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British Sovereign Gold Coin


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The British sovereign gold coin, created in 1489, was used as a worldwide currency by Great Britain and its colonies during the height of Britain’s colonial rule.

The original English gold sovereign coin was last produced in 1604 and featured images depicting the British Empire’s sovereign leader. Although no longer minted under that name, other countries have continued to produce versions of this historic gold coin with engravings specific to their country and time period.

Gold Sovereigns circulated widely outside the UK during much of the 19th century when Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were under British rule or influence. While trade dollars also minted by individual colonies are considered to be unofficial British-made trade coins, because they were struck in Britain from imported metal and used British designs, genuine gold sovereigns are considered to be true circulating currency.

Much about the Sovereign coin has changed throughout the years, but it’s markup on a jeweller’s scale is roughly the same. This makes identifying them relatively easy with the proper equipment (to a degree). It’s also easy to determine the spot value of the sovereign at any given time. This excludes any additional value a coin may have due to rarity, age, etc. 

The dimensions for all sovereigns minted since 1817 are as follows. Per the act of 1816 (56 George III chapter 68), they must be: – 7.988052 g / 7.98805 g weight after 1971 – 1.52 mm thick – 22.05 mm in diameter – 22-carat fineness – 7.322381 g or 1320/5607 troy ounces. Older coins may fall below this standard due to abrasion and handling. The alloys used in the production of sovereigns (alongside gold) are used to harden the coins and make them easier to handle, and more resistant to corrosion. This allows them to circulate for a long time, and the formula has rarely changed throughout history. Australian-made sovereigns have slightly different chemical compositions, using slightly more silver than coins minted at other locations. Similarly, some of the London-made sovereigns are more yellow in appearance than other coins thanks to their different chemical makeup.

Design of British Sovereign Gold Coins

The most significant design element of the British gold sovereign is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The image was created by sculptor Mary Gillick, whose signature appears on the obverse along with a London date mark that indicates when each coin was minted. During her reign, two different portraits were used for British sovereigns: one from 1953 to 1967 and another from 1968 to 1997. In 1998, English artist Ian Rank-Broadley began creating images for British sovereigns (His first design appeared on the Golden Jubilee commemorative series in 2002). Each new portrait has been accompanied by changes to nearly all other elements on its face.

Meanwhile, the reverse of British sovereigns has changed much less frequently. This side features St. George slaying a dragon in front of a castle (originally on Tower Hill) and holding the Queen’s royal shield. Near the bottom rim is another London mint date mark to indicate when each coin was struck at the Royal Mint facility in London.

Main Highlights of British Gold Sovereign Gold Coins  

  • Contains 0.2354 troy oz of .9167 fine gold.
  • Produced by the Royal Mint.
  • On the obverse, the coin depicts a bust from the reigning monarch when it was struck.
  • On the reverse, A rendition of St. George riding on horseback and slaying a dragon , designed by Benedetto Pistrucci.

Product Specifications of British Soverign Gold Coins

Specification  Details
Brand  The Royal Mint
Weight  7.99 grams
Purity 0.9167
Denomination $1 Sovereign
Thickness 1.52 mm
Diameter 22.05 mm
Made South Africa

Why Buy These Gold British Sovereign Coins?

These coins are all about the history and legacy that goes along with owning gold. They offer a piece of history, they are easy to resell for cash, and there is no better looking or feeling coin than one made from solid gold. These British Sovereign Gold Coins were produced in small quantities over many decades by a stable government, as opposed to most modern-day central banks who can print money out of thin air whenever they need to. As such, it is highly probable that these coins will always retain their value due to demand for them remaining constant. Due to this very reason they are also bought and sold on exchanges around the world every single year; making the price as competitive as you can get when buying precious metals at market rate.

You may also be interested in 1 oz British Britannia Gold Coin(RY), & 1/10 oz Gold Austrian Philharmonic Coins


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