United Kingdom of Great Britain For much of the last thousand years of British mint history, Gold Sovereigns have been the gold standard in British bullion coinage. Gold coin enthusiasts are always on the lookout for these stunning pieces. Since the reign of the terrible King Henry VIII six centuries ago, the British Royal Mint has been producing Gold Sovereigns. During the decades afterwards, these coins have been produced on five continents across the British Empire, where the “sun never sets.”

United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns Background and History

The first series of United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns was created in the late 1400s and continued until 1604 when the last of the original series was struck. The Great Recoinage of 1816 gave the coin a new lease of life, as the British government strove to resuscitate the national currency and economy following the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution. In 1817, the first of the modern Gold Sovereigns was issued. Over the next century, they were struck on and off. The coin was restrike in 1925, between 1917 and 1957, as Winston Churchill worked to restore the British Empire to the stabilising economic impact of the Gold Standard. In the years 1949 to 1951, the ever-popular bullion standard currency was revived when the Royal Mint used the 1925 dies, which featured the portrait of His Late Majesty King George V rather than his son King George VI, who was ruling at the time. The government resumed continuous annual manufacture of Gold Sovereigns in 1957. These magnificent coins circulated widely until 1932, while the empire still adhered to the Gold Standard.

United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns

The Royal Mint has never struck anywhere near as many coins in a rival coinage as it has in Gold Sovereigns. So far, almost one billion of these gorgeous coins have been produced. The ones that were melted down and re-struck as new coins are included in these astonishing figures. Because of national rules at the time, the United States melted down many millions of them into gold bars. The United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns have an average lifespan of fifteen years. Since the late 1400s, these coins have been a globally accepted standard for international trade, making them the only widely recognised and acceptable form of payment for more than five centuries of modern history.

United Kingdom of Great Britain Gold Sovereigns have been produced in a variety of sizes and denominations, but the most prevalent was the.2354 troy ounce variant of a one-pound Gold Sovereign. On the day of mintage, the coins usually bore a bust or portrait of the reigning monarch. As a result, they are both popular historical souvenirs and solid and dependable gold bullion investments. The most widely circulated version dates from King George V’s reign. From 1911 until 1932, these were minted all across the empire. On the obverse of each of these coins was a bust of George V facing left. “George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India,” were inscriptions in latin.

From the official termination of the Gold Standard in 1932 to the present day, these historical coins have primarily been minted as bullion coins. After 1982, the coins were available in both bullion and proof condition. Gold Sovereigns have been manufactured at worldwide branches of the renowned Royal Mint around the world from the second historical series of these circulating coins in 1817, including London, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Ottawa, Bombay, and Pretoria. The United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns are the only globally struck historical world gold coins. All of the mints in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and South Africa produced mint markings.

United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns Physical Characteristics

United Kingdom of Great Britain The British Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, is now the exclusive producer of gold sovereigns. They are currently available in one pound sovereigns, double sovereigns, and five pound sovereigns denominations. The reverse picture of a crown and shield design was enclosed by a heraldic wreath on the first Gold Sovereigns. Following that was a Medieval depiction of the legendary Saint George slaying the dragon. Benedetto Pistrucci, a coin and gem engraver who rose to the position of Chief Medalist at the Royal Mint, designed the St. George and the Dragon motif for this 1817 series. During the reigns of King William IV, Queen Victoria, King George IV, and Queen Elizabeth II, the reverses have changed. The original St. George and the dragon design can still be found on today’s United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns.

Coin Design

The “obverse” refers to the coin’s front side. The obverse of today’s United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s picture. This is the Queen’s second specially commissioned portrait in her illustrious 63-year reign. For the first time, the portrait is imprinted off centre to increase collector interest for the coins.

The back side of coins is referred to as the “reverse” by coin collectors. The figure of St. George the Dragonslayer is shown classically on United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns. He is valiantly mounted on his horse and is about to slay the dragon. This design is based on the iconic Benedetto Pistrucci’s design for the 1817 sovereigns second series revived issue.


These coins are struck today in a single, double, and five pounds denominated Gold Sovereign sizes. United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns’ one pound denomination sizes are historically the most popular of these long-running series of coins. Their dimensions are as follows:

  • Mass:  .2354 troy oz
  • Diameter: 22.05 mm
  • Thickness:  1.52 mm
  • Purity: 91.70% gold

United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns Pricing

United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns

The face value of United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns is one pound, with bigger versions being struck in two and five pound denominations. These coins are still legal money in the United Kingdom, as they have been since their inception in the late 1400s. Despite their lower face value, these gold coins have a much higher intrinsic value. Even the one-pound sovereign coins contain about a quarter ounce of gold. As a result, their market value is mostly determined by the immediate price of gold on global markets.

The intrinsic worth of gold, as evaluated in an investment or retirement portfolio, more or less equals the market value of these coins. Because of their historical collectability and year-round demand from collectors, these coins trade at a premium to spot gold. Every trading day, the market value of the coins fluctuates with the price of gold. By visiting our homepage, you can keep track of today’s gold prices.

Can IRA Accounts Contain United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns?

The most essential question for retirement investors about United Kingdom Gold Sovereigns is whether or not these beautiful coins can be included in American IRA accounts in any or all of their different forms. The coins have a lengthy history of containing about a quarter ounce of pure gold with a purity of.9170. Which bullion pieces may be included in such accounts is up to the US Internal Revenue Service. To assess which coins pass muster for self-directed IRA accounts, they utilise a strict dual criterion based on gold purity and coin issue collectability.

You must first fill the precious metals IRA account with at least $5,000 in sanctioned gold and/or silver bullion before you can open it. You can always opt to add additional in $1,000 or higher minimum increments after this is completed. If you currently have an IRA account, you can convert it to a precious metals IRA with relative ease. Your IRA account administrator will transport your new gold to a third-party IRS-approved vaulting facility, which the IRS allows to store IRA bullion coins and bars. These investments will be managed and protected on your behalf until you give orders to sell them or take a withdrawal from your IRA retirement account.

Despite the fact that these are one of the oldest and most reliable gold coin series, having a five-century history, the IRS prohibits them in any size, date, or denomination. The fundamental reason for this is that the coins only have 91.7 percent gold purity, which falls short of the required 99.5 percent purity. Even if they contained the required gold purity, their long-term collectibility would assure that the IRS would reject their inclusion in these accounts. Despite the fact that these historically significant and beautiful gold bullion pieces are not eligible for inclusion in your personal IRA, they make excellent complements to other forms of retirement and investment portfolios and collections. New releases can be purchased directly from the Royal Mint in Wales via their sophisticated website, while older versions can be purchased from reputable coin and bullion dealers all around the world.