New sovereign are reddish and new Gold Sovereigns are more Yellow, Why?

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Newer gold sovereigns exhibit a more pronounced yellow hue compared to their older counterparts. This distinction arises from the shift in composition: post-2000 sovereigns incorporate a higher proportion of copper as the primary alloy, resulting in a rose gold appearance, whereas older sovereigns boasted a higher concentration of silver, lending them a more traditional yellow gold color. This disparity in coloration stems from the varying ratios of silver and copper within the coins.

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Additionally, alterations in manufacturing processes contribute to the divergence in appearance. Previously, up until the halting of the “pickling” method in 1983, sovereigns underwent a process involving sulfuric acid to eliminate surface copper ions, thereby preserving the classic golden hue. However, contemporary manufacturing eschews this practice, allowing the copper tint to persist. It’s worth noting that the pickling method, an ancient technique credited to the Romans, was primarily employed with silver to achieve a lustrous silver finish on coins with high copper content.

Despite these changes, both old and new sovereigns maintain the same gold content, adhering to the 22-karat gold standard (91.67% gold). The difference lies in the additional metals; older sovereigns contained approximately 4% silver alongside the gold, while modern counterparts employ copper as the sole alloy, contributing to their rose gold tint. Although some may prefer the pastel pink hue depicted in official advertising, the actual appearance of modern sovereigns remains rooted in their copper-rich composition.

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