1991 Proof Gold Sovereign
The Britannia Coin Company offers you a 1991 Full Gold Proof Sovereign: a smart addition to any collection.
Raphael Maklouf’s Royal Portrait
Raphael Maklouf is the engraver responsible for the ‘third portrait’ of Elizabeth II that is seen on the 1991 Proof Gold Sovereign. This portrait featured from 1985 to 1997, with the exception of the 1989 500th anniversary Sovereign. The portrait seen here differs from the general circulation portrait of this period, which was also selected from Makalouf’s designs in 1984. His initials, RDM, can be seen at the base of Elizabeth II’s neck.
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.
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 1991 Proof Gold Sovereign.
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 1991 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 1991 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.
Struck to Handsome Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1991 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 1991 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 4,713 coins were struck in this year. This is however a similar number to the years immediately before and after it. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1991 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Now 30 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1991 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 1991 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 1991 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, 1991 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 1991 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.
We are always proud to show off our previous customers experiences with you and what they thought of our purchasing through with Britannia Coins.