The sovereign was unique among coins in that it had no denomination, or currency value printed on the coin. Its value was tied to the pound Sterling, which was tied to the gold standard of £3/17s/10 1/2d for a standard ounce of gold. It contained one pound’s (£1) worth of gold (20 shillings), or, 22 carat gold weighing 0.2354 troy oz, a fraction under 1/4 oz. For this reason, it rapidly became an accepted and preferred means of payment by the various merchants around the world, such as the Chinese silk traders, American tobacco sellers and Indian spice merchants.
When the price of gold rose in the 1920s, the gold in sovereigns was worth more than the coin’s face value. This value rose to 28 shillings in 1932. In 1931 general production of sovereigns ceased worldwide, and 1933 was the first time in more than 100 years that no sovereigns were produced anywhere in the Empire.
Gold coins of Australia (1852 to 1931) were also struck from 22ct gold. The 1852 Adelaide Pound, Australia’s first gold coin, has an actual gold weight of 8.68 grams (Type 1) or 8.81 grams (Type 2). Australian Gold Sovereigns struck between 1855 and 1870 feature the “Sydney Mint” design. From 1871 through 1931, Imperial Sovereigns minted in Australia are identical to those struck elsewhere, except for the distinctive Sydney (S), Melbourne (M) or Perth (P) Mintmark. Australian Sovereigns are the rarest and most sought-after Sovereigns in the world today, with institutions such as Rothschilds in London taking the time to piece together a complete collection.
Sovereign Gold Coins are recognized worldwide and have been used as “emergency money” for decades. Allied World War II pilots carried British Gold Sovereigns in their survival kits. Even in Desert Storm, American pilots and British SAS troops carried these historic gold coins as their emergency money in case they were downed in Iraqi territory. Genuine Sovereign gold coins are private, portable, and offer you instant liquidity worldwide.
Gold Sovereign Mintages, from 1817 to Present.
Mintage figures do not always act as a guide to rarity for gold sovereigns, other factors must also be taken into account.
For example, in 1893 the Royal Mint undertook a policy of “continuous re-coinage” which meant old, worn and damaged sovereigns were “recycled” into new coins. Also in the 1930’s, the United States, having made ownership of foreign gold coins illegal, melted down and made into gold bars the huge volume of sovereigns it received from Britain and the Commonwealth countries as payment for supplies and munitions during World War I.
King George III gold sovereign.
King George IV Laureate Head gold sovereign.
|Sovereign coins 1821||9,405,114||Rare|
|Sovereign coins 1822||6,356,787|
|Sovereign coins 1823||616,770|
|Sovereign coins 1824||3,767,904|
|Sovereign coins 1825||4,200,343 *|
King George IV Bare Head gold sovereign.
|Sovereign coins 1825||*Included In Above||Rare|
|Sovereign coins 1826||5,724,046||450|
|Sovereign coins 1827||2,266,629|
|Sovereign coins 1828||386,182|
|Sovereign coins 1829||2,444,652|
|Sovereign coins 1830||2,387,881|
King William IV gold sovereign.
Queen Victoria Young Head Shield gold sovereign.
The Royal Mint issued the Shield Back gold sovereign from 1838 to 1887. Most of them have been melted down to produce new coins. In fact, it’s quite difficult to find this coin well preserved. The Melbourne and Sydney branches produced this shield back sovereign from 1871 to 1887. Gold Sovereign Victoria (Young Head – Shield Back)
|Sovereign coins 1838||2,718,694||Rare|
|Sovereign coins 1839||503,695||1,230|
|Die Numbers Introduced|
Queen Victoria Young Head St George gold sovereign.
The first portrait for Queen Victoria was the “Young Head”, which was used on sovereigns from 1838 to 1887 inclusive. It was refined and modified a number of times during this period. In the case of Shield reverse, the date appears below Victoria’s portrait (With the St George reverse, the date appears on the reverse. )
Queen Victoria”Young Head” St George Gold Sovereigns, Volume and Mint
|Sovereign coins 1871 Proof (1)||Extremely Rare|
|Sovereign coins 1871||8,767,250||2,814,000|
|Sovereign coins 1872||13,486,708||1,815,000||748,180|
|Sovereign coins 1873||2,368,215||1,478,000||752,199 (1)|
|Sovereign coins 1874||520,713||1,899,000 (1)||1,373,298|
|Gold Full sovereign 1875||2,122,000||1,888,405 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereign 1876||3,318,866 (1)||1,613,000 (1)||2,124,445 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereign 1877||1,590,000||1,487,316 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereign 1878||1,091,275 (1)||1,259,000||2,171,457 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereign 1879||20,013 (1)||1,366,000||2,740,594 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereign 1880||3,650,080 (1)||1,459,000||3,053,454|
|Gold Full sovereign 1881||1,360,000||2,234,800|
|Gold Full sovereign 1882||1,298,000||2,465,781|
|Gold Full sovereign 1883||1,108,000||2,050,450|
|Gold Full sovereign 1884||1,769,635 (1)||1,595,000||2,942,630|
|Gold Full sovereign 1885||717,723 (1)||1,486,000||2,967,143|
|Gold Full sovereign 1886||1,667,000||2,902,131|
|Gold Full sovereign 1887||1,000,000||1,916,424|
Introduction of St George Reverse, mintage figures indicate total for both types issued, no separate figures were kept. London only issued both types until 1874 whilst the branch mints continued until 1887
Queen Victoria Jubilee Head gold sovereign.
A special Sovereign was issued for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. This was a little staider and more conventional than the Young Head Sovereign. This was struck at both the London and the Australian mints. Queen Victoria ” Jubilée Head ” Gold Sovereigns. Gold Victoria Jubilee Head Sovereign coins
|Gold Full sovereign 1887 Proof||797||Extremely Rare|
|Gold Full sovereign 1887||1,111,280||1,002,000||940,000|
|Gold Full sovereign 1888||2,777,424||2,187,000||2,830,612|
|Gold Full sovereign 1889||7,267,455||3,262,000||2,732,590|
|Gold Full sovereign 1890||6,529,887||2,808,000||2,473,537|
|Gold Full sovereign 1891||6,329,476||2,596,000||2,749,592|
|Gold Full sovereign 1892||7,104,720||2,837,000||3,488,750|
|Gold Full sovereign 1893||1,498,000||1,649,352|
Queen Victoria Veiled Head gold sovereign.
The Victoria “Older Head” or “Veiled Head” Sovereigns had an elegant head engraved on her sovereigns and this was used until her death in 1901. In 1896, Queen Victoria became the longest reigning Monarch in English History. This event was put off at her request until 1897 to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee. Victoria Veiled Head Gold Sovereign
|Gold Full sovereigns 1893 Proof||773||Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1893||6,898,260||1,346,000||1,914,400||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1894||3,782,611||3,067,000||4,166,874||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1895||2,285,317||2,758,000||4,165,869||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1896||3,334,065||2,544,000||4,456,932||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1897||2,532,000||5,130,565||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1898||4,361,347||2,548,000||5,509,138||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1899||7,515,978||3,259,000||5,579,157||694,937|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1900||10,845,741||3,586,000||4,305,904||1,927,484|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1901||1,578,948||3,012,000||3,987,701||2,969,947|
King Edward VII gold sovereign.
The Sovereign had a value of £1 sterling (the equivalent at the time of the value of the gold in the coin.) Each coin weighed 0.2354 troy oz just under ¼ of an ounce. Edward VII Sovereigns were minted from Queen Victorias Death until 1910.
The Australian Sovereigns bore the usual mintmarks of S for Sydney, M for Melbourne and P for Perth. The Gold Sovereign was popular in commerce in all countries where the British traded. Edward VII Gold Sovereigns
|Gold Full sovereigns 1902 Proof||15,123||Extremely Rare||Extremely Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1902||4,737,796||2,813,000||4,267,157||4,254,861|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1903||8,888,627||2,806,000||3,521,780||4,678,569|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1904||10,041,369||2,986,000||3,743,897||4,596,205|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1905||5,910,403||2,778,000||3,633,838||4,854,698|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1906||10,466,981||2,792,000||3,657,853||4,803,230|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1907||18,458,663||2,539,000||3,332,691||5,028,807|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1908||11,729,006||2,017,000||3,080,148||4,926,537||633 (1)|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1909||12,157,099||2,057,000||3,029,538||4,526,270||16,300*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1910||22,379,624||2,135,000||3,054,547||5,646,049||28,020*|
King George V gold sovereign.
Struck between 1911 and 1936, this George V gold coin reached 123 million copies produced. Like all sovereigns, this gold coin weighs 7.99 grams for 22 mm in diameter, its fine gold titration is 917‰. This currency was minted in the workshops of London, Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth), Ottawa in Canada and South Africa and finally India. George V Gold Sovereign Coins
|Gold Full sovereigns 1911 Proof||3,764||Extremely Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1911||30,044,105||2,519,000||2,851,451||3,413,474||257,048|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1912||30,317,921||2,227,000||2,469,257||4,390,672|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1913||24,539,672||2,249,000||2,323,180||4,689,749||3,717*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1914||11,501,117||1,774,000||2,012,029||4,771,657||14,900*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1915||20,295,280||1,346,000||1,637,839||4,334,135|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1916||1,554,120||1,242,000||1,272,634||4,107,705||6,119 *|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1917||1,014,714||1,667,000||934,469||4,116,840||58,875*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1918||3,716,000||4,969,493 (1)||3,725,961||106,570||1,294,352|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1919||1,835,000||514,257||2,852,156||135,957|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1920||360,000||530,266||2,533,542|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1921||839,000||240,121||2,320,530|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1922||578,000||608,306||2,256,187|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1923 Proof||655*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1923||416,000||511,129||2,129,026||719*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1924||394,000||278,140||1,428,984||2,660*|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1925||3,520,000 (2)||5,632,000||3,311,662||1,868,007||6,086,624|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1926||1,031,050||211,107||1,297,625||11,107,611|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1927||310,156||1,305,420||16,379,704|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1928||413,208||1,399,102||18,235,057|
(2) See George VI bullion issues for additional numbers
|Gold Full sovereigns 1929||436,938 (3)||1,588,350||12,024,107|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1930||77,588||1,773,914||10,027,756|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1931||57,809||1,173,567||8,511,792|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1932||1,066,680|
King George VI gold sovereign.
King George VI gold sovereigns were minted between 1937 and 1952. The coin features the portrait of King George VI on the obverse and the classic St. George and the Dragon design on the reverse. Like all sovereigns, the coin weighs 7.99 grams with a diameter of 22 mm and a fine gold content of 917‰. The mintage figures for King George VI sovereigns vary depending on the year and mint, with some issues being quite rare. The London mint and several other branches, including Australia, South Africa, and Canada, produced these gold coins.
|1937 (sovereigns 1925 restrikes)||5,501|
|1949 (sovereigns 1925 restrikes)||138,000 (1)|
|1951 (sovereigns 1925 restrikes)||430,000 (1)|
|1952 (sovereigns 1925 restrikes)||318,000 (1)|
Queen Elizabeth II gold sovereign.
In 1957 the Royal Mint began producing gold sovereigns again to meet world demand and stop counterfeit production which had become rife since the Royal Mint had stopped production in 1917. They were not however reintroduced into everyday circulation. Prior to 1979 only gold bullion coins had been issued and it was in this year that the first gold proof sovereigns were issued. Between the years of 1983 and 1999 the Royal mint ceased producing gold bullion sovereigns and only minted gold proof sovereigns. Gold bullion sovereigns were re-introduced in 2000.
Queen Elizabeth II Young Head gold sovereign.
|Gold Full sovereigns 1953||None for Collectors|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1957||2,072,000||Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1958||8,700,140||Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1959||1,358,228||Rare|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1962||3,000,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1963||7,400,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1964||3,000,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1965||3,800,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1966||7,050,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1967||5,000,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1968||4,203,000|
Queen Elizabeth II Decimal Portrait gold sovereign.
|Gold Full sovereigns 1974||5,002,566||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1976||4,045,0056||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1978||6,550,000||0|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1979||9,100,000||50,000|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1980||5,100,000||91,200|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1981||5,000,000||32,960|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1982||2,950,000||22,250|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1983||0||21,250|
|Gold Full sovereigns 1984||0||19,975|
Arnold Machin Obverse.
Queen Elizabeth II Third Portrait gold sovereign.
|Year||No Bullion Issues||Proof|
Raphael Maklouf Obverse.
Queen Elizabeth II Old Head gold sovereign.
Production at the Royal Mint stopped in 1917, although some were minted again in 1925. The branch mints continued to produce sovereigns, Ottawa in Canada until 1919, Bombay in India in 1918, Sydney Australia until 1926, Melbourne and Perth Australia until 1931, and Pretoria South Africa until 1932.
The Gold Sovereign is a highly collectable investment coin. Introduced in Britain in 1489 at the request of King Henry VII, the modern version first appeared in 1817 featuring the now iconic image of St George slaying the dragon engraved on the reverse. Today’s sovereign contains 0.235421 ounces (7.315 grams)of gold and is sought after the world over.
History of the Sovereign from 1489 to the modern day.
The first gold sovereign was struck in 1489 for the then King Henry VII. It depicted Henry VII on the obverse and a Tudor rose and the royal shield on the reverse. No value was shown on the coin. Sovereigns continued to be issued by monarchs up until the end of Elizabeth I’s reign in 1603. The name sovereign is thought to originate from the fact that the reigning sovereign always appeared on the obverse of the coin. The name was also thought to derive from the fact that Henry VII wanted to demonstrate Britain’s power and splendour.
The first modern Sovereign.
Pistrucci’s George and Dragon design
Pistrucci‘s original sketch depicted the Saint George and Dragon design, which would later feature on the reverse of the sovereign. The design shows Saint George on horseback, with his left hand holding the horse’s bridle and his right hand wielding a sword. He wears minimal armor, with only his lower legs and feet protected, and a helmet that has a plume of hair flowing behind on early issues. The knight is cloaked in a chlamys, which is fastened by a fibula, and his right shoulder has a balteus for suspending the gladius, the sword he grasps. Surprisingly, Saint George is depicted as naked except for the armor, which John Ruskin, an art critic, later found odd. The horse appears to be both attacking and retreating from the dragon, which is wounded by the knight’s spear and is shown in its death throes.
The sovereign is a gold coin that replaced the guinea, and Pistrucci‘s design was adopted for its reverse. Originally, the design featured the saintly knight carrying a broken spear, but this was later changed to a sword, and the plume of hair behind George’s helmet was removed in 1821. The design was modified several times in later years, with the plume being restored, modified, and eliminated at various points.
Pistrucci’s design is in the Neoclassical style, which was popular in London at the time. He may have been influenced by the Elgin Marbles, which were on display from 1807 and which he likely saw soon after arriving in London. The sovereign’s design is unique among British coins of the 19th century in that it does not feature a heraldic design, as Pole wanted it to look distinct from the guinea.
Gold sovereigns were re-introduced as legal tender in 1817 as part of a major coin reform led by the then Master of the Royal Mint, William Wellesley Pole. A young Italian engraver, Benedetto Pistrucci, was appointed to create the reverse design of the new sovereign coming up with the beautiful image of St George slaying the dragon. This design has seen many alterations over the years but is essentially the same. As a testament to its greatness, it still appears on sovereigns today. Other reverse designs have at times been used during the reigns of William IV, Victoria, George IV and Elizabeth II. A royal shield design, as used on the first sovereign of 1489, has often been used in various different formats. The obverse of the sovereign followed the trend established for the original sovereigns and portrayed an image of the reigning monarch which remains the case even today.
The gold sovereign in Circulation years (1817–1914)
Gold sovereigns were withdrawn from circulation at the start of World War I in 1914 although production continued at the Royal Mint until 1917. They however continued to be produced in other mints of the British Empire but at lower quantities than before. Sovereigns not produced at the Royal Mint in London carry a mintmark to show which mint they were produced in. Production of sovereigns in other mints stopped in 1932.
To celebrate the 500th anniversary, a special 500 commemorative design was produced, showing Queen Elizabeth II seated facing on a throne. This was only issued as a proof and demand has grown steadily over the past few years, because as a single-date type coin, it is in demand by both date collectors and type collectors.
2005 – New Modernistic design.
In 2005, the Royal Mint issued another new sovereign designed by Timothy Noad a herald painter at the Royal College of Arms actually a modernistic version of Saint George slaying the dragon with the shield as a focal point. This coin was issued in both normal circulation (bullion) and proof versions for 2005 only
2007 – 2010.
The Royal Mint have used re-cut dies to take the design back almost two centuries to portray Pistrucci’s St. George and the dragon in its neo-Classical glory
Types of Sovereign.
Aside from the full sovereign, the Royal Mint today produces the following sovereigns in gold proof and gold bullion versions for general sale: quintuple (£5) sovereign, double (£2) sovereign, half sovereign and for the first time ever, 2009 saw the general release of a quarter sovereign.
Sovereign designs and dates.
|Monarch||Obverse design||Reverse design||Dates|
|George III||Laureate head||St George and the dragon||1817-1820|
|George IV||Laureate head||St George and the dragon||1821-1825|
|George IV||Bare head||Shield||1825-1830|
|William IV||Bare head||Shield||1831-1833, 1835-1837|
|Victoria||Young Head||Shield||1838-1839, 1841-1866, 1868-1887|
|Victoria||Young Head||St George and the dragon||1871-1887|
|Victoria||Jubilee Head||St George and the dragon||1887-1893|
|Victoria||Old Head||St George and the dragon||1893-1901|
|Edward VII||Bare head||St George and the dragon||1902-1910|
|George V||First Type (large head)||St George and the dragon||1911-1928|
|George V||Second Type (small head)||St George and the dragon||1929-1932|
|George VI||Bare head||St George and the dragon||1937 coronation proof set only|
|Elizabeth II||First portrait||St George and the dragon||1957-1959, 1962-1968|
|Elizabeth II||Second portrait||St George and the dragon||1974, 1976, 1978-1984|
|Elizabeth II||Third portrait||St George and the dragon||1985-1988, 1990-1997|
|Elizabeth II||Sovereign portrait||Shield and Tudor rose||1989|
|Elizabeth II||Fourth portrait||St George and the dragon||1998-2001, 2003, 2004, 2006-2009|
|Elizabeth II||Fourth portrait||Shield||2002 Jubilee|
|Elizabeth II||Fourth portrait||Modern St George and the dragon||2005|
Technical specifications of modern sovereigns (post 1817)
|Quintuple sovereign||Double sovereign||Sovereign||Half Sovereign||Quarter sovereign|
|Purity||22 carat gold||22 carat gold||22 carat gold||22 carat gold||22 carat gold|
|Actual gold content (troy ounces)||1.1771||0.4708||0.2354||0.1177||0.0588|
Gold sovereigns, to invest or not to invest?
As one of the oldest coins in the world the British gold sovereign is highly sought after by both investors and numismatists alike. As with all gold coins, the price of sovereigns fluctuates with the price of gold due to the gold content of the coin. However, the price of sovereigns is not entirely based on its gold content alone. British gold sovereigns generally fetch a higher premium than the price of gold for the same gold content. For example, the 2009 gold proof sovereign retails at about £299 for 0.23 ounces of gold. The current price of an ounce of gold is around £680 therefore the price for 0.235 ounces is around the £160 mark. Therefore the 2009 sovereign is worth almost twice as much as the price of gold.
The premium of a sovereign obviously depends on its quality and whether it is easily available or not. Some sovereigns fetch a much higher premium than others.
Whilst there is no official grading system in existence, sovereigns are generally graded in the following manner in the UK:
- FDC/proof – perfect quality
- UNC – uncirculated
- EF – extra fine
- VF – very fine
- F – fine
Are older sovereigns worth more?
Whilst older sovereigns were produced in much larger quantities than those produced today it is much more difficult to source a good quality sovereign from these times. Sovereigns from the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV are extremely rare in good quality.
- EF quality coins can be found but are quite rare and as such would fetch a high premium.
- FDC and UNC coins are extremely rare for these periods and when sold fetch very high premiums.
A George IV sovereign from 1825 made £14950 in a sale in March 2004. Early Victorian shield sovereigns are also highly sought after and therefore an EF quality coin would fetch a high premium whilst extremely rare FDC and UNC coins would fetch incredibly high premiums. Later Victorian sovereigns are less rare than the earlier coins in good condition, however they are again fairly rare in top condition therefore sovereigns of UNC and FDC grade would fetch a high premium.
Edward VII and George V sovereigns are also fairly easy to obtain in EF condition and were produced in very large numbers so do not fetch such a high premium. As with later Victorian sovereigns, it is more difficult to find UNC and FDC grade coins and these would therefore fetch a higher premium.
No sovereigns were issued for Edward VIII; however, a few official pattern coins were produced. If any of these were ever to be sold, they would fetch an incredibly high price due to their extreme rarity.
During the reign of George VI, no sovereigns were issued apart from a very limited number of collectors sets to commemorate his coronation. This was a gold proof set and as such can be found today in FDC condition. This set would today fetch around double the price of a 2009 4-piece gold proof set.
When gold sovereigns were reintroduced during the reign of Elizabeth II, they were produced at much lower quantities than for other monarchs as they were no longer in everyday circulation. However, despite the fact that much fewer coins were produced they were all of FDC or UNC quality.
The majority of coins were released during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and are not difficult to find in top condition. For this reason, they fetch a lower premium than UNC or FDC coins from earlier periods, although they are still worth investing in as they do fetch a higher premium than the price of gold and are likely to become more sought after in the future.
Certain sovereigns are much rarer than others, some that are worth looking out for include:
- 1817 sovereign – the first modern sovereign and any other UNC or FDC coins from the reigns of George II, George IV and William IV (or even EF graded sovereigns from these periods),
- 1838 the first Queen Victoria sovereign,
- 1841 the rarest Queen Victoria sovereign,
- 1917 London minted sovereign (very few in existence as it was the year London stopped producing sovereigns)
- Elizabeth II sovereigns the 1989 special commemorative 500th anniversary sovereign.
British sovereigns are an excellent investment choice and will continue to be so. For as long as Britain keeps its currency, it seems inevitable that the Royal Mint will continue issuing sovereigns every year for collectors, investors and enthusiasts. However, if the UK joined the Euro would this signal the end for this iconic coin? If that were the case gold sovereigns would surely become more sought after than ever and consequently represent an even greater investment opportunity.
How to spot a fake.
Many fake sovereigns have been produced over the years. In order to avoid buying a fake you should always buy from a reputable source. We have however, created a list of key things to look out for to avoid buying a sovereign forgery:
- The feel of the coin – fakes are often very smooth or can have sharp edges
- Be wary of coins that are too shiny and where the details are blurred. It’s the sign that they have been cleaned and worn away some gold
- Dates – check for missing dates or check that sovereigns were actually produced in the year stated in the design shown
- Mintmarks – if there is no mintmark check that the London mint produced sovereigns in that year, if there is a mintmark check that the mint in question produced sovereigns in that year
- Weight, size and depth – check these correspond with official figure