British Sovereign Gold Coins

Buy gold Sovereign coins from Suisse Gold carries a full range of British Sovereign gold coins, including full Sovereigns, half Sovereigns, double Sovereigns, current year and backyear sovereigns, and proof sovereigns. Individual and wholesale Sovereigns are available. British gold Sovereigns can be purchased for worldwide delivery or secure Swiss bullion storage.

A History of Sovereign Coins

The British Sovereign coin has a long and rich history, and it has been issued several times throughout history with different, yet very similar, coin depictions with each new iteration.

The Sovereign was first struck in 1489 when Henry VII noticed a massive influx of gold from West Africa during Britain’s expansion and colonization period in the region. However, this first iteration of the coin wasn’t used as currency as most original bullion coins were. It was far too large to make practical sense at the time. Instead, the original Sovereigns were struck and handed to dignitaries and other high-profile individuals as tokens and symbols of status.

In the 1600s, that would change.

In 1603, the year James I became the British monarch, James I had the Sovereign re-struck; this time, as a currency valued at 1-pound.

However, as James I claimed Scotland, France, and Ireland for Britain, the coin changed in terms of value and size. Notably, it became a 20-shilling piece. Finally, the last iteration under James I was changed to be named the Unite. This was symbolic of Britain, Scotland, and Ireland becoming united under the British monarchy, and it remained the version of the Sovereign circulated for quite some time.

In the 1660s, the Sovereign made yet another return as the Royal Mint turned to more mechanized means of production. However, it was not called the Sovereign. It was instead nicknamed the Guinea, and the name stuck throughout the entirety of this iteration. Notably, the value of this piece changed over time. While it started as a 20-shilling piece, the increase in gold prices, and the coin's pure-gold nature, made the value climb to 21 shillings plus 6 pence. At one point, it grew to 27 shillings. However, the mint and the government set the standard to 21 shillings and did not allow the fluctuation in price to continue.

Today's version of the gold sovereign was first released in 1817, and the coin has recently celebrated its bicentennial. The coin is no longer used as official currency, and has not been since Britain gave up the gold standard. However, these are still official gold coins manufactured by the Royal Mint with investment grade bullion status, and they are incredibly popular with investors due to both their size and their history.  

Design of the Gold Sovereign Coin

The design of the gold Sovereign coin is extremely intricate. While the design of the Sovereign has changed several times over its long lifespan, the modern version is still highly reminiscent of the designs recorded throughout history.

On the obverse, Queen Elizabeth II is featured in a regal right-facing portrait. While the current issued coins feature Queen Elizabeth II, the older issue sovereign feature a portrait of the ruling monarch in the year they were minted. The other leaders that appear on the coins are King George III, King George V,  and Queen Victoria.

With the exception of several special edition coins, one of the most commonly used reverses for the Sovereign features St. George and the dragon; this is a Pistrucci design that is well-known on more than just bullion coins. 

Investing in Gold Sovereigns

Investing in gold Sovereign is easy with Suisse Gold. Sovereigns can be purchased individually, in lots of 20 or in lots of 50. Payment is accepted in 15 international currencies, and secure vault storage or worldwide delivery are also available to all clients.

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