1985 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign
1985 'full' proof Sovereign: the first to feature the third portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
History: 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.
Bendetto Pistrucci's St George
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.
Pistrucci's reverse is paired with Raphael Maklouf's portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. This effigy was in use on British coinage between 1985 and 1997. Maklouf's initials - 'RDM' - appear on the truncation of Elizabeth II's neck.
Gold Proof Sovereigns
From 1979, The Royal Mint offered both proof and bullion Sovereigns alongside each other. Between 1983 and 1997 only proof coins were issued, making them particularly desirable to collectors. Intended for collectors, proof coins have a high-definition, high-contrast finish, achieved with multiple strikes of hand-prepared dies.
Just 17,242 proof Sovereigns were offered by The Royal Mint in 1985.
The finish is preserved by the original presentation box that the coin comes in. Also included: a numbered certificate of authenticity.
If you're interested in buying Sovereigns you might want to consider our best value, mixed-year 'full' 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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