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British Gold Sovereign

Gold Sovereigns are very popular gold bullion coins for investment. Here’s a quick buyer’s guide that can help you learn more information about British Sovereign gold coins that are sold by precious metal dealers as a gold bullion product.

British Gold Sovereign Characteristics

Technical Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.988 grams.
  • Thickness: 1.52 millimeters.
  • Diameter: 22.05 millimeters.
  • Fineness: 91.667% gold, 8.333% alloy.
  • Gold Content: 0.235 troy ounces, or 113.002 grains.
(Note: These figures are rounded to three decimal places to reflect rounding methods used to calculate fineness.)

Design History:

Obverse: The British Sovereign features a portrait of the current monarch who reigned during the time of the coin’s manufacture.

Reverse: The Sovereign has used two main reverse designs throughout its long history. The original reverse design included a shield and crown motif that was used on minor coins that was augmented with a heraldic wreath around the shield. This design was used from 1489 until 1816.

This design was replaced by a stunning portrait of Saint George killing a dragon that was engraved by Italian medalist Benedetto Pistrucci in 1817. This design is seen on the reverses of most British gold sovereigns minted from 1817 until now. However, other reverse designs have been created during the reigns of King William IV, Queen Victoria, King George IV, and Queen Elizabeth II to mark special occasions.

British Gold Sovereign History

The British Sovereign’s history can be traced back to 1489 when King Henry VII produced the first Sovereigns as “units” that represented the “real” value of one pound sterling. The coin was later minted off and on until the reign of James I as “accounting” pieces that were used by merchants for large transactions.

The Sovereign as we know it today was first minted in 1817 at the London Mint during the reign of George IV. It was minted in great quantities for commerce purposes from 1817 until 1916. Branch mints in Bombay, India, Ottawa, Canada, and Pretoria, South Africa produced many Sovereigns. Moreover, Australian mints in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney also produced Sovereigns. These branch mint coins may be distinguished by small letters called mintmarks that represent where the coin was manufactured.

Modern production of Sovereigns began in 1957. These coins are generally available in Uncirculated condition. These coins are generally preferred by gold bullion investors because they have no wear or serious abrasions that could cause the weight of the coin to drop significantly.

Modern production of Proof Sovereigns was started by the London Mint in 1979 to satisfy collector demands for “perfect” examples of these coins. These gorgeous coins feature deep, reflective surfaces and frosty design elements that are produced by striking specially produced coin blanks several times to bring out the most delicate elements of the coin’s design.

Where to buy British Sovereigns

You can purchase British Sovereigns like these from the following reputable dealers:

GovMint.com : this established U.S.- based dealer features a great selection of gold Sovereigns that are available in Uncirculated condition. They also have a fine selection of Proof Sovereigns that offer collectors and bullion investors an outstanding value.

Londonmintoffice.com: This U.K. coin dealer offers modern examples of gold Sovereigns at fair prices. Moreover, the firm’s quick order processing time ensures you will receive you order quickly.

Perthmint.com: The Perth Mint offers a great selection of modern gold Sovereigns that were minted in Perth. Collectors will enjoy buying these coins from the Perth Mint because each order is backed by the Australian Government’s commitment to providing outstanding customer service.