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1980 Proof Gold Sovereign

1980 Proof Gold Sovereign
£475.00
(VAT Exempt)
Are you an avid collector of commemorative Full Sovereigns? Or perhaps the year 1980 is especially symbolic to you? Whatever your reason, the 1980 Gold Proof Sovereign makes a fantastic edition to a Sovereign collection. Featuring a flattering portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin, and combined with Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous Saint George and the Dragon engraving. This 1980 edition is one of 81,200 minted, with a weight of 7.98 grams and 22 carat gold. Presented in its original Royal Mint packaging, and with a numbered certificate of authenticity, this coin is offered by The Britannia Coin Company with free, insured delivery.
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The Britannia Coin Company offers you a 1980 Full Gold Proof Sovereign. A smart investment to any collection, we hope to ensure you make a confident decision.

Struck to Impressive Proof Standard

Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1980 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 1980 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 81,200 coins were struck in this year. Although this number is high in comparison to modern Sovereign Proof numbers, it is much lower than the 5.1 million Brilliant Uncirculated Bullion that were minted in the same year.

Arnold Machin's Royal Portrait

Arnold Machin is the artist responsible for the ‘second portrait' of Elizabeth II that is seen on the 1980 Proof Gold Sovereign.  This portrait featured from 1968 to 1985 exclusively. After producing the winning entry in a competition to create a new coin effigy, he also produced the reverse of the crown issued in 1972 to mark the Silver Wedding of the Queen and Prince Phillip, as well as the obverse and reverse of the Silver Jubilee crown of 1977. Machin is primarily known for his iconic bas-relief sculptures of Her Majesty; the effigy he created for Royal Mail Definitive stamps is still used to this day and is thought to be the most reproduced work of art of all time.

The inscription on the obverse reads ‘ELIZABETH II DEI ∙ GRA ∙ REGINA ∙ FID ∙ DEF∙'. Translated from Latin, this phrase means ‘By The Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith'. This acknowledges Elizabeth II's role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. A position she has held since her coronation in 1952, a similar phrase has appeared on all of her official and commemorative currency since.

7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold

Every Gold Sovereign has been minted to the same specification since their reintroduction in 1817. This includes the 1980 Gold Proof Sovereign. 

22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. This means that each 1980 Gold Proof Sovereign contains an excellent 7.32 grams or 0.2354 troy ounces of pure gold.

The remaining weight in a Full Gold Sovereign is predominately copper, which gives Sovereigns their distinctive reddish tone.

Additionally, every Gold Sovereign has a diameter of 22.00 millimetres and a thickness of 1.52 millimetres. 

History of the Gold Sovereign

Spanning a history of over 500 years, the Gold Sovereign dates back to the reign of Henry VII in 1489. The Sovereign we see today however is the version that was reinstated in the Nineteenth Century during the reign of George III. The costs of the Napoleonic Wars saw a need for a reform of Britain's coinage. The Great Recoinage of 1816 saw the Sovereign reintroduced in 1817, the first of which were produced at The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill. Using their newly acquired steam powered coin press, this technology propelled coin production forwards at much higher speeds.

Now an instantly recognisable coin to collectors around the world, the Sovereign is today considered not only to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, but their status means that they are relied upon by investors around the world. This legacy means that the Sovereign remains a highly desirable coin for buyers today.

Saint George and the Dragon

In 1816, the British Government ordered a Great Recoinage of British currency. This act reintroduced the Sovereign into Britain, and with that reintroduction, a new reverse design was needed. The design chosen was that of Benedetto Pistrucci's depiction of Saint George and the Dragon, which has since featured nearly exclusively on the Sovereign for over 200 years. Inspired to design a ‘Greek style' St George, the design was born. A welcome change to previous designs, the use of a warlike figure was also a nod towards the recent victory over the French at Waterloo.

The design of Saint George slaying the dragon has featured on the Sovereign of every monarch since its inception during the reign of George III; except William IV, although his niece Queen Victoria adopted it once more on her accession to the throne in 1837. The engraving is still used up to the present day, and that includes the reverse of the 1980 Proof Gold Sovereign. 

Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns

More than 40 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1980 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 1980 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 1980 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, 1980 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 1980 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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