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1980 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Half Sovereign

1980 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Half Sovereign Boxed
(VAT Exempt)
1980 was the first year of Her Majesty the Queen’s reign when proof Half Sovereigns were offered by The Royal Mint, beginning a continuous annual issue that continues to the present day. If you’re collecting a complete set then you’ll be keen to get hold of this first edition. It features Arnold Machin’s portrait of Elizabeth II to the obverse. Introduced prior to Decimal Day, this second definitive effigy would be seen on British money until 1984. Its paired with the classic Sovereign reverse design which shows Saint George in the act of slaying a dragon which cowers under his horses hooves. It’s the work of Italian artist Benedetto Pistrucci and has been used on many of the Half Sovereigns struck since the denomination was introduced in 1817. This coin conforms to the specifications established in the nineteenth century: it’s made of 7.98 grams of 22 carat gold and has a diameter of 19.30 millimetres. Finished to proof standard it comes in its original red vinyl and velvet box from The Royal Mint with its certificate of authenticity enclosed. 76,700 Half Sovereigns were issued in 1980 though its hard to find them it such good condition more than four decades later.
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The first Elizabeth II gold proof Half Sovereign available to collectors.

Reintroducing the Half Sovereign

The first Half Sovereigns were minted by the Tudor monarchs. Later, the name was revived for a new gold coin, introduced in 1817 following a major overhaul of British coinage. They were minted for more than a century, only falling out of production and circulation after the First World War.

Half Sovereigns are composed of 3.994 grams of 22 carat gold. They have a diameter of 19.30 and contain .1176 troy ounces of pure gold. Nominally, Half Sovereigns have a value of half a Pound sterling though their precious metal content means they are worth significantly more.

Proof Half Sovereigns began to be minted regularly in the 1980, joining full Sovereigns as part of the The Royal Mint's most prestigious annual issue. These coins are available in sets and individually, minted in smaller numbers than larger Sovereigns which makes them particularly collectible.

Machin and Pistrucci

Gold proof Half Sovereigns issued in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984 all feature Arnold Machin's youthful effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The second definitive coinage portrait of the Queen was used on British money from 1968, just prior to Decimal Day and replaced in 1985 with a new profile by Raphael Maklouf.

Machin's design is paired with an iconic reverse that has featured on Half Sovereigns on-and-off since the denomination was introduced, crafted by Italian artist Benedetto Pistrucci. His instantly-recognisable Saint George and the Dragon design shows England's patron saint mounted on a horse, slaying a dragon underfoot.

It's a powerful image that has become synonymous with the gold Sovereign and Half Sovereign. These coins don't carry their denomination on their face as part of their legend like most currency, so the Saint George motif is an easy identifier for many collectors. The coin's date appears below the dragon.

Collectible Gold Sovereign

This 1980 Half Sovereign is struck to proof standard. Intended for collectors, proof coins have crisp details and high contrast between fields and design, an effect achieved with multiple strikes of specially prepared dies.

76,700 Half Sovereigns were issued in this presentation by The Royal Mint in 1980.

This coin comes in its original red, velvet lined case with its numbered certificate of authenticity.

If you're considering a 1980 gold proof Half Sovereign, you may also want to consider a 'full' 1980 proof Sovereign or our mixed year, best value bullion Half Sovereigns.

These and this Half Sovereign are exempt from Capital Gains Tax as UK legal tender and free from VAT in the UK and EU as investment grade gold.


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