Great Britain Gold Sovereigns George V
Tavex is pleased to present the King George V sovereign gold coin, part of Britain’s most famous and longest issued gold coin series. The sovereign, introduced for the first time more than 500 years ago, is world renowned for its impeccable accuracy, strong liquidity and high quality. Recognised throughout the world, sovereign gold coins are probably one of the most iconic gold coins ever to be produced. Hailed throughout the British Empire as “the chief coins of the world”, they were at the heart of the classical gold standard, playing a key role in international finance and trade.
Sovereign gold coins were also used as legal tender currency by more than 20 countries during the nineteenth century, which is testimony to their widespread influence. This legacy is treasured by the current UK government which still deems the King George V sovereign gold coin as official legal tender. Gold sovereigns have a real and permanent tangible value, and thus will make a great addition to any investor’s portfolio.
Sovereigns are Britain’s most famous coins. Gold sovereigns are Britain’s most cherished coins and likewise one of the most recognised gold pieces in the world, representing the golden age of the British Empire.
Sovereign gold coins are liquid. With more than 700 million pieces minted since the 1800s, the sovereign gold coins are supported by a deep and liquid market.
Sovereigns are money. All gold sovereigns minted after 1837 are considered legal tender and are exempt from Capital Gains Tax in the United Kingdom.
Sovereign gold coins are internationally recognised. The rich 500-year history of the gold sovereign and its effigy of King George V, ruler of the largest empire in human history, support the coin’s exchangeability worldwide.
Sovereign coins are the equivalent of savings. Gold sovereigns are an ideal choice for any long-term saver who appreciates the security and stability of owning physical legal tender gold coins.
Sovereign gold coins are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Gold’s low correlation with other financial assets makes sovereign gold coins serve as a portfolio hedge against market risk.
Sovereign gold coins – an investment that embodies more than 500 years of British history
When England’s King Henry VII authorised the mintage of the sovereign gold coin in 1489, little did he know that more than five centuries later the gold sovereign would still be minted by Britain’s Royal Mint. This makes the British gold sovereign the oldest continuously produced gold coin in the world. The sovereign represents over half a millennium of history, and in this entire period it has kept an almost unified consistency of purity and quality, which has earned it the reputation of being extremely trustworthy. The gold sovereign is today cherished by collectors because of its historical significance; it is desired as a gift by those who recognise its elegance and value; and it is sought after by those who want their wealth to be secure, liquid and portable.
The sovereign – a famous gold coin of the English royalty
The history of the sovereign began in the Middle Age, when precious metal coinage played an important role in spreading the fame of the ruling English sovereign. To show off his greatness, King Henry VII had the original gold sovereigns struck in almost 24 karat gold weighing half a troy ounce, depicting the King, enthroned majestically on the obverse side of the coin. Although too pure and valuable to be used in daily commerce, they were instead handed out as gifts to visiting high-ranking officials. As time passed, the technical specifications of the gold sovereign coin changed, creating a more durable alloy which standardised the gold content to 91.6%, or 22 karats. These changes helped to fuel its wider acceptance as a circulating coin, and due to its reach in promoting the sovereign of the realm, hence the name “sovereign”, it became the de facto coinage of English royalty. Kings and queens that ruled after King Henry VII continued in his footsteps by portraying their effigy on the obverse side of the sovereign gold coin, a tradition that is still practised, and which can be observed on the modern sovereign gold coin which portrays the effigy of the current “sovereign”, Queen Elizabeth II.
The gold sovereign – 22 karats of trust and accuracy
The sovereign gold coin gained its popularity not only because it portrayed a powerful ruler, although this probably helped, but it was rather the peerless uniformity of the gold coin that set the stage for its wider use in international trade. Every sovereign gold coin that was minted from 1817 onwards contained one pound’s (£1) worth of gold, or 22 karat gold weighing 7.322 grams. The coin itself weighed exactly 7.98805 grams and was considered legal tender by English law so long as it did not weigh less than 7.9379 grams. The Royal Mint, which was the chief comptroller of the coinage, went so far in keeping the accuracy of the gold sovereign that it even made announcements to the public that they could have their underweight coins exchanged for newly minted ones. Another unique feature of the gold sovereign was that it had no nominal face value, or denomination, since its value was exclusively tied to its fine gold content which at that time was valued at exactly £1.
The sovereign gold coin – buy, sell, and trade
This consistency of weight, purity, and value made the gold sovereign coin rapidly become one of the preferred gold coins in global trade and international settlements. Used by Chinese tea traders, Indian textile merchants, and American cotton sellers, gold sovereigns not only fulfilled the role of a stable currency, but acted as a promoter of British influence in the world. The sovereign gold coins became the currency of the British Empire, with minting outposts scattered around the globe in places like Perth in Australia, Bombay in India, and Pretoria in South Africa, just to name a few, ensuring that the supply of gold coins was always on hand for trade. By the early 1900s, more than 600 million sovereign gold coins had been minted and distributed throughout the world, reaching almost every corner of the earth. The sovereign had established itself as one of the foremost official monetary coins to influence world trade.
The gold sovereign – legal tender recognised throughout the British Empire
Britain’s victory over Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in 1815 would leave her without any serious competitor, making her the undisputed leading power at that time. Unchallenged at sea, she quickly established trading outposts, colonies, dominions and possessions, and in the process adopted the role of global policeman to guard all her precious possessions. The sovereign gold coins played a key part in the advancement of Britain’s imperialism, as they helped to facilitate trade among its large number of protectorates. At the peak of Britain’s power in the early 1920s, the empire encompassed almost a quarter of the earth’s land area and contained almost a half a billion people. The British Empire was the largest empire ever to exist, earning it the phrase “the empire on which the sun never set”.
Sovereign gold coins – value rises
However, the unfortunate advent of the First World War made the United Kingdom abandon the gold standard and consequently its production of gold sovereigns. To fund the war, the British government even appealed to its citizens to give up their gold coins in exchange for war bonds, which resulted in a vast amount, by some estimates £100 million worth of gold sovereigns (€23 billion in today’s money), being handed over to the government. Although gold sovereigns helped Britain to win the war, their demonetisation would usher in the era of the paper pound, which would in the next century regrettably lose a great amount of its purchasing power. Just consider that a gold sovereign was worth £1 on the eve of WW1, while the same coin today is sold for around £200. Although some gold sovereigns were minted again in 1925, they ceased to be used in daily commerce, and their continuous production only resumed after 1957.
The King George V sovereign gold coin
The obverse of the coin portrays King George V, son of King Edward VII and grandson of Queen Victoria. Born in 1865, he acceded to the throne in 1910 and reigned until his death in 1936. King George V ruled during a great world upheaval and a fundamental change in the world order. It was a period marked by the a devastating First World War, the rise of socialism, communism and fascism, and two global depressions. The First World War dealt a major blow to Britain’s economy, left almost 800,000 dead, and drained the country of resources. This was followed by post-war stagnation that lingered on until the Great Depression and significantly undermined Britain’s hegemony as an Empire. Britain’s relations with its possessions went likewise through major changes when King George V, in 1926, hosted a conference in London, at which self-governing status was granted to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. King George V was perceived as an inspiring leader. He made over 400 visits to the troops at the front during the war, and he also pressed for more equality and promoted family values and customs.
The UK Royal Mint runs out of sovereign gold coin on surging demand
The Royal Mint is one of the oldest and most respected government institutions of Great Britain. Its long operating history, by some estimates over 1100 years, and coupled with its production of many of the world’s most famous coins, like the gold sovereign, has contributed to making it one of the best known and renowned mints in the world. Since 1279 when the mint established its operation in the Tower of London, it has been responsible for the production of coins of the United Kingdom. Its reputation for excellence and trust was further reinforced when Sir Isaac Newton became Master of the Royal Mint. During his tenure at the Royal Mint, he was responsible for moving the British pound to the gold standard.
Today the Royal Mint is not only responsible for minting coins used for circulation in the UK, but is likewise producing official coinage for more than 60 countries in the world. However, the most important and renowned coin ever to come out of its minting presses has without doubt been the sovereign gold coin which even today is being produced at its minting facility in the town of Llantrisant, Wales, UK. The accuracy and quality of the modern gold sovereign coin is the same as it was two hundred years ago, containing 22 karats of fine gold and weighing exactly 7.98805 grams. The popularity of the gold sovereign has likewise not changed, as confirmed in 2014 when the Royal Mint ran out of 2014 sovereign gold coins due to exceptional demand. The gold sovereign is without doubt one of the foremost gold coins ever to be produced and the fact that almost 100,000,000 sovereigns gold coins have been minted since 1957 is a testament to their excellence and trustworthiness. The reputation of the gold sovereign coin as “the chief coin of the world” will live on for centuries, as savvy investors will always prefer to keep a portion of their wealth in gold coins which are secure, liquid and trustworthy.
|Nominal value||Dimensions||Fineness||Product weight in grams||Gold weight in grams||Gold weight in Troy ounces|
|22.00 mm||916||7.98570 g||7.31490g||0.24|
The King George V sovereign gold coin was issued between 1911 and 1935.
Obverse: The obverse portrays King George V. Around his effigy is the text “GEORGE V DG BRITT OMN REX FD IND IMP” which translates as “George the fifth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India”.
Reverse: The reverse displays the motif of the Christian martyr St. George slaying the dragon. The design was made by acclaimed Italian engraver and chief medallist at the Royal Mint, Benedetto Pistrucci. The year of mintage is shown at the bottom.
Purity: The King George V sovereign is a 22 karat gold coin which means it is composed of 22/24 = 91.6 % gold and the rest of the coin contains copper. The gold – copper alloy makes the surface of the coin more durable and less prone to scratches and marks.
Packaging: Each coin is individually packaged in a hard plastic capsule.
When placing an order through our online shop, you can choose to have the products sent to your local post office or to collect them at our shop in Copenhagen. By post: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, your order will be shipped as an insured value package. You will receive an SMS and an e-mail from Post Danmark with a tracking number to get updates on your delivery. In person: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, we will contact you via phone and e-mail when your order is ready to be picked up in our shop (during opening hours). Valid photo ID will be required when collecting your items. Deliveries outside of Denmark are to be agreed with Tavex and can be arranged by contacting us on telephone + 45 33 12 09 07 or via e-mail through . Please refer to our “Terms and Conditions” for detailed delivery instructions.
When placing an order through our online shop, you can choose to have the products sent to your local post office or to collect them at our shop in Copenhagen.
By post: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, your order will be shipped as an insured value package. You will receive an SMS and an e-mail from Post Danmark with a tracking number to get updates on your delivery.
In person: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, we will contact you via phone and e-mail when your order is ready to be picked up in our shop (during opening hours). Valid photo ID will be required when collecting your items.
Deliveries outside of Denmark are to be agreed with Tavex and can be arranged by contacting us on telephone + 45 33 12 09 07 or via e-mail through .
Please refer to our “Terms and Conditions” for detailed delivery instructions.