1937 King George VI Gold Proof Four Coin Sovereign Set
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The only gold coins issued during the reign of George VI: this four coin gold proof Sovereign set is one of just 5,001 issued.
The Year of Three Kings
King George VI acceded to the throne in December 1936 and was crowned in May 1937. Born Albert Frederick Arthur George, he chose the regnal name George to emphasise continuity with his father, George V who died in January 1936.
The younger George came to the throne reluctantly following the abdication of his elder brother, Edward VIII, who was first in line. Edward was forced to choose between his birth right and his love for controversial American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, eventually choosing the latter and putting his stammering sibling, then the Duke of York, in the hot seat.
Despite all this unprecedented disruption, royal traditions rolled on, including the preparation of coronation proof sets by The Royal Mint.
Four Gold Proof Sovereigns
This gold proof set contains four pieces:
- The 1937 Quintuple Sovereign or Five Pound piece: 39.94 grams of 22 carat gold and a diameter of 35.00 millimeters
- The 1937 Double Sovereign or Two Pound piece: 15.98 grams, 28.40 millimetres
- The 1937 'full' Sovereign: 7.98 grams, 22.05 millimetres
- The 1937 Half Sovereign: 3.99 grams, 19.30 millimetres
Each of the coins in this set display Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic Saint George and the dragon motif to the reverse. This design, created for the first modern Sovereigns, issued in 1817, has been a perennial presence on these gold coins for more than two centuries at this point. The date appears below.
The obverse shows Humphrey Paget's portrait of the new king. Described as the 'classic coinage head of the 20th century' it was used until George’s death in 1952. The legend reads: 'GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP'.
The Only George VI Gold
1937 would be the only time that Paget's portrait appeared on gold coinage during George’s reign: Sovereigns would not be minted again until the coronation of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I.
Only 5,001 George VI gold proof sets were struck in 1937.
While many of these sets have been broken up over the years, this one is complete and comes in its original burgundy leather case with a velvet and silk interior.
The coins in this set show the finest of hairlines under magnification. Otherwise there are no issues for Bright Uncirculated (B UNC).
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