Sovereigns are a gold coin for the United Kingdom. Even though they have a value of one-pound in sterling, often they are used in practice as bullion coins. Last minted back in 1604, its name is derived from an English sovereign. During the Great Recoinage of 1816, the name was given a revival. The new sovereigns went into mint during 1817. Due to the coin act of 1816, the gold content was set at a fixed level for each piece. Coin weight has remained consistent though today, but a couple of miniscule changes redefined the way in which the coin was weighed.
From 1817 to 1917, the sovereigns were placed into mint, as well as 1925 and from 1957 forward. India, Australia, South Africa and Canada occasionally produced these coins as well. Beyond the main sovereign, the Royal Mint also produced other coins for distribution. The only coins that were produced for circulation were the sovereign and the half-sovereign.
Physical Characteristics of the Sovereign
Initially, the reverse side of the coin had a crown and shield motif, which was supplemented on the coin with a heraldic wreath. Before this design came into play, it featured a portrait of Saint George slaying a dragon, and it featured an engraving by Benedetto Pistrucci. Even though this design is still widely used on all of the British sovereigns, there have been other reverse designs that were used throughout the reign of Elizabeth II, George IV, Victoria and William IV.
Up until World War I, the coins were produced in a substantial quality. It was during that time that the United Kingdom went away from the gold standard. From the point of World War I through 1932, the sovereign was only produced at a branch mint located within Pretoria, Ottawa, Perth, Bombay, Sydney or Melbourne. Some of the coins produced in 1925 were an attempt by Winston Churchill to return the coins to the standard of the United Kingdom. In 1932, the last regular coin was issued at Pretoria.
During 1957, the production of the coins began once again. They wanted to ensure there was no counterfeiting of the coin in Italy and Syria. Those in the Middle East actively sought to use the sovereigns as part of their foreign policy. Many felt that the coin needed to be protected from any of the disreputable individuals who currently received payment in sovereigns for any services that the British government received.
Sovereigns were kept in production the majority of the time as bullion through 1982. From that point on until 1999, only proof coins were placed into production. Since 2000, minting of the bullion sovereigns has taken place. All of these coins are produced inside of an area for precious metals, which is separated from the remainder of the Mint. The Mint in its entirety is protected with the Ministry of Defense Police.
Purchasing Your British Sovereign
Whenever an individual makes the decision to purchase one of these gorgeous coins, you need to make sure you purchase from a dealer that can provide you with the quality you seek. Don’t just grab a coin that seems like a great bargain, but rather take the time to purchase from a dealer with a reputation that precedes them. Making your purchase can be rather simple when you look to GovMint.com or GoldSilver.com for all of your precious coins.
If you have any questions, the staff is ready and willing to help ensure your overall experience is amazing. They want to make sure you get the coin you need, as well as confidence and reliability in a dealer. When you find a dealer you can trust, it helps make the whole buying process that much simpler. Take the time to browse through the selection and see what you can find for all of your gold buying needs.