British Gold Coins.

The sovereign is an English gold coin that is one of the four types of English gold coins. However, it is the sovereign who remains the most present. For a diameter of 22mm and a weight of around 8 grams, the coin can also be found as a two-sovereign coin (which weighs around double), the five-sovereign coin and the half-sovereign coin (whose diameter is 19mm).

Created in 1817 to replace the old English gold currency which was the guinea, the gold sovereign dates from the time of George III. For information, a sovereign was worth 20 shillings, while a guinea was worth 21 shillings. Despite its disappearance for the benefit of the sovereign, the guinea remained for a long time as a currency of account, often replacing the pound for some English people. 

English Gold Coins history- Guineas, Sovereigns, Britannias, Beasts…

  • Five guineas (issued by the Royal Mint between 1668 and 1753)
  • Third guinea (issued by the Royal Mint between 1797 and 1813)
  • Two guineas (issued by the Royal Mint between 1664 and 1768)
  • Guinea (issued by the Royal Mint between 1663 and 1814)
  • Half guinea (issued by the Royal Mint between 1669 and 1816)
  • Five sovereigns (also known as the five-pounds coin)
  • five-pounds coin Una and the Lion (issued by the Royal Mint in 1839 and 2019 – 2020)
  • Double sovereign (issued since 1817, major revision)
  • Sovereign (issued since 1817, major revision)
  • Half sovereign (issued since 1817, major revision)
  • Quarter sovereign (issued by the Royal Mint since 2009)
  • Britannia (issued by the Royal Mint since 1987)
  • Lunar Series (issued by the Royal Mint since 2014)
  • The Queen’s Beasts (issued by the Royal Mint since 2016)

The British Sovereign gold coin.

The British Sovereign is a secure, safe, respected and recognized medium of exchange worldwide for over 500 years. The British Gold Sovereigns are official coins minted by English Royalty and have been issued for both Kings and Queens since they were first minted to honor Henry VII in 1489.  Gold Sovereigns are exempt from Capital Gains Tax due to their status as British legal tender, and UK investment gold is VAT-free. This makes these coins one of the most popular choices among UK investors.

The British Sovereign is recognized as a foundation of the Tudor Dynasty. British Sovereign Kings are larger and guaranteed .2354 troy ounces of pure gold. They offer many advantages unmatched by modern gold coins.

British Sovereigns are private gold, and non-reportable when you buy or sell. British Sovereigns are private, portable, with instant liquidity. British Sovereigns 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. The British Sovereigns classic design features the bust of the reigning King or Queen in the year they were minted. The reverse displays the mythical “Saint George slaying the dragon” design by Benedetto Pistrucci. Call now to secure your stock market crash insurance.

The History of the Sovereign Coin.

The gold sovereign came into existence in 1489 under King Henry VII, with a value of one pound sterling. The obverse design showed the King (i.e. sovereign) seated facing on a throne … and it is from this image that the new coin gained its name – the sovereign. The reverse type is a shield on a large double Tudor rose. Sovereigns were then struck for Henry VIII, and for most monarchs until the first coinage of James I.

In 1816, there was a major change in the British coinage, powered by the Industrial Revolution. The Royal Mint moved from The Tower of London to new premises on nearby Tower Hill, and acquired powerful new steam powered coining presses designed by Matthew Boulton and James Watt. The reverse design was introduced featuring Saint George slaying a dragon, designed by a brilliant young Italian engraver, Benedetto Pistrucci. This beautiful classic design remains on our gold sovereigns today, almost two hundred years later. The specifications have also remained unchanged: 7.9881 grams of 917 fine (22 kt) gold, 22.05 mm. diameter.

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.

No new sovereigns were issued for circulation until 1957, although sovereigns were included in the George VI proof set of 1937 which was available for collectors, and sovereigns were also minted but not issued for Edward VIII in 1937, and for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

From 1957, bullion sovereigns were issued almost every year until 1968, then not until 1974 when regular production was restarted. In 1979, an annual proof version was issued, and this practice continues to the present. In 1989, a special 500th Anniversary commemorative design was produced, inspired by the very first gold sovereign of 1489, showing H.M. Queen Elizabeth II seated facing on a throne.

For 2002, a shield was used on the reverse for just one year to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and then the design reverted to the classic St. George slaying the dragon by Pistrucci.

By Alexandre Laurent

Alexandre Laurentl is working in the jewelry and investment gold since 2002. Alexandre graduated from The Normandy School of Business and from the University of Perpignan a Bachelor of economics in 1995.

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