Sunday, January 22, 2006

British Gold Sovereigns

British Gold Sovereigns have proven to be an excellent investment for the enthusiastic coin collector.

The very first gold sovereign came into existence in 1489 under King Henry VII.

This new coin weighed in at 240 grains which is equal to 0.5 troy ounces or 15.55 grams, and was made using the standard gold coinage alloy of 23 carat, equal to 95.83% fine.

The obverse or head, shows the king seated on a throne. This is from where the coin gained its name. The reverse shows a shield bearing the royal arms, on a large double Tudor Rose.

One of the principle reasons this coin was issues at the time was to compete with similar large coins being produced and used in Europe and to ensure that Europe was impressed with the Tudor dynasty.

Large double and treble sovereigns were issued for Henry the VII also.

Sovereigns have been produced on a regular basis since then right up to those currently being produced by the British Royal Mint.

The British Gold Sovereign, distinct from the English sovereigns, was minted from 1911 to 1935 and was designed by Benetto Pestrucci. No longer minted, they are becoming rarer each year. They weight in at 7.9881 grams and are composed of .917 troy ounces of gold and .083 troy ounces of copper. The copper is added to give strength and durability. The gold content is therefore 0.2354 troy ounces. They are 22mm in diameter with a reeded edge.

Often called "kings", the British Gold Sovereign has been considered one of the world’s most popular coins and were often included in the survival kits of American Pilots during the second world war. Soldiers in Iraq have been known to carry them also.

The demand for brilliant Uncirculated "Kings" means that the value of the coins is generally higher than the gold value they contain.

The British Royal Mint continues to strike sovereigns and offers proof sets of sovereigns of varying types.

Whether you are looking to collect the early English Sovereigns or the very popular British Gold Sovereigns, it is for sure that you will have a fascinating time and many hours of pleasure with your British Gold Sovereigns.

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