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HomeGold CoinsGold Sovereign coins

Gold Sovereign coins

British Sovereign gold coins are the most prestigious bullion gold coins in the world – and due to their legal tender status in the UK, they are Capital Gains Tax (CGT) free. The Sovereign is The Royal Mint’s 22 carat gold flagship coin. For two centuries, the Sovereign has been a constant of British coinage, admired and trusted through times of change. 

Sovereigns are made to the highest standard and are a valuable addition to any investment portfolio. We are proud to be an authorised Royal Mint distributor

Our prices are automatically updated every minute, so you can be confident you’re shopping at the current rate for precious metal spot prices. All orders are insured and securely packaged, and we only use the most trusted shipping companies, so you can count on safe delivery.

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Best investment gold Sovereigns

Our best value gold Sovereigns are great for investors who are interested in the coin’s gold content, rather than the aesthetic design or numismatic value. It’s a quick and easy way add to your stock portfolio, as gold Sovereign coins are VAT free and Capital Gains Tax exempt for UK buyers.

With this option, you’re guaranteed 7.3200g of gold in each coin. Based on what’s in stock when you place your order, you might get a coin minted during the reign of Victoria, Edward, George, or Elizabeth II, which you’ll receive with fast, insured delivery. 

Specific-year collectible Sovereigns

For collectors who are interested in gold Sovereign coins from specific decades and reigning eras, we carry a range of different designs that feature monarchs from throughout the centuries. 

You can browse the different releases, from the distinctive portrait on the Sovereign William IV (1830-1837) and the celebratory Sovereign Victoria Jubilee (1887-1893), to the most recent Sovereign Elizabeth II 2018

Buying gold Sovereign coins

The Sovereign is without a doubt the world’s most famous gold bullion coin. Both beautiful and rich in history, Sovereign coins are the flagship of the Royal Mint, and for some they are synonymous with Britain itself. 
Charged with history and emotion, there are many reasons the gold Sovereign is a top-priority choice for investors and coin collectors alike:

  • As one of best recognised bullion coins in the global market, it’s easy to sell.
  • The range of gold Sovereign coins available make it a great option for those who prefer to invest in small units.
  • Gold coins give investors greater flexibility and maintain value against inflation. 
  • As it’s British legal tender, it’s also Capital Gains Tax exempt. 

What is the value of a gold Sovereign coin?

The face value of a Sovereign coin is not the true value – in today’s economic climate, Sovereign coins are worth much more, which is why gold bullion is such a good investment. 


If you’re selling, the price you will get paid is the Sovereign gold bullion value, which is calculated based on the coin’s gold content and the current price of gold – since 1816, Sovereign coins have contained 0.235420 troy ounces of pure gold (7.322381g). The condition of the coin also plays an important factor, and it might be worth less if it was used in jewellery before. 

  • How to calculate the price of gold Sovereign coins

The Sovereign gold coin price is dependent on the current gold spot price and the coin size of a Sovereign. A full Sovereign gold coin is often worth more than double, in comparison to a half Sovereign gold coin

We buy gold Sovereign coins at competitive market prices, so if you want to cash in on your investment, contact a friendly member of our customer services team and we will offer you a fixed valuation and confirm our offer by email.

The specifications of Sovereigns

A Sovereign coin is 1.52 mm thick and 22.05 mm in diameter with a grained milled edge on both sides. On the obverse side of modern Sovereigns we find the head portraits of British monarchs, including:

  • George III
  • George IV (two versions)
  • William IV
  • Victoria (four versions)
  • Edward VII
  • George V (two versions)

Consecutive monarchs face opposite sides from one another. Phrases and letters have also been used regularly on coinage since the 16th century and the coins bear various inscriptions. The new Queen Elizabeth II Sovereigns carry three versions of Her Majesty’s likeness and bear the inscription ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF’, meaning ‘Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen-Defender of the Faith’. 

Impressed and inspired by the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum, famous Italian sculptor and engraver Benedetto Pistrucci provided a jasper cameo of St George, the patron saint of England. It would prove an excellent and distinctive reverse side design for the new gold coin, the one most commonly used in Sovereigns. The picture of Saint George slaying the dragon is still in use on British gold Sovereigns, although with a few minor variations. 

Other reverse designs have also been used during the reigns of King William IV (1830-1837), Queen Victoria (Young Head Sovereign 1838-1887 and Old Head Sovereign 1893-1901), King George IV (1911-1932), and Queen Elizabeth II, the most common one being the crowned shield. The date of issue appears on the reverse side.
 

Gold Sovereign: Investment and numismatic value at its highest

The Sovereign’s solid faith in tradition, together with its long history and global acceptance, makes the coin a perfect option for investors who are looking for a coin with numismatic, aesthetic, and historical value.

The English gold Sovereign came into existence in 1489 under King Henry VII. It was last minted in 1604, and the name was revived with the Great Recoinage of 1816. The British Royal Mint began striking new (modern) Sovereigns in 1817 with a nominal value of one pound sterling, which had been a unit of account for centuries. It remains until this day the face value of the coin, although its market value has entirely differentiated. 

Modern gold Sovereigns were officially in circulation for 114 years, up to the point where Great Britain abandoned the gold standard, and their minting stopped temporarily a few years after WWI. The gold content was fixed by the coin act of 1816 at 0.235420 troy ounces of pure gold (7.322381 g) and has remained unchanged to the present day. 

Current sovereigns are struck in the same 22 carat (91⅔%) crown gold alloy as the first modern sovereigns of 1817, to make gold coins that are legal tender more durable so they can resist scratches and dents. 

Sovereigns were minted in millions across all five continents, in places that belonged to the British Empire, including the United Kingdom from 1817 to 1917, in 1925, and from 1957 onwards, as well as in three mints in Australia, India, Canada, and South Africa. Sovereign coins that were minted outside British soil all bear respective mintmarks. 

In 1957 the Royal Mint decided it would continue issuing the coin primarily for investors and collectors.

The production of gold Sovereign coins

Since 2009, the Royal Mint operates as Royal Mint Ltd, a private company that has an exclusive contract with HM Treasury to supply all coinage for the UK. Today, Sovereigns are minted at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales. 

The Royal Mint uses the most progressive and technologically advanced minting techniques to ensure the quality of its coins. In the case of Sovereigns, however, the most important element is uniformity. Each coin is made of 22 carat gold and weighs 7.9880 g. The accuracy to four decimal points is specified by law.

The accuracy of the engraving is also important, so for all the modern production methods, the tools used by the engravers who create the designs have hardly changed since the days of the Great Recoinage. Sovereigns were produced in large quantities until World War I, at which time the UK came off the gold standard. 
In 1817, 3,235,239 King George III gold Sovereigns were struck, while in 1818 there were only 2,347,230 coins produced. Today, this version sells between £550 and £2,000, depending on the coin’s condition. 

In most cases, there is an abundance of Sovereigns on the market since The Royal Mint keep the policy of high mintage. Nevertheless, there are always special dates, designs, and mintmarks that can be extremely rare and collectible, such as certain Australian issues.

Royal Mint quality assurance

Forgery isn’t new when it comes to Sovereigns – since the time of Queen Victoria, the forgery ‘trade’ had grown to such large proportions that the Queen ordered the reminting of Sovereigns every 15 years, so that the coins could be checked and repaired.

The Royal Mint takes counterfeiting and fraud extremely seriously, and all Sovereign coins are minted to precise specifications concerning the design, dimensions, and weight, as defined by legislation. 

The small size and the finely detailed design of the coin makes forgery incredibly difficult, and counterfeit coins can easily be detected by experienced dealers. Believe it or not, many Sovereign experts swear they can detect genuine Sovereigns by hearing the particular ‘ring’ they make when dropped on a counter or floor.

Frequently asked questions

For more information about buying and selling Sovereign gold coins with CoinInvest, including how to pay and shipping options, explore our FAQs.