The King George V sovereign gold coin
The obverse of the coin portrays King George V, son of King Edward VII and grandson of Queen Victoria. Born in 1865, he acceded to the throne in 1910 and reigned until his death in 1936. King George V ruled during a great world upheaval and a fundamental change in the world order. It was a period marked by the devastating First World War, the rise of socialism, communism and fascism, and two global depressions. The First World War dealt a major blow to Britain’s economy, left almost 800,000 dead, and drained the country of resources. This was followed by post-war stagnation that lingered on until the Great Depression and significantly undermined Britain’s hegemony as an Empire. Britain’s relations with its possessions went likewise through major changes when King George V, in 1926, hosted a conference in London, at which self-governing status was granted to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. King George V was perceived as an inspiring leader. He made over 400 visits to the troops at the front during the war, and also pressed for more equality and promoted family values and customs.