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The British Sovereign Gold Coin - Quick Stats

19 Mar 2019 - Quick Coin Facts


Quick Fact Sheet on the British Sovereign Gold Coin

The British Sovereign gold coin is an ancient valuable collector’s coin that dates back to the 15th century when King Henry VII was still ruling over England. For centuries, the British Sovereign gold coins were used as the official currency in Great Britain until in 1913, during world war one when the gold standard was abandoned in favor of fiat currencies.

Today, the British Sovereign gold coin is counted among the top bullion coins in the world and is considered the most historically significant gold coin, something that can be attributed to its age and origins. They have been in existence for over 5 centuries.

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Brief history and some quick facts on the British Sovereign Gold Coins


British Sovereign gold coins are still in production as of today with the difference being that they are now produced as bullion coins which are purely for investment. They are also considered to be Numismatic or collectors coins.


Historically, the British Sovereign gold coins were minted by the Royal Canadian, Australian and Indian Mint. Today, they are minted by the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom. The British sovereign gold coins have been minted from the year 1817 up to today. The UK Royal Mint has the sole responsibility of producing such bullion and collectors coins within the UK.


The British Sovereign Gold Coins are standardized when it comes to their weight. The coins have a mass of 7.98805g and contain .2354 troy ounces of pure gold giving them a face value of 1 pound sterling.

Coin Obverse

The mint marks on the front of the current coins feature the face of Queen Elizabeth the second, who is currently the reigning British Monarch. Previous versions of the coins had the images of King Edward VII, King George V, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth the first as the front side will always feature the reigning British Monarch. One other distinctive feature on the coin’s front side is the name of the current British Monarch that is written close to the edges in a circle around the head on the coin.

Coin Reverse

The rear design exclusively features the work of renowned designer Benedetto Pistrucci. This design has been at the back of the coins since they were first minted back in 1817. The design is a depiction of the cleric, St George killing a dragon which is names St George and the Dragon.

A Brief History of the British Sovereign Gold Bullion Coin

The British Sovereign Gold Coins are not only the oldest collector’s coins but also the most historically relevant. The current sovereign coins were first minted back in 1817, more than two centuries ago. However, the coins first came into existence in 1485 during the reign of King Henry VII. When King Henry VII first minted the coins, they were worth 20 shillings. By the time of King James's reign starting in 1604, production of the coins was suspended, a suspension that lasted until 1817 when King George III was anointed. Before the production resumed in 1817,  the Coin Act was passed. The Coin Act fixed the gold content in gold sovereigns at 0.235420 troy ounces (7.3 grams) which is the current gold content in the coins.

Why these coins are worth buying.

The British Sovereign Gold coins are not just ordinary coins- they are bullion coins which makes them worthwhile investment assets. For millennia, gold has firmly stood unshaken foremost as the most valuable physical asset and stable form of value. Each British Sovereign Gold Coin has 0.23542 ounces of pure gold. These coins have existed for centuries. They have been traded and minted around the world, in India, Canada and Australia. Since their mintage in 1817, they have survived three depressions and some hyperinflationary periods which means - they have stood the test of time and maintained their value.  

Gold Content

The coins contain 0.2354 troy ounces of 100% pure gold which is equal to 7.3 grams of gold per coin.

Other Things Worth Knowing About the British Sovereign Gold Coins

The coins have one denomination which has a diameter of 22.05mm/0.87 inches. They are 1.52mm.0.060 inches thick. The coin act of 1816 set their weight at 7.98805 grams and their gold content at 0.2354 ounces of 22-carat pure gold (7.3 grams of gold is found in each coin. The remaining metal is silver and copper).

British Sovereigns may be purchased VAT-free, and for residents of the United Kingdom, these coins are not liable for capital gains tax. This gives them a huge financial advantage over many other investment opportunities, especially in the longer time. They are a worthwhile investment asset.


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