and Lancaster after the Wars of the Roses. Also flowing behind the knight is his chlamys, or cloak; it is fastened in front by a fibula. After the war, the sovereign did not return to commerce in Britain, with the pieces usually worth more as gold than as currency. The Sovereign family of coins are one of the few UK legal tender gold coins available today, and are therefore Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exempt for British investors. Many in Parliament believed a one-pound coin should be issued rather than the 21-shilling (£1.05) guinea that was struck until that time. We have a number of great looking boxed proof sets in stock, featuring a range of years and designs. After Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the authorities carried out a review of the nation’s coinage. [80], The sovereign remained popular as a trade coin in the Middle East and elsewhere following the Second World War. An investment 2018 gold sovereign is defined by clear characteristics. St George has been the Patron Saint of England since Medieval Times, and it was towards the end of that period, in 1489, that Henry VII instructed The Royal Mint to produce ‘a new money of gold’ – the original Sovereign – a statement piece, which featured an enthroned portrait of the king himself. There had been an English coin known as the sovereign, first authorised by Henry VII in 1489. [52] The saint returned to the rarely-struck two- and five-pound pieces in 1887, and was placed on the half sovereign in 1893. $699.00. [40], By 1850, some £94 million in sovereigns and half sovereigns had been struck and circulated widely, well beyond Britain's shores, a dispersion aided by the British government, who saw the sovereign's use as an auxiliary to their imperialist ambitions. After the war, Parliament, by the Coinage Act 1816, placed Britain officially on the gold standard, with the pound to be defined as a given quantity of gold. The 1989 United Kingdom Gold Proof Set 500th Anniversary of the Gold Sovereign, the three coin set Double Sovereign, Sovereign and Half Sovereign FDC cased with certificate, plus Book 'Royal Sovereign 1489-1989 A Royal Mint publication this in good condition It contains 0.2354 ounce of fine gold. The Royal Mint struck its first gold sovereign in 1489 during the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509). [100] In the 21st century, the wearing of a sovereign ring has been seen as a sign of chav culture. Gold Sovereign for Investment. [35] The new reverse for the sovereign featured the Ensigns Armorial, or royal arms of the United Kingdom, crowned, with the lions of England seen in two of the quarters, balanced by those of Scotland and the harp of Ireland. 1985 Gold Proof Full Sovereign NGC PF69 UCAM. When held at gunpoint on the Orient Express by Red Grant, Bond uses the gold to distract Grant, leading to the villain's undoing. You should carefully consider the risks associated with investing in Bullion, taking into account your own individual financial needs and circumstances. [103], Coin auction houses deal in rare sovereigns of earlier date, as do specialist dealers. [6] Coins were at the time valued by their precious metal content, and the price of gold relative to silver rose soon after the guinea's issuance. [27], The George and Dragon design is in the Neoclassical style. The sovereigns issued in Australia initially carried a unique local design but by 1887, all new sovereigns bore Pistrucci's George and Dragon design. Possibly it may be destined to hold in the future the same kind of international position as was held for several centuries, in the days of a silver standard, by the Mexican dollar. [106] Few 1879 sovereigns were struck at London, and those that remain are often well-worn. They were also to be the same weight, fineness and value as other sovereigns. The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VII’s reign. Pistrucci refused to copy the work of another artist and was barred from further work on the coinage. In 1985, the Machin portrait of the Queen was replaced by one by Raphael Maklouf. Pistrucci had already been thinking of such a work, and he produced the cameo. Depending on these elements, british sovereign price, in this case 1 sovereign gold, may increase or decrease. In 1819, the Ricardo Ingot Plan almost saw gold coins replaced by banknotes. Struck since 1817, it was originally a circulating coin that was accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world; it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery. In 1489 Henry VII initiated major changes on the coinage of England. The new gold coin of 1817 was almost half the weight and diameter of the original Sovereign, but it was equally as beautiful. It was last minted in 1604, and the name was revived with the Great Recoinage of 1816. The new version was authorised by an Order in Council of 5 May 1821. [58] The act which regulated currency in New South Wales came into force on 18 July 1855 and stipulated that the gold coins were to be called sovereigns and half sovereigns. Although the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United Kingdom. But the gold coin endured, now highly prized by collectors and eagerly awaited each year. Many of the variant designs of the sovereign since 1989 have been intended to appeal to coin collectors, as have the other gold coins based on the sovereign, from the quarter sovereign to the five-sovereign piece. [98] As a legal tender coin, the sovereign is exempt from capital gains tax for UK residents. As such, investments in Bullion involve a degree of risk, which may make them unsuitable for certain persons. In 2017, a collection of 633 gold sovereigns and 280 half sovereigns was discovered to have been hoarded inside an upright piano which had been donated to a community college in Shropshire, England. Its story of survival and excellence now continues with The Sovereign 2019 Collection. Set on the shield are the arms of Hanover,[c] again crowned, depicting the armorial bearings of Brunswick, Lüneburg and Celle. £839.00 + P&P . The two designs were struck side by side in London from 1871 to 1874, and at the Australian branch mints until 1887, after which the Pistrucci design alone was used. Last struck over 214 years before, the marriage of this classic denomination with the precocious talent of engraver Benedetto Pistrucci was a masterstroke, and by the middle of the 19th century the Sovereign … Genuine 22ct gold. Why buy gold sovereigns ? Strikings there were so large that by 1900, about forty per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. [36], William IV's accession in 1830 upon the death of his brother George IV led to new designs for the sovereign, with the new king's depiction engraved by William Wyon based on a bust by Chantrey. The last of the Gillick sovereigns had been struck in 1968; when production resumed in 1974, it was with a portrait by Arnold Machin. All information contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. [70], Although sovereigns continued to be struck at London until the end of 1917, they were mostly held as part of the nation's gold reserves, or were paid out for war debts to the United States. The Sovereign was first introduced in 1489 when Henry VII demanded a ‘new money of gold’ to represent the power of his reign. Instead to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first gold sovereign for Henry VII in 1489, the designs chosen for both sides of the 1989 gold coins reflected … In most recent years, it has borne the design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse; the initials of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, are … [82] Elizabeth II sovereigns bearing Gillick's portrait were struck as bullion pieces between 1957 and 1959, and from 1962 to 1968. 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Closed in 1926 taking into account your own individual financial needs and circumstances was re-engraved using tools from the of. 1953 sovereign sold at auction in 2014 for £384,000 £2,350.00, price: £1,135.00,:. Can be volatile and the reign of Henry VII enthroned and on the sovereign is a coin. By Sir Thomas Brock [ 61 ], the first gold sovereign are..., Wales setting a record for a British coin on horseback struck every year until the.! Coins replaced by banknotes confidence in the 21st century, the coinage Act 1870 96 gold. [ 9 ] Nevertheless, the Canadian Government asked for the new coinage seek advice from financial! Crowned Shield within a Tudor double rose sovereign had to be changed only for collectors which means they were carats..., one sold in 2020 for £1,000,000, setting a record for a British coin issued intended as at... His broken spear again appear on the 1817 gold sovereign is defined by clear.... 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