2012 Gold Proof 5-Coin Sovereign Set
The 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set consists of the 2012 Proof £5 (Quintuple-Sovereign), the 2012 Proof Double-Sovereign, the 2012 Proof Sovereign, the 2012 Proof Half-Sovereign and the 2012 Proof Quarter-Sovereign. The set contains more than two ounces of pure gold.
Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning monarch ever. Born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Queen in 1952 and her Coronation was on 2 June 1953. That meant 2012 was her Diamond Jubilee year, 60 years on the throne. Only Queen Victoria has shared this extraordinary event.
The Royal Mint decided that the Gold Sovereign family of 2012 should features new reverse design to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A new portrayal of St. George and the Dragon was designed by Paul Day. All the coins in the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set carry this new design.
The Gold Sovereign is one of the World's most famous coins. It's origins lie back in 1489 when Henry VII issued a large gold coin valued at 20 shillings which depicted an image of 'the sovereign' (the King) giving it an enduring nickname. The first 'modern' sovereign came shortly after the Great Reconinage of 1816. George III was on that first gold sovereign, dated 1817.
On the reverse of the first coins in 1817 was the iconic image of Pistrucci's St George and the Dragon. Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855) was an Italian engraver who became chief medallist at the Royal Mint. Pistrucci's design is still the most common reverse image used on gold sovereigns today but for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set had a new interpretation of the St George legend, and only for 2012.
The Coins of the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set
Over the centuries the gold sovereign has spawned a family of coins. Besides the full Gold Sovereign, coins both larger and smaller have emerged.
The Half-Sovereign was actually also introduced a long time ago, back in 1544 during the reign of Henry VIII. However it was discontinued in 1604 (along with full sovereigns) and no more was minted until 1817. Production ended again in 1926 (1933 in Australia) and except for a few special issues during the Coronation years, it was 1980 when we saw half-sovereigns again.
The 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set contains a Proof Double Sovereign. The first gold two pound (£2) coins appeared in 1820 for George III but they were only made occasionally and not intended for circulation. In 1980 the Royal Mint started minting them yearly.
Double Sovereigns are Gold £2 coins, but there are two variations. One is the double sovereign itself; it looks like a larger version of the sovereign of the same year. The other type is a commemorative style which tends to copy the circulation two pound design. To avoid categorisation some dealers refer to both types collectively as two pound pieces.
Quintuple Sovereigns, or Gold five-pounds, are impressive coins. Hold one and feel the weight - it's an amazing experience. Despite the high cost of a gold coin weighing almost 40g they are very popular and very collectable. A gold £5 can be a gold sovereign type or a £5 crown; the weights are the same but there is a small difference in diameter. The £5 coin in the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set is of the gold sovereign type.
The Quarter Sovereign is the smallest modern legal tender British gold coin, with a denomination of 25 pence. Quarter Sovereigns were introduced in 2009 and you can usually only get them as part of a set.
Having all the gold sovereign family together is a fairly new idea. Five-plus gold coin sets have been a very infrequent visitor to the numismatic world of coin collecting. The Royal Mint started the new trend around 2009 with the birth of the Quarter Sovereign and Sovereign Sets have have proved to be very popular ever since.
Description of the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set
The designs of the coins in the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set are common to all five coins.
The Obverse (front, heads) shows Queen Elizabeth II’s fourth portrait, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. You can see the artists initials ('IRB') very clearly on the base of the neck.
The Reverse (back, tails) is the exciting new image created by Paul Day. It shows St George on horseback attacking the dragon with a lance. The date is placed on the left.
The 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set was originally issued in a Royal Mint case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity (COA). All coins are legal tender in the UK; you should ask your accountant/financial advisor what Capital Gains Tax advantages you can gain from this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Which coins are in the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set?
A: The set consists of the 2012 Proof £5 (Quintuple-Sovereign), the 2012 Proof Double-Sovereign (Gold £2), the 2012 Proof Sovereign, the 2012 Proof Half-Sovereign and the 2012 Proof Quarter-Sovereign.
Q: Are your 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set Coins genuine?
A: Yes, and we guarantee it. With high value coins and investments such as the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set, collectors and bullion investors often worry about counterfeits, but actually gold coins are very difficult to forge due to gold's unique properties of density and colour. Gold is extremely dense and to use another metal and gold-plate it would result in a coin that is under-weight, over-diameter or half-again as thick, something that would be spotted very easily by a expert. You can buy from us 100% worry free.
Q: What is the difference between Gold Proof Coins and Gold Bullion Coins?
A: Both coins will carry the same amount of gold.
Proof coins have a mirror-like finish. They are almost hand made, with appreciable care, struck several times to get an outstanding image. Proofs are aimed at numismatists (coin collectors). This extra care incurs considerable additional cost and a proof will cost much more than the gold content of the coin. It will also attract a high re-sale price if you do decide to sell it and there are strong markets for these coins.
Bullion coins are primarily for gold investment. They may have the same image as the proof, but the coin is made by machine, and only struck once using production dies. The coin is not so visually appealing as a proof and may have scuffs and scratches from the manufacturing process. But if you're just looking for gold, then this is the cheapest way to buy.
Q: Does the Limited Mintage of the 2012 matter?
A: This can affect the future value of your sovereign set as it increases the scarcity of the sets, and it can make a big difference. The 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set was only minted in 2012, none have been made since and no new ones will ever be made again. Once the Royal Mint has sold out, the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set can only be obtained from the free market where rarity usually has a premium price. On the other hand, more collectors generally enter the market over time. It is basic Supply and Demand. Scarce sets can appreciate in price considerably over a period of time and can make very good investments.
Q: Why is the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set 91.67% gold and not pure gold?
A: In the past, gold coins have been the normal circulation coins. Pure gold would wear very quickly and so the mints would add another metal, usually copper, in the ratio 11/12ths gold and 1/12th copper. This alloy is 22 carat or 91.67% gold and is considerably harder and more durable than 24 carat gold. As Gold coins are no longer intended for circulation, this is no longer a requirement. Pure Gold is actually quite soft, so you should handle the coins carefully as they can easily scratch and dent. Probably best to leave the coin in a protective capsule.
Q: Why are the coins in the 2012 Gold Proof 5-coin Sovereign set such a strange weight?
A: Nowadays, 0.2354 troy ounce or 7.9881g may not make much sense, but it did once. In 1816 there was the "Great Recoinage". The main gold one-pound coin was changed from the gold Guinea (which was actually no longer valued at one pound) to the new 'Gold Sovereign'. At that time standard (22 carat) gold was fixed at £46 14s 6d per troy pound, so a little maths meant a £1 coin needed to weigh 123.2744783 grains or 7.988030269g. The weight was the same for the 2012 Gold Sovereign, and will almost certainly be the same on future gold sovereigns.
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