1998 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Half Sovereign
The first Half Sovereign to feature Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
History of Half Sovereigns
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 1980s, 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.
Saint George and the Dragon
For much of its history the modern Half Sovereign has featured an iconic reverse design, 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.
Pistrucci's reverse is paired with Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. In use between 1998 and 2015, this fourth official effigy shows a greater degree of realism than its idealised predecessors. Broadley's initials - IRB - appear below the truncation of Elizabeth II's neck.
Collectible Proof Coin
This 1998 Sovereign is finished to The Royal Mint's finest proof standard. Intended for collectors, proof coins have crisp details and high contrast between fields and designs, achieved with multiple strikes of specially prepared dies.
Just 6,147 proof Half Sovereigns were issued in this presentation in 1998.
If you're interested in a 1998 gold proof Half Sovereign you may also want to consider a 'full' 1998 proof Sovereign or our mixed year, best value bullion Half Sovereigns.
These are all 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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