The gold British Sovereign can trace its history to Henry
VII (1485-1509) who issued the first 20-shilling gold coin
in 1489. The minting of the British Sovereign was suspended
shortly after James I ascended to the throne of England in
1603. More than 200 years later, gold Sovereigns were once
again struck commencing with George III in 1817.
the 19th Century, the Master of the Mint commissioned his
protégé, Royal Mint engraver Benedetto
Pistrucci, to create the now classic image of St George and
the dragon for the reverse of this coin. In 1890, then Chancellor
of the Exchequer, George Goschen , declared: "Nothing,
in my opinion, is more handsome than the St George and Dragon."
From the time of Queen Victoria until Britain went off the
gold standard, British Sovereigns were minted as circulating
gold coins with the stated value of one pound.
Weight: 7.9881 grams (.2568 troy oz.)
Fineness: .9162/3 or 22 karats
Fine Gold Content: 7.3224 grams (.2354 troy oz.)