What is a Sovereign Coin?
A sovereign coin is a gold coin that’s produced by the Royal Mint of England. The appearance of the coin will bear the image of the British Monarch at the time in which the coin was minted. Sovereign coins are usually treasured and kept as investments because of the gold content and of course their historical value.
The first sovereign coin was thought to have been produced in 1489, at the request of King Henry VII. These were re-entered into circulation in 1817, with production of these sovereign coins having been stopped a few times since then. You may come across limited editions of sovereign coins which have been created with new images on the coin, for example the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Sovereign coin.
If we go deeper into the history of the sovereign coin, you’ll discover that the first sovereign coins to exist looked very different to the ones we see today, however they still hold great value. The first sovereign coins were clearly a message of power and nobility of the king; however these were then stopped by Tudor Monarchs and were not seen again for over 200 years.
The defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo saw a new design of the coin which was re-introduced as the 21 shilling guinea, but when the public voiced their views that they were more in favour of the value of Twenty shillings and Ten shillings rather than Guineas, a new 20 shilling coin was introduced and was named Sovereign. The designs of these sovereign coins were absolutely beautiful – works of art even. In 1817 you would have seen the design of St George and the dragon and this particular design still continues to be present on gold sovereign coins today.
1957 was the year the Royal Mint really began to produce Sovereigns that were minted. However apart from the one pound sterling sovereign, you can also find two pound double sovereigns, five pound quintuple sovereigns and ten shilling half-sovereigns.
What is a Half Sovereign?
A half sovereign is simply half the value of that of a sovereign. So you could say that it’s the same as half a pound. Half Sovereign coins were first issued in 1544 for Henry VIII and also have beautifully engraved designs. Half Sovereigns can still be purchased today, if you’re looking for a special Half Sovereign coin, take a look at our collection of Sovereign coins.
What are the benefits of buying a Sovereign Coin?
Apart from having a piece of history, sovereign coins are really easy to store and as sovereign coins are created from gold, they’re long lasting. If you’re an investor or a collector there are some beautiful sovereign coins to be discovered, the historical value, rarity of the coin and purity all play a role in its final value.
Sovereign coins can be displayed in ring mounts to become a sovereign ring and pendant mounts, if you have a special sovereign coin that you love to show you can purchase these mounts separately. If one day you wish to sell your sovereign coin, by wearing your coin as jewellery, it will naturally lose some value, as most things do once they’ve been used. However looking after your sovereign coin will help to keep its value, of course if you prefer, you can always store it in a case.
How to identify a fake Sovereign
You would be surprised how the littlest of details can give away a fake; here are some tips so you don’t get caught out.
- If the coin has a slippery feel or is too smooth.
- Look out for sharp and irregular edges.
- By dropping or spinning the coin, a fake will have an unnatural ring. This is identified by the coin having a lower carat gold or a lower density if the coin has been produced by casting.
- There were no sovereigns produced between 1918 and 1925, so anything between this is an obvious fake.
- We always advise buying sovereign coins from trusted dealers, avoid buying from strangers.