1997 Proof Gold Sovereign
The Britannia Coin Company offers you a 1997 Full Gold Proof Sovereign. A smart investment to any collection, we hope to ensure you make a confident decision.
The Third Royal Portrait
The engraver behind the third portrait of Elizabeth II seen on the obverse of the 1997 Proof Gold Sovereign is Raphael Maklouf. In 1984, two of Maklouf's designs were selected for British coinage, one for general circulation, and one for commemorative issues. They were used on the coins for several countries from 1985 to 1997. His initials, RDM, can be seen at the base of Her Majesty's neck.
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'. This phrase acknowledges the Queen’s position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She has held this role since her coronation in 1952, and a similar inscription has appeared on her official and commemorative currency since.
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.
Struck to Impressive Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 1997 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 1997 Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 7,500 coins were struck in this year. This is number is identical to the previous year, but lower than the following year when a new fourth portrait was introduced. There were no bullion coins produced between 1983 and 1999, meaning that the 1997 Gold Proof Sovereign is the only example of a Sovereign that you will find from this year.
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 1997 Gold Proof Sovereign.
22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. This means that each 1997 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.
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 1997 Proof Gold Sovereign.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Over 20 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 1997 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 1997 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 1997 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, 1997 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 1997 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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