2001 Gold Proof 4 Sovereign Set
The Royal Mint's annual Sovereign sets are highly sought after and we are pleased to offer this hard to find 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set.
Two Remarkable Reverses
Generally, coins issued as part of The Royal Mint's yearly sovereign collections all feature the same reverse, scaled to the denomination. The most commonly used design is Benedetto Pistrucci's timeless St George and the Dragon engraving, crafted for the first modern Sovereigns, minted in 1817. It is this celebrated image that appears on the reverse of three coins in this 4-Coin Sovereign Set: the Half Sovereign, Sovereign and Five Pound piece.
The 2001 Sovereign collection is unusual in that the Two Pound or Double Sovereign coin bears a very different pattern to the Half Sovereign, Sovereign and Five Pound coins. Instead of the Pistrucci classic, the Gold Proof Two Pound coin in this 4-Coin Sovereign Set features a reverse used on circulating cupronickel £2 coins minted the same year, referred to as the 'Wireless Transmission' or 'Marconi' Two Pound.
There is a precedent for this 'odd one out' release: the 1986 Sovereign set featured a gold Two Pound coin with a reverse marking the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.
Marconi's Transatlantic Transmission
The reverse of the 2001 Gold Proof Two Pound coin – included in the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set – commemorates the centenary of the first transatlantic radio transmission. This ground-breaking event was orchestrated by the Nobel Prize winning Italian electrical engineer, Guglielmo Marconi, who is often credited as the inventor of radio.
In December 1901, in the face of scientific scepticism, Marconi announced that he had transmitted signals from Poldhu, Cornwall across the Atlantic Ocean to St John's, Newfoundland (now part of Canada), crossing a distance of 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometres).
A milestone in the history of communication technology, the edge inscription of the 2001 Gold Proof Two Pound coin summarises the achievement, reading: 'WIRELESS BRIDGES THE ATLANTIC MARCONI 1901'.
Robert Evans' Dynamic Design
Reportedly, the first message that Marconi sent was the Morse code sequence for the letter 'S', which is represented as three 'dots'. Those three dots are a recurring motif on the reverse of the 2001 Gold Proof Two Pound.
The pattern for this coin is the work of Welsh artist Robert Evans, then a senior engraver with the Royal Mint. Chosen by the public from three shortlisted entries, the ingenious design is themed around wireless waves. It features electric sparks linking the zeros in the date (2001) and emanating out across the surface of the coin.
The gold version, included in the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set, has an appealing bicolour effect, with a red-gold outer ring and a yellow-gold inner. Evan's initials ('RE') appear at the base of the central disc, above the denomination.
Ian Rank-Broadley's Portrait
While the reverse used for coins in the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set differs, the obverse features an old favourite: Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of Elizabeth II.
The fourth definitive effigy used on Her Majesty's coinage, this image of the Queen was in use on British money from 1998 until it was replaced by Jody Clark's fifth profile in 2015.
The well-loved portrait is encircled on all coins in this 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set with an inscription, broken by the Queen's tiara, that reads 'ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA REGINA · FID · DEF'.
Year of the Snake
2001 was the year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac. In celebration, the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set also includes a rectangular gold plated medallion. On one side this added extra features an image of the Imperial State Crown, above the words 'Elizabeth R'. The reverse shows a stylised snake.
Glorious Gold Proof
All four coins in this 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set are presented in the highest available Proof standard, minted using pristine blanks and specially polished dies.
Each coin in the set is composed of 22 Carat Gold, equal to a fineness of 916.7: the high gold content that is a hallmark of Sovereigns. Their weight and dimensions differ:
- Half Sovereign: 19.30 millimetres diameter, 3.99 grams total weight, 0.1177 troy ounces of gold
- Sovereign: 22.05 millimetres diameter, 7.98 grams total weight, 0.2354 troy ounces of gold
- Two Pound (Double Sovereign): 28.40 millimetres diameter, 15.97 grams total weight, 0.4708 troy ounces of gold
- Five Pound (Quintuple Sovereign): 36.02 millimetres diameter, 39.94 grams total weight, 1.1771 troy ounces of gold
In total, the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set nets you 67.90 grams of 22 Carat Gold, equivalent to 2.0011 troy ounces of actual gold weight.
Collectible Limited Presentation
Just 1,000 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set were issued by the Royal Mint: a fairly low issue limit for presentations of this type. Now, twenty years on, these coveted sets come to the market only sporadically.
As they are presented in their original Royal Mint packaging, sealed in their capsules, you can guarantee that these 2001 Sovereigns are pristine and unblemished.
Gold sovereigns, including the Half Sovereign, Double Sovereign and Five Sovereign included in this set are legal tender in the UK. This means that sovereigns in the 2001 Gold Proof 4-Coin Sovereign Set are both VAT and Capital Gains Tax free: an added benefit for investors.
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