The Gold Sovereign offers an excellent way to invest some of your money into gold coins or gold bullion.
Gold sovereign coins are seen as a good investment since they always retain the value of the gold content, which may vary, as well as some numismatic value to coin collectors – we’ll cover this later.
Gold Sovereigns are widely recognised as one of the most common gold coins, they contain less gold (around 1/4 of an ounce of gold) than a full Krugerrand, for example, which contains a full ounce of pure gold, which makes them more liquid, or in other words easier to sell, since the cost per gold coin is smaller.
Besides the full gold sovereign, it is also possible to buy half sovereigns, which obviously contain half of the amount of gold than the full gold sovereign, and consequently the gold content is worth around half the price of a full gold sovereign.
It may well be that other gold coins like the Krugerrand, Maple, or Panda may better suit your requirements, or you may be buying gold coins for their aesthetic qualities (gold coins do look very attractive!), we’ll go into some details of these on our gold coins page.
The Gold Sovereign
The first gold sovereign was minted under the reign of Henry the Seventh in 1489, made in 24ct (24 carat) gold, and derives the name sovereign since that first gold sovereign showed an image of the king seated on the throne.
The first half sovereign was struck in the reign of King Henry the Eighth in 1509. The gold sovereign then underwent a number of transitions, including the minting of 22ct (22 carat) gold sovereign coins (or 91.66% pure gold), which is the gold purity used today.
Full Gold Sovereign Specifications & Dimensions
|Years||Coin Type||Weight/Gms||Diameter (mm)||Fineness|
The modern gold sovereign:
- weighs 7.98 grams
- contains 7.315 grams or 0.2353544 of actual gold
- making them 91.66% gold, and the remainder being a base metal since 24ct or pure gold is far too soft.
Half Gold Sovereign Specifications & Dimensions
|Years||Coin Type||Weight/Gms||Diameter (mm)||Fineness|
The modern half sovereign is made from 22ct gold & have the following specifications:
- Weight: 3.99 grams
- Gold Content: 0.1177 troy ounces
Why Buy Gold Sovereigns (Are Gold Sovereigns A Good Investment)?
Yes, many people see gold sovereigns as a very efficient way to invest in gold.
However you must remember that gold prices, and therefore the value of the coins, can vary dramatically over time.
Gold, silver, and other precious metals have always been seen as a store of wealth, since it’s scarcity and universal acceptance as a unit of payment mean that it can never go “out of fashion.” This is understandable when you consider that in older times wealthy traders may take their coins (this was before paper money remember) and have them melted down and turned into useful or decorative objects, such as drinking vessels, etc.
This not only advertised their affluence, it also allowed them to take the gold or silver object to the local mint, melt it down, & turn it back into the same number of gold coins or silver coins that they had owned previously if times became harder.
For this reason gold sovereigns, other gold coins, and other items made from precious metals are often turned to in times of economic uncertainty (like now!) as an alternative way of holding money.
Not only do gold sovereigns look far more attractive than paper money, they are a good hedge against inflation, and against weakening currencies – right now gold prices are at high prices when valued in £Sterling due to economic uncertainty, and so the value of gold sovereigns and other gold coins is correspondingly high.
The only real downsides with gold sovereigns themselves are that newer gold coins like the Krugerrand contain one full ounce of gold, and so it is easier to calculate the gold content value, but a small amount of simple maths can easily overcome this problem! Another potential downside is the numismatic value of each gold sovereign.
Since buyers will have to pay a premium over the spot value of gold (i.e. the market price of 1 ounce of 24 carat gold) anyway, the additional cost of the numismatic value of each coin can inflate the price difference further.
In other words, if you wanted to buy 1 ounce of gold you could buy 1 Krugerrand, which would mean paying the premium over the market price of gold, plus a small premium for the actual coins value, or you would buy 4 sovereigns at the same premium over the market price for gold, plus 4 lots of numismatic value, one for each coin.
Although this may not be a huge difference, if you are buying gold sovereigns for investment purposes, or to protect your money, then clearly you want to keep the price that you pay as close to the market price for gold as you can.
One other risk with buying gold sovereigns or indeed any gold coins, is that the value or price of gold is constantly changing, and so if the price of gold drops then the gold content of your coins will be worth less, meaning that you could lose money if you then sell your gold coins – this risk is inherent in all investing, but at least your gold sovereigns or gold coins can’t go bust like stock market investments!
If you want to sell gold sovereigns then usually you can find a large number of dealers who will be happy to buy your gold sovereigns off you, but you need to shop around to get the best prices, just like you would if you wanted to buy gold sovereigns.
See below for more details.
Gold Sovereign Prices
Gold Sovereign Prices like all other gold coins or gold bullion are determined from the current gold price and the numismatic value that any sovereign or coin may have.
Some Gold Sovereigns can be quite rare, perhaps minted in a certain year, or at a certain mint, and consequently can have a value far in excess of the actual gold content of the coin itself.
Attempting to put a value on these kinds of numismatic features is far beyond the scope of this website, it takes years of experience to be able to recognise & even to correctly grade a gold sovereign, and so to even attempt to discuss this here would be pointless.
Instead this page will concentrate solely on calculating a gold sovereign price from the value of the actual gold content of the sovereign and ignoring the numismatic factors. In reality most gold sovereigns will have little interest or extra value to a collector, and so in most cases the major part of gold sovereign prices is the gold itself.
In order to calculate gold sovereign prices you need firstly to know the current market price for one ounce of gold, this is known as the gold spot price.
You can find the current spot gold price below:
Spot Gold Price in GBP £ Sterling Per Troy Ounce
The next thing that you need to do is to multiply the spot gold price by the amount of gold in a gold sovereign, which is 0.235421 troy ounces, and this will give you a rough estimate of the value of the gold in the sovereign.
For example, suppose that the spot gold price is £549; You multiply £549 by 0.235421 to get £129.24p. This is a rough value of the gold sovereign in terms of its gold content alone.
It is important to remember that this is just the gold content value, and that the actual gold sovereign prices will almost certainly be higher than this, perhaps in this instance a gold sovereign would cost around £140 due to the additional numismatic value.
Buy Gold Sovereigns
When buying a Gold Sovereign or sovereigns it is of course important to make sure that you get a good deal, and that you are careful in who you are dealing with.
Gold Sovereigns & other gold coins clearly have a high monetary value, and unfortunately wherever money is concerned you find crooks. There are fake gold sovereigns & gold coins that can be difficult to spot, and there are people who will just take you money and run.
Always be careful in who you are dealing with, make sure that you are happy with the dealer, that they have a good reputation, and if possible have an expert check over what you receive from the gold coin dealer.
We know one person who bought £9000 of gold sovereigns from an accredited dealer, and he received a parcel full of fakes & poor quality coins in return. Be careful when buying gold coins!
Sell Gold Sovereigns
Selling Gold Sovereigns needs to be undertaken with the same considerations as when buying gold coins. Again, you want to get the best price possible, but to be careful in who you are dealing with.
If you feel that you are being offered a deal that is too good to be true – well, you know the saying.
Make sure that you pack up your gold sovereigns carefully, always send it by recorded delivery, and make sure that you communicate with the buyer.
Recommended Gold Sovereign Dealers
ScrapGold.org.uk do not deal in gold sovereigns or other gold coins
The list of dealers below are gold coin dealers that we would feel comfortable recommending to people, but we accept no responsibility for any disagreement or other problems that you may encounter in any dealings that you decide to undertake.
Alternatively you might decide to look at gold sovereigns in auctions such as at eBay.
Dealers Who Buy Gold Sovereigns
The dealers here are people that we would feel comfortable recommending, but we accept no responsibility for any problems that may arise.
Hatton Garden Metals buy & sell gold sovereigns, offering current market rates, excellent prices, and fast pay out.
Alternatively to using a dealer you might decide to sell your gold sovereign online somewhere like eBay.
The advantage with this approach is that you always get a fair market price, and the buyer pays you before you ship the goods.
Other Gold Coin Prices
In order to work out the values or prices of other gold coins you need to simply follow the steps outlined above, multiplying by the amount of gold in the coin.
Visit our gold coin page to find the gold content of a variety of other gold coins.
There are lots of different gold coins available, this page will give you a brief outline of the most common gold coins and their gold content so that you can calculate a rough idea of gold coin prices.
Simply multiply todays gold price by the gold content of each coin.
Other Ways to Invest in Gold
If you are only interested in gold as an investment, rather than in gold coins, then you might want to think about buying scrap gold, since you can buy it at a price that is closer to the gold prices, and also you could buy different grades of gold, that is 9ct, 14ct, 18ct, 22ct, or 24ct.
This allows you to buy even broken jewellery, etc instead of gold coins.
Scrap Gold Prices
You can calculate the value of Scrap Gold in pretty much the same way, but in this case you need to also calculate the gold content, since you may have 22ct, 18ct, 14ct, or 9ct gold, all of which contain different amounts of gold for a given weight.
Learn how to value Scrap Gold here.