2015 Proof Gold Sovereign : Ian Rank-Broadley Portrait
The 2015 Fourth Portrait 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.
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 2015 Fourth Portrait Proof Gold Sovereign.
History of the Gold Sovereign
The Gold Sovereign dates back over 500 years, to the reign of Henry VII in 1489. However, this is not the Sovereign we see today. In 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars, the British government enforced a huge reform of Britain’s coinage. It was by this act that the Sovereign was brought back into British currency in 1817, during the reign of George III. The first modern gold sovereign was struck in The Royal Mints' new premises in Tower Hill with their newly acquired steam powered coin press.
An instantly recognisable coin today, the Sovereign is considered to be one of the most trusted bullion coins in existence, highly coveted and relied upon by investors around the world. With a long and interesting legacy, the 2015 Fourth Portrait Gold Proof Sovereign makes for an excellent way to own a relic of the ages, 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
The Sovereign today adheres to standards that were introduced when they were reintroduced in 1817. The 2015 Fourth Portrait Gold Proof Sovereign also meets this rigorous criteria.
Each Full Gold Sovereign contains copper weight, which is what lends the Sovereign its warm reddish tone.
However the gold weight is a fantastic 7.32 grams or 0.2354 troy ounces of pure gold. This 22 Carat Gold is the equivalent to a purity of 91.6% or a fineness of .917.
The dimensions also meet strict guidance, with every Gold Sovereign having a diameter of 22.00 millimetres and a thickness of 1.52 millimetres.
Struck to Handsome Proof Standard
Proof coins are the highest quality commemorative coins produced. They represent true skill and expertise, making coins like the 2015 Fourth 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 was also the case for the 2015 Fourth Portrait Gold Proof Sovereign. There were also a limited number of Sovereigns minted in India in this year.
Queen Elizabeth II's Fourth Portrait
This 2015 Proof Gold Sovereign features the fourth portrait of Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This portrait was designed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. After a competition to create a conjoint portrait of the Queen and Prince Phillip prompted call for a new coin portrait, this effigy of a more mature and faithful version of Queen Elizabeth II was chosen. Taking influence from Pistrucci’s original Sovereign design of 1817, Rank-Broadley has also produced a sculpture of the famous 'Saint George and the Dragon' scene, and he considers it a contender for a future replacement of Pistrucci’s Sovereign reverse.
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'. As Monarch, this phrase recognises her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This is a position that she has held since her coronation in 1952, and a similar phrasing has been used on all of her official and commemorative currency since.
Collecting and Investing in Sovereigns
Over 5 years since this coin was minted, fewer and fewer 2015 Fourth 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 Fourth 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 Fourth 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 Fourth 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 Fourth 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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