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1979 Proof Gold Sovereign

1979 Proof Gold Sovereign Reverse
£525.00
(VAT Exempt)
Whether you are a Sovereign collector on a mission to complete your set of commemorative Full Sovereigns – or perhaps the year 1979 holds significance to you – the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign makes a wonderful addition to any Sovereign collection. Featuring the renowned Saint George and the Dragon engraving by Benedetto Pistrucci on the reverse, and a flattering portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin on the obverse, this 1979 edition is one of 50,000 struck. Like all Sovereigns, this coin weighs in at 7.98 grams and contains 22 carat gold. The Britannia Coin Company presents this 1979 Proof Gold Sovereign in its original Royal Mint packaging. Buying with us also guarantees free, insured delivery.
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The 1979 Proof Gold Sovereign could be your next investment today. At The Britannia Coin Company, we hope you will consider the following to help you make your decision for the next piece of your collection.

History of the Gold Sovereign

The Gold Sovereign dates back over 500 years, to the reign of Henry VII in 1489. However, this is not the Sovereign we see today. In 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars, the British government enforced a huge reform of Britain's coinage. It was by this act that the Sovereign was brought back into British currency in 1817, during the reign of George III. The first modern gold sovereign was struck in The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill with their newly acquired steam powered coin press.

An instantly recognisable coin today, the Sovereign is considered to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, highly coveted and relied upon by investors around the world. With a long and interesting legacy, the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign makes for an excellent way to own a relic of the ages.

Queen Elizabeth II's Second Portrait

The 1979 Proof Gold Sovereign features the second portrait of Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This portrait was designed by Arnold Machin. Machin came from a background of pottery, and had a long association with Wedgwood, creating many well-known designs. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was active in designing both coinage and stamps. His winning entry chosen for the replacement effigy on Britain's newly decimal coinage, and it was used from 1968 until it was replaced in 1985. Although Machin's coin effigy was replaced, his stamp design was approved by the Queen in 1966, and it has remained in use since its implementation in 1967. 

 On the obverse of the coin, around the portrait the inscription reads ‘ELIZABETH II DEI ∙ GRA ∙ REGINA ∙ FID ∙ DEF∙'. Translated from Latin, this phrase means ‘By The Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith'.  As Monarch, this phrase recognises her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This is a position that she has held since her coronation in 1952, and a similar phrasing has been used on all of her official and commemorative currency since. 

Struck to Handsome Proof Standard

Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign truly exceptional examples for collectors everywhere. 

The dies that are used to strike Proof coins are hand finished to ensure perfection. The blanks are fed into the press by hand, before being struck up to six times. Working at a lower speed, and with less pressure than other finishes, this preserves the finer details of the designs. Each Proof die may only strike a few hundred coins before it has to be re-polished. This means that the Royal Mint can only strike about 50 Proof coins per hour. This is an exponentially slower rate of production than that maintained for circulating coins.

Due to the more intensive processes involved, Proof coins are usually issued in limited numbers. This is the case for the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 50,000 coins were struck in this year. Although this number is high comparatively to figures produced today, it is low compared to the 9.1 million Brilliant Uncirculated Bullion that were struck in this year. 

Saint George and the Dragon

The Great Recoinage and resurrection of the Sovereign in 1817 called for a new design to appear on the reverse of the coin. The design that was chosen has become synonymous with the gold Sovereign. Benedetto Pistrucci's depiction of Saint George and the Dragon has largely held its own as the engraving of choice for the reverse of Sovereign's for over 200 years. This particular design also paid homage to the King on the throne during its inception – George III as well as his successor George VI – as well as the recent victory over the French at Waterloo.

The design was used almost consecutively on the Sovereigns of the British monarchy, featuring since the reign of Victoria exclusively, right up until the present day, including the 1979 Proof Gold Sovereign. 

7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold

The Sovereign today adheres to standards that were introduced when they were reintroduced in 1817. The 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign also meets this rigorous criteria. 

Each Full Gold Sovereign contains copper weight, which is what lends the Sovereign its warm reddish tone.

However the gold weight is a fantastic 7.32 grams or 0.2354 troy ounces of pure gold. This 22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. 

The dimensions also meet strict guidance, with every Gold Sovereign having a diameter of 22.00 millimetres and a thickness of 1.52 millimetres.

Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns

More than 40 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1979 Gold Proof Sovereigns are coming to the market. If you are working to complete a Proof Sovereign collection then it's important to acquire these dates when they become available.

As well as appealing to collectors of commemorative coins, Proof Sovereigns like the 1979 issue are an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio for several reasons:

  • The 22 Carat Gold composition of Gold Sovereigns offers the intrinsic security of precious metal as a way of storing wealth
  • Their relatively low weight of 7.98 grams means that prices for Sovereigns are accessible and small portions of your collection can be liquidated much easier than gold bars
  • The numismatic value and aesthetic beauty of coins like the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign can give them a value above the gold price on the collector's market
  • As they are composed of investment grade gold, 1979 Gold Proof Sovereigns are exempt from VAT in the UK and the European Union
  • An additional tax benefit: Gold Sovereigns are technically legal tender in the UK, making them exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

Here at The Britannia Coin Company we can't recommend the 1979 Gold Proof Sovereign enough. Secure yours today and get free insured delivery on your order. Any questions? Call or email today and our expert staff will be pleased to assist.

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