1983 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Proof Full Sovereign
We offer to you the 1983 Full Gold Proof Sovereign. A wonderful collector's piece, The Britannia Coin Company looks at all the elements needed to help you make your decision.
Saint George and the Dragon
After the Napoleonic Wars ended, Britain was in need of an overhaul of its currency. This brought about the Great Recoinage of 1816. It was from this that the Sovereign was reintroduced into British currency, and this required a new design to fill the reverse of the coin. The design chosen is still featured to the present day, appearing on the 1983 Proof Gold Sovereign over 200 years later. The design chosen was the Saint George and the Dragon engraving by Benedetto Pistrucci, by far his most celebrated work. This was a welcome change to previous designs. It in turn both acknowledged and respected both the patron saint of Britain, and the current monarch on the throne, George III, who had just achieved great victory at the Battle of Waterloo over the French.
Struck to Glorious Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1983 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 laborious processes involved, Proof coins are usually issued in limited numbers and the 1983 Gold Proof Sovereign is no exception; only 21,250 were minted in this year. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1983 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.
Queen Elizabeth II's Second Portrait
The 1983 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.
History of the Gold Sovereign
The Gold Sovereign has a history that spans back over 500 years. Although the original Sovereign dates to the reign of Henry VII in 1489, the Sovereign was retired and reintroduced in the Nineteenth Century into the specification that we recognise today. After the gruelling Napoleonic Wars, the currency situation in Britain culminated in the Great Recoinage of 1816. In 1817, the Sovereign was reborn during the reign of George III. The first modern gold sovereign was minted at The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill with their newly acquired steam powered coin press, revolutionising coin production.
The Sovereign is an instantly recognisable coin for collectors everywhere. It is considered to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, meaning they have a highly sought after status and are relied upon by investors around the world. This history of Empire and heritage means that the Sovereigns still issued by The Royal Mint annually hold the attention of collectors today.
7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold
Since their reintroduction in 1817, each Gold Sovereign has been minted to exactly the same specification. The 1983 Gold Proof Sovereign is no exception to this rule.
Firstly, each Gold Sovereign has a diameter of 22.00 millimetres and a thickness of 1.52 millimetres.
Weighing at 7.32 grams or 0.2354 troy ounces of pure gold, the 1983 Gold Proof Sovereign is 22 Carat Gold. This is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917.
The remaining weight in a Full Gold Sovereign is mostly copper, which also lends the Sovereign their characteristic reddish tone.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Nearly 40 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1983 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 1983 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 1983 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, 1983 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 1983 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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