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1988 Proof Gold Sovereign

1988 Proof Gold Sovereign
from
£695.00
(VAT Exempt)
The 1988 gold Sovereign was only issued in proof quality, with a low mintage of just 7,670. This edition features a youthful looking portrait of Elizabeth II created by Raphael Maklouf, and is partnered on the reverse with the iconic Saint George and the Dragon engraving by Benedetto Pistrucci. Part of a long history, this 1988 proof Sovereign weighs 7.98 grams and is accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity from The Royal Mint.
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The Britannia Coin Company offers you a 1988 Full Gold Proof Sovereign. A smart investment to any collection, we hope to ensure you make a confident decision.

History of the Gold Sovereign

The Gold Sovereign dates back over 500 years, to the reign of Henry VII in 1489. However, this is not the Sovereign we see today. In 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars, the British government enforced a huge reform of Britain's coinage. It was by this act that the Sovereign was brought back into British currency in 1817, during the reign of George III. The first modern gold sovereign was struck in The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill with their newly acquired steam powered coin press.

An instantly recognisable coin today, the Sovereign is considered to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, highly coveted and relied upon by investors around the world. With a long and interesting legacy, the 1988 Gold Proof Sovereign makes for an excellent way to own a relic of the ages.

Struck to Handsome Proof Standard

Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1988 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 1988 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 7,670 coins were struck in this year. This is less than the previous year, and significantly less than the following year which celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Sovereign. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1988 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.

Buy a 1988 Gold Sovereign

The 1988 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. 

Saint George and the Dragon

The Great Recoinage and resurrection of the Sovereign in 1817 called for a new design to appear on the reverse of the coin. The design that was chosen has become synonymous with the gold Sovereign. Benedetto Pistrucci's depiction of Saint George and the Dragon has largely held its own as the engraving of choice for the reverse of Sovereign's for over 200 years. This particular design also paid homage to the King on the throne during its inception – George III as well as his successor George VI – as well as the recent victory over the French at Waterloo.

The design was used almost consecutively on the Sovereigns of the British monarchy, featuring since the reign of Victoria exclusively, right up until the present day, including the 1988 Proof Gold Sovereign. 

7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold 

Since their reintroduction in 1817, each Gold Sovereign has been minted to exactly the same specification. The 1988 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 1988 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

Over 30 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1988 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 1988 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 1988 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, 1988 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 1988 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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