1994 Proof Gold Sovereign
Introducing the 1994 Full Gold Sovereign, minted to glorious Proof standard. Why invest in this fantastic collector’s piece? We’ve got all the information you need to make a considered decision.
7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold
Like all Full Gold Sovereigns, the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign weighs in at 7.98 grams of 22 Carat Gold.
22 Carat Gold is equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. This means that the pure gold content of the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign is an excellent 7.32 grams or 0.2354 troy ounces.
The remainder of the weight in a Full Gold Sovereign like this one is predominantly copper, which lends Sovereigns their distinctive reddish tone.
Every Gold Sovereign has a diameter of 22.00 millimetres and a thickness of 1.52 millimetres. These dimensions, and the percentage of gold that a Sovereign contains has been the same for more than two centuries.
History of the Gold Sovereign
The 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign embodies a glorious legacy.
Described by The Royal Mint as their ‘Flagship Coin’ and by others as the ‘Chief Coin of the World’, Gold Sovereigns are instantly recognisable to any collector.
First minted in England in 1489, during the reign of Henry VII, Sovereigns were resurrected in the nineteenth-century, following the Coinage Act of 1816. Sovereigns began to be minted to their current specifications in 1817, while George III was on the throne.
Once, Sovereigns were a symbol of Empire, circulating across the globe. This proud heritage lingers about the commemorative Sovereigns issued annually by the Royal Mint for a host of eager buyers.
Saint George and the Dragon
When the modern Sovereign was conceived in 1817, a unique design was sought to grace the reverse. The Royal Mint still uses this iconic engraving for Full Gold Sovereigns today: a dynamic rendering of Saint George in the act of slaying a wounded dragon.
Called the ‘handsomest coin in Europe’ when it was first introduced, the motif is the work of Italian artist Benedetto Pistrucci. The warlike patron saint of England was an inspired choice. The design paid complement to the King and his regent – also named George – and captured the triumphant national mood in the wake of victory at Waterloo.
Pistrucci’s Saint George appeared on Queen Victoria’s sovereigns and was revived for use on the commemorative gold coins issued by The Royal Mint in the next century, including the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign.
You’ll find no legend on the reverse of this coin – just the year – meaning you can appreciate the unforgettable design in all its glory.
A Royal Obverse
It’s Raphael Maklouf’s third definitive coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that appears on the obverse of the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign. This flattering, youthful effigy was in use on commemorative and circulating issues from 1985 to 1997, both in the UK as well as Commonwealth countries. The artist’s initials (RDM) can be found at the base of the Queen’s neck.
Around Maklouf’s portrait you’ll find the inscription ‘ELIZABETH II DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·’. Unabbreviated, this Latin legend would read ‘Dei Gratia Regina Fidei Defensor’. This well-know phrase, when translated, means ‘By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith’. This acknowledges the Queen’s religious role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She has held this position since her 1952 coronation and a similar inscription has appeared on all her official currency, including her Sovereigns.
Struck to Sparkling Proof Standard
Proof coins like the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign represent true craftsmanship, and the highest available standard in commemorative currency.
Proof coins are struck six times using hand finished dies and specially selected blanks, resulting in a superior finish which displays the fine detail of the design to perfection. The Royal Mint reports that they can strike about 50 Proof coins per hour. This is an exponentially slower rate of production that that maintained for circulating coins.
Because the process is so labour intensive, Proof coins are usually issued in limited numbers and the 1994 Gold Proof Sovereign is no exception. Only 4,998 were minted in this year: a particularly low number compared to subsequent editions.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
More than 25 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1994 Gold Proof Sovereigns are coming to the market. If you are working to complete a Proof Sovereign collection then its important to acquire these dates when they become available.
As well as appealing to collectors of commemorative coins, Proof Sovereigns like the 1994 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 1994 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, 1994 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 1994 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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