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1979 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

1979 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign Boxed

Buy a 1979 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign

(VAT Exempt)
List Price: £725.00
The first annual proof Sovereign issued by The Royal Mint: an essential addition to any modern Sovereign collection. Proof Sovereigns had been issued before, of course, but we are today used to seeing a new ‘full’ proof Sovereign every year. This tradition began in 1979, making that initial commemorative proof coin a sought-after piece. It features Arnold Machin’s portrait of Her Majesty the Queen to the obverse. Machin’s effigy was in use on British coinage, Sovereigns included, from 1968 through until 1985. This design is paired with an instantly recognisable reverse, first used on the Sovereigns issued all the way back in 1817. It was designed by an Italian artist named Benedetto Pistrucci and features England’s patron saint, St George, mounted on a rear horse, in the act of slaying a dragon. The artist’s initials appear next to the date in exergue. As well as utilising a historic reverse, this Sovereign maintains the specifications established back in Pistrucci’s day. The coin is struck in 7.98 grams of 22 carat gold and has a 22.05 millimetre diameter. What sets this example apart is the proof finish. Intended for collectors, proof coins show more detail than their bullion counterparts and are minted in smaller numbers. In 1979, just 50,000 proof Sovereigns were issued and they are becoming harder to find several decades on. This example comes in its original presentation case from The Royal Mint.
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The Royal Mint's first annual proof Sovereign issue.

The Story of the Gold Sovereign

The first Sovereigns were struck during the reign of Tudor king Henry VII. Centuries later, a new gold coin bearing this name was introduced, following a major overhaul of British coinage. This Sovereign, first minted in 1817, established specifications that are still strictly followed today.

All Sovereigns weight exactly 7.98 grams and are composed of 22 carat gold. That's a gold weight of 7.32 grams or .2354 troy ounces. Sovereigns measure 22.05 millimetres in diameter and have a nominal face value of one pound sterling though their gold content means they command significantly higher prices.

Sovereigns once circulated across the globe but production ceased with the outbreak of the First World War. Reintroduced in 1957, annual issues attract investors and collectors with limited edition proof Sovereigns - hand-finished for a flawless effect - the most sought-after.

Obverse and Reverse

For much of its history the modern 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. 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.

The obverse of this coin features the second definitive effigy of Her Majesty the Queen by Arnold Machin. This portrait was introduced to British currency in 1968 and was used through until the mid 1980s.

7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold

While bullion Sovereigns are minted in large numbers by The Royal Mint each year, only a small number of proof coins are offered, starting in this year. Intended for collectors, proof coins have a high-definition, high-contrast finish, achieved with multiple strikes of hand-prepared dies. The finish is preserved by the original presentation box that the coin comes in.

No certificates of authenticity were offered with 1979 proof Sovereigns. 

50,000 proof Sovereigns were struck in 1979 by The Royal Mint.

If you're interested in buying Sovereigns you might want to consider our best value, mixed-year Sovereigns which make a great investment.

Like all Sovereigns, this one is 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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