Half Sovereign Short History
In this article we are going to present what is known as the modern Half Sovereign which has been issued beginning with 1817 just like the full sovereign under the reign of King George III. The old sovereigns came into being in 1489 but the Half Sovereigns were not produced until 1544 when King Henry VIII started reigning.
The modern Half Sovereign has the following characteristics: just like the full Sovereign it has a purity of 22 carat or 91.76% purity, gold is alloyed with copper. The weight of gold used in manufacturing it is of 3.6575 grams or 0.1176 troy ounces of gold and the overall weight of the Half Sovereign is 3.99 grams. Its diameter is 19.30 mm and a thickness of approximately 1mm.
As it is understandable, the face value of a Half Sovereign is half from that of a Sovereign, a face value equal to half a pound sterling. However, 1926 is the last year when the half bullion gold coin was issued for circulation. Since the golden standard came to an end, Half Sovereigns were only issued in a limited number as commemorative coins. So their trading price exceeded by much their face value.
Half Sovereign Value
Half Sovereign coins are alike the full Sovereign bullion gold coins in many ways. The only difference between them is that the Half Sovereign is smaller and less gold is used in manufacturing it. The half versions of the Sovereign bullion gold coins are just as a valuable and an appropriate way for investors to secure themselves against unforeseen economic events.
Also they are a good investment, not only a beautiful one, in what concerns taxes: the profit obtained from selling or buying Half Sovereigns is not taxable since they fall in the money category. Another reason for investing money in Half Sovereign bullion coins is that they confer privacy to the investor because they are non-declarable to the I.R.S.
Taking into consideration that after 1980 Half Sovereign coins have been minted in a limited number, these fairly small gold coins are extremely valuable for collectors. This happened especially between the years 1983 and 1999 when only limited edition proofs have been minted which is always appealing to numismatists. After 2000 we are talking about a fairly scarce mintage which makes the value of the Half Sovereign to increase especially when it is combined with the continuous increase of gold value.
Design of the Full Sovereign
As said above, there are many resemblances between the Half Sovereign and the Full Sovereign and this is a valid statement for the design, also.
It means that on the obverse are illustrated the portraits of the Kings and Queens under whose reign the Half Sovereign coins have been minted by the Royal Mint.
On the reverse it is depicted the mythical slaying of the dragon by St. George, a classic obverse for all the sovereigns, a legendary image portrayed by Benedetto Pistrucci whose initials also appear on the reverse to the right of the date.
The Half Sovereign is not also famous for its value given to the one that possesses it, to its beauty, quality, accuracy, and international recognition. It was made also made famous in 1843 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel who accidentally swallowed a Half Sovereign coin while performing a trick and fortunately he managed to coughed it up.