1985 Proof Gold Sovereign
We offer to you the 1985 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 1985 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.
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
Every Gold Sovereign has been minted to the same specification since their reintroduction in 1817. This includes the 1985 Gold Proof Sovereign.
22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. This means that each 1985 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.
Struck to Handsome Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1985 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 1985 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 11,393 coins were struck in this year. This number had been steadily falling annually. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1985 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.
Queen Elizabeth II's Third Portrait
The 1985 Proof Gold Sovereign features the third portrait of Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This portrait was designed by the engraver Raphael Maklouf. In 1984, two portraits designed by Maklouf were chosen; one for general circulation and one for the commemorative issues. These designs were used in several countries from 1985 until 1997. His initials, RDM, can be seen at the base of the Queens' neck. Maklouf made the decision to add his middle initial, M, so they would not be mistaken for meaning 'Royal Mint.'
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.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Over 30 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1985 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 1985 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 1985 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, 1985 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 1985 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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