The Britih soverign, a brief history of this specific rare coin..

The first gold sovereign was designed and minted under King Henry VII in 1489. Since then, it has risen in prominence to become one of the premier gold coins currently minted by any nation. However, it had a long and convoluted road in those centuries to make it to where it is today.

The gold sovereign began weighing half a troy ounce and was made from 23 carat gold, which was approximately 95.83% fine gold. At first, the reverse side of the coin represented a shield that held the royal arms. All this was located on a large double Tudor rose. The obverse had the king and a throne; the emblems radiated majesty.

This extravagance is in line with what historians thought: that the main purpose of the gold sovereign was to impress Britains continental neighbors, who, at the time, had been making their own impressive looking gold coins. These old coins are very rare and, as a result, very expensive.

After this, Henry VIII created the first half sovereign. Double and even quintuple sovereigns were also coined through the sovereigns long history. Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Elizabeth I made only minor alterations to the original sovereign until the last sovereign, at least for a while, was minted in 1604.

Instead, Britain minted gold coins called the Unite, the Laurel, and the Guinea intermittently for a bit over 200 years. It wasnt until the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the availability of new, then-advanced, steam powered machinery that the sovereign returned. In 1817, the revamped sovereigns featured a famous engraving by renowned Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci; it contained an image of St. George slaying the dragon on the reverse side. The classic shield design was, however, still used.

Since then, the reverse of sovereigns have featured an engraving of a monarch up to the present day. Once Britain came off the gold standard, the mintage of sovereigns slowed considerably. Still, some are minted. With the recent turmoil in world markets, the price of commodities, and with central banks printing more money and devaluing fiat currencies, gold sovereigns remain a worthwhile investment for the diversified, medium to long-term investor.

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