The Royal Mint's first modern gold proof Sovereign set, one of just 10,000 issued and one of only two four coin proof sets to feature Arnold Machin’s portrait of Elizabeth II.
The First Modern Sovereign Set
The very first gold Sovereigns were struck in the 1400s by the Tudor kings and their prestigious legacy was reclaimed when the modern Sovereign was introduced in 1817. Over the next century, Sovereigns became prized across the British Empire, trusted to contain a known and significant quantity of gold.
The Sovereign fell out of circulation in Britain with the start of the First World War. Since 1979, the Royal Mint has issued a new proof Sovereigns annually, attracting a dedicated group of collectors. Fresh designs are eagerly anticipated but older issues, particularly proof Sovereign sets remain popular.
In the past, gold Sovereign sets were issued by The Royal Mint to mark coronations. A very small number of proof coins were struck for Her Majesty's 1953 coronation but not issued. Proof Sovereigns would not be regularly struck until 1979 and a proof set would not be offered until 1980. As the first gold Sovereign proof set, the 1980 Four Coin Proof Set is much sought after.
Arnold Machin’s Royal Portrait
All four coins in the 1980 Proof set feature Arnold Machin’s bust of Elizabeth II, known as the 'decimal' portrait. A British sculptor and designer, Machin is responsible for a number of coinage designs as well as the royal portrait that has appeared on British stamps since 1967.
Machin's tiara-wearing effigy of Her Majesty featured on decimal coins from 1968 to 1984 as her second definitive portrait. This portrait only appeared on proof Sovereigns for five years and was only used for two four coin proof sets: those issued in 1980 and 1982.
The four gold coins in the 1980 Proof Set all feature Benedetto Pistrucci's Saint George and the Dragon reverse. The Sovereigns included in the set are:
- 1980 Gold Proof Quintuple Sovereign or Five Pound piece, weighing in at 39.94 grams of 22 carat gold, equating to an actual gold weight of 1.1771 troy ounces
- 1980 Gold Proof Double Sovereign or Two Pound coin: 15.98 grams of 22 carat gold (0.4708 troy ounces)
- 1980 Gold Proof Full Sovereign: 7.98 grams and 0.2354 troy ounces of 22 carat gold - also available individually
- 1980 Gold Proof Half Sovereign: 3.99 grams and 0.1177 troy ounces
A Collectible Gold Proof Set
Only 10,000 of these 1980 four-coin proof sets were issued by The Royal Mint.
Inevitably, some of these will have been broken up so its nice to see a complete set in great condition. The status of this product as the first of the modern proof sets has made them particularly desirable.
This 1980 Proof Sovereign set comes in its original packaging from The Royal Mint. This consists of an attractive green leather case with it original certificate. All four gold coins remain in their capsules as issued.
Precious Metal Content:
Elizabeth II (1952-2022)
Capital Gains Tax Status:
Proof - Boxed with certificate of authenticity
- 4 coin gold proof Sovereign set
- The first modern proof set offered by The Royal Mint
- Contains the 1980 Five Pound, Two Pound, Full Sovereign and Half Sovereign
- All struck to proof standard
- Total weight: 67.90 grams of 22 carat gold
- 2.0011 troy ounces of gold
- Obverse: Arnold Machin's second portrait of Elizabeth II
- Reverse: Benedetto Pistrucci's Saint George and the Dragon
- One of only 10,000 sets offered
- Presented in original case with certificate of authenticity
- VAT and Capital Gains Tax free
Steeped in more than 1,100 years of history, The Royal Mint supplies all of the United Kingdom's coinage as well as currency for nations around the world. Renown for craftsmanship and thoughtful design, The Royal Mint also produces commemorative coins, favoured by investors and collectors.
A Millennia of Minting
Founded in the reign of Alfred the Great, around the year 886, The Royal Mint was originally one of several mints which were centralised to London in 1279. For more than 800 years the Mint was based at the Tower of London before moving to Royal Mint Court where it remained until the 1960s.
The Royal Mint has always been on the forefront of economic, technical and artistic innovation. Its skilled craftsmen minted coins that would reach the far corners of the British Empire, establishing the image and reputation of Britain for all whose pockets they ended up in.
In 2010 The Royal Mint became a limited company owned by Her Majesty’s Treasury. In recent years the Mint has struck medals for the 2012 London Olympic Games and opened a visitor centre, The Royal Mint Experience, in Llantrisant, Wales: the current home of The Royal Mint.
Collecting and Investing
The Royal Mint's commemorative and bullion coins – often minted to mark important national events and anniversaries – are not intended for circulation. They might look like ordinary coins but they are generally worth much more, thanks to their scarcity, finish and composition.
Most commemorative coins produced by The Royal Mint are available in a range of striking standards including Gold Proof, Silver Proof, Brilliant Uncirculated and Bullion. Some are also available in collectors sets. Gold and Silver Proof coins are minted in small numbers, making them rare and desirable.
The Royal Mint's commemorative coins are both VAT-free and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exempt, making them an attractive and valuable investment. Whether you are diversifying your investments or simply appreciate world-class design, commemorative coins from The Royal Mint are a great buy.
The Royal Mint at The Britannia Coin Company
The Britannia Coin Company is proud to stock official commemorative coins from The Royal Mint as well as a wide range of historic Royal Mint coinage. We offer unbeatable value on The Royal Mint coins, backed by our reputation for honesty and integrity, built over more than a decade of trading.
We're The Britannia Coin Company: offering exceptional service and unbeatable value to all who collect and invest in coins. Part of Gold-Traders (UK) Ltd, we've earned a world-class reputation over more than a decade of buying and selling currency from new issues to ancient coins.
Buy with Confidence
All Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium coins we sell are 100% guaranteed authentic and, where relevant, are individually certified. We're members of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA) and pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity and expertise: just read some of our reviews.
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Visit our Showroom
We're based in Royal Wootton Bassett, a historic market town in beautiful Wiltshire. If the name rings a bell it's probably because you remember how the community honoured those soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 'Royal' in the name was granted in 2011 to recognise this.
Our new showroom – opened in 2020 – is located in the heart of Royal Wootton Bassett in a grand, old bank building. Inside you can view our stock, as well as jewellery and collectibles from several local antique dealers. Look out for the Old Bank Antiques sign and come on in.
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