First minted in the late fifteenth century, British Gold Sovereigns have been a worldwide tool of trade for hundreds of years. Containing .2354 Troy Ounces of Pure Gold, each Gold Sovereign is minted in Great Britain and features a portrait of the monarch who ruled at the time of the coin’s release— making them collectible artifacts of British history, as well as investments in gold.
About the size of a nickel, Gold Sovereigns issued from 1911 to 1932 bear the left-facing head of King George V on their obverse. His portrait is surrounded in Latin, translated to mean “George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.”
The reverse of each Gold Sovereign features Benedetto Pistrucci’s St. George and the Dragon. Pistrucci (1783 – 1855) was a gem and coin engraver who became the Chief Medalist at the Royal Mint. He created this design for the coin’s first issue after the Great Recoinage Act of 1816.
One of the longest running gold coin series the world has ever known, Gold Sovereigns have experience a vast and diverse history. First minted with a portrait of the Tudor King, Henry VII in 1489, the coin was suspended from 1604 to 1816—replaced by Guineas and Unites.
Reintroduced with the Recoinage Act of 1816, the United Kingdom resumed production of Gold Sovereigns from 1817 to 1917. With the onset of the First World War, production decreased dramatically as the country abandoned the gold standard.
After 1932, Gold Sovereigns were largely issued as bullion coins, and after 1982, bullion and proof versions were released. Since 1817, Gold Sovereigns have been struck at various international branches of the Royal Mint: London, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Bombay, Ottawa and Pretoria.