One of the most sought after and certainly the most prestigious of Gold Sovereigns, the Victoria Old Head Gold bullion coin is the epitome of a solid investment. Struck by the Royal Mint, the 1893-1901 Queen Victoria Sovereigns invoke a distinct nostalgia for a time when the British Empire was at the peak of its glory. London was thriving as the trading and financial capital of the world and Britain became the center of technological innovation. India - Victoria's favourite colony - glittered as the Crown Jewel of the Empire.
The gold Victoria Sovereign came to symbolize British financial solidity, and to this day enjoys wide-spread and strong liquidity. Sovereigns were struck for Victoria from 1838 to 1901. 40,603,000 Victoria Old head Sovereigns were printed and officially remained in circulation until WWI, so some of them are worn. However, millions were kept in vaults for many years and remain in almost uncirculated condition. If you're interested in investing in gold, these coins are excellent value for money. They are not rare and are sold for a small premium, so collectors should also appreciate their historical significance and air of majesty and make them part of their portfolio.
Victoria Old head Full Sovereigns are 22.05 mm in diameter, 1.56 mm thick and weigh 7.98grams of 917/1000 fine gold.
On the obverse side we find the regal portrait (also called the widow head type) designed by Sir Thomas Brock; it depicts Queen Victoria (facing left) as being more mature and in mourning, with a vail draped over her crown. Inscribed around her are the Latin words "VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP" that translates as "Victoria by the Grace of God Queen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India."
All Victoria Old Head Sovereigns use a modified version of Benedetto Pistrucci's Classical style St George and the Dragon on the reverse side. St George is naked apart from his Roman helmet and cape and carrying a Spartan short sword. Inscribed we find the date at the bottom of the coin and a mintmark (M, S, or P) under the horses' rear right hoof if the coin was minted in Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth. Sovereigns printed in London do not bear a mintmark.
This last period of Victoria's reign was the most prosperous, peaceful and glorious period of the British Empire. Although in mourning and self-inflicted isolation after her husband's death on 14 December 1861, Victoria's popularity soon recovered. Under Queen Victoria's crown, Britain together with the entire civilized world had changed socially, economically and technologically. Old Head Victoria Sovereigns, as well as the image of the Queen herself had become symbols of British culture and prosperity as the Royal Mint established its third Australian branch office in Perth in 1899.Over a billion Victoria Sovereigns were minted in total, although that figure included gold that had been recoined a number of times. In Victorian times it was the practice of the Bank of England to remove worn Sovereign coins from circulation and to have them melted down and reminted. It was estimated that a sovereign could have a lifespan of up to 15 years in circulation before it fell below the minimum amount of gold and ceased to be legal tender.
Since the time of Queen Victoria, the Royal Mint took counterfeiting and fraud extremely seriously, and Victoria Sovereigns coins were minted to precise specifications. Moreover they were periodically checked and, if necessary, recycled and replaced in circulation by the Mint. Another significant detail was that the small size and the finely detailed design of the coin makes Old Head Victoria Sovereigns incredibly difficult to forge and counterfeit coins of the time can easily be detected by experienced dealers as they are of very poor quality. In fact, many Sovereign experts pledge that just by hearing the particular "ring" they make when dropped on a hard surface, they can tell right away when a Victoria Gold Sovereign is genuine.
You can purchase any number of 1893-1901 Victoria Gold Full Sovereign coins from our online shop at excellent rates close to current spot price. Simply place your order by clicking on the selection of coins section, adding the coins of your choice to your basket on the coins product descriptions page.
We also buy Old Head Victoria Gold Full Sovereigns at market value. If you have any such coins for sale, feel free to contact a member of our friendly team and arrange a fixed quote. You will promptly receive an email confirmation.
1 The weight displayed is the fine metal content of the item. It does not reflect the actual weight of the product which may be higher.
* The delivered products may vary slightly from the picture shown.