1996 Proof Gold Sovereign
The 1996 Proof Gold Sovereign could be your next investment today. At The Britannia Coin Company, we hope you will consider the following to help you make your decision for the next piece of your collection.
7.98 Grams of 22 Carat Gold
Since their reintroduction in 1817, each Gold Sovereign has been minted to exactly the same specification. The 1996 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 1996 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 Impressive Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1996 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 1996 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 7,500 coins were struck in this year. This number matches the years immediately before and after. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1996 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.
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 1996 Proof Gold Sovereign.
History of the Gold Sovereign
Spanning a history of over 500 years, the Gold Sovereign dates back to the reign of Henry VII in 1489. The Sovereign we see today however is the version that was reinstated in the Nineteenth Century during the reign of George III. The costs of the Napoleonic Wars saw a need for a reform of Britain’s coinage. The Great Recoinage of 1816 saw the Sovereign reintroduced in 1817, the first of which were produced at The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill. Using their newly acquired steam powered coin press, this technology propelled coin production forwards at much higher speeds.
Now an instantly recognisable coin to collectors around the world, the Sovereign is today considered not only to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, but their status means that they are relied upon by investors around the world. This legacy means that the Sovereign remains a highly desirable coin for buyers today.
Raphael Maklouf's Royal Portrait
Raphael Maklouf is the engraver responsible for the 'third portrait' of Elizabeth II that is seen on the 1996 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 Maklouf'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.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Over 20 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1996 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 1996 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 1996 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, 1996 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 1996 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.