The Gold Sovereign is one of the most ubiquitous of all coins and much sought after by both coin collectors and bullion investors. Sovereigns have been minted since 1817 (in Britain 1817-1917, 1925 and 1957 on). At coins fairs you often hear the dealers refer to these coins as ‘Sovs’.
The gold sovereign is made of 22 carat gold, and weighs 7.98 grams. It has a diameter of 22.05mm. The majority of gold sovereigns minted feature Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon. Examples issued during the reign of King George IV, William IV and the earlier years of Queen Victoria feature a shield design.
Gold sovereigns are world famous, known for their accuracy and reliability as a gold bullion coin. During the days of the British Empire, gold sovereigns were minted in all corners of the world, to include London, Ottawa (Canada), Pretoria (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Melbourne (Australia) and Bombay (India). A small mintmark on each gold sovereign determines where the coin was issued (No mintmark present for London).