2015 Proof Gold Sovereign : Fifth Portrait First Edition
We offer to you the 2015 Fifth Portrait Full Gold Proof Sovereign. A wonderful collector’s piece, The Britannia Coin Company looks at all the elements needed to help you make your decision.
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, especially as it represents the first time in over 100 years that two designs of Sovereigns were issued in one 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 2015 Fifth Portrait Gold Proof Sovereign.
22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917. This means that each 2015 Fifth Portrait 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.
Struck to Impressive Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 2015 Fifth Portrait 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 2015 Fifth Portrait Gold Proof Sovereign, as only 6,994 coins were struck in this year. This means that this first edition of the new portrait is a very limited and collectible coin.
The Fifth Royal Portrait
The engraver behind the fifth portrait of Elizabeth II seen on the obverse of the 2015 Fifth Portrait Proof Gold Sovereign is Jody Clark. Clark entered the closed competition for a new portrait on a whim, and with his winning entry he became the first engraver from the Royal Mint to produce such portraiture in over 100 years. Clark wanted to create a 'more positive look on the Queen'. He did not have a sitting with the Queen to create his effigy, instead using reference material supplied by the palace and online material with a more natural setting to create his work.
On the obverse of the coin, around the portrait 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.
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 2015 Fifth Portrait Proof Gold Sovereign.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Now over 5 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 2015 Fifth Portrait 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 2015 Fifth Portrait 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 2015 Fifth Portrait 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, 2015 Fifth Portrait 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 2015 Fifth Portrait 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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