The “Gold Sovereign” of Great Britain

The Modern Gold Bullion Family of Coins – Part 8

The Gold Sovereign of Great Britain


2018 Full Gold Sovereign (22ct). With its’ distinctive reddish-gold colour.


One of the most recognisable coins in the world, the British Gold Sovereign is manufactured by The Royal Mint, UK.

Commissioned and issued under the reign of King Henry VII in 1489, this coin was given the ultimate title, it was named after the Ruler himself, it was to be known as “The Sovereign”.


The Sovereign features the traditional St. George and the Dragon design on its reverse side, which was designed by Benedetto Pistrucci and has been used for just over 200 years.   Under the George and Dragon design, you will observe a tiny “BP” mark, this is currently always used to honour the creator of the design.

On the front (obverse) side of the coin is always a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning Monarch of Great Britain, 65 years and counting! (2018)  The current design was created by Jody Clarke of the Royal Mint, and again, a tiny “JC” mark can be seen underneath the Queen’s head.

The full Sovereign is struck in 22 carat gold and has a pure gold content of 7.322 grams.  It has a purity of 916.7 parts per 1000.  The reason for this slightly ‘lower’ gold content is because it is also mixed with copper to give it a unique rich reddish-gold colour.

The Gold Sovereign is available in different sizes.  The FULL Sovereign (introduced in 1489), the HALF Sovereign (introduced 1544),  QUARTER Sovereign (introduced 2009).  There are two other coins which are part of the Sovereign family, but are often overlooked, the DOUBLE Sovereign or Two Pounds (introduced 1820), and the FIVE Pounds (introduced 1820).


As with the Britannia, the Sovereign is extremely attractive to UK investors.  Because they haveBritish Legal Tender status, these gold coins are exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), making them a great investment for the future.


Of course, with a history dating back to 1489, a lot can happen in over 500 years, which means there is a lot of colourful history and interesting stories to tell about the Sovereign.  (Some of which will be covered in future posts !)


The Royal Mint website address is  :  https://www.royalmint.com/our-coins/ranges/sovereign

(Link takes you to the Gold Sovereign pages)

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