what you need to know about british half sovereign coins..

In todays world there are many important coins that collectors love to get their hands on. One of the most popular types of coins is the British gold sovereign. These are coins that came into existence about 500 years ago and continue to be produced today. Its the British Gold Sovereign Coins beauty and their interesting history that fascinates people.

British gold sovereign coins were first minted in 1489 to honor King Henry VII. When these coins were first produced they were 96% gold, which means they were 23 carats. However, Henry the VIII reduced the gold content to 92% or 22 carats. Thats whats considered the gold standard (crown gold) today in both the United States and in England.

The actual weight of the British sovereign continued to be lowered more and more until it was locked in at just under a quarter of a Troy ounce (0.2354) in 1816. This remains to be the weight of a British gold sovereign coin today.

The British sovereign continues to be made today but it was discontinued for many years at a couple points in history. From 1604 to 1817 other coins were made in place of the British gold sovereign coins. The coins that were produced instead included guineas, Laurels, and Unites. Also, British gold sovereigns werent produced between the years of 1933-1956.

Though sovereign coins have been minted over a billion times through out the last few centuries that number is actually misleading. This is because during Victorian Times the Bank of England would remove half sovereigns and worn sovereigns from circulation. They would then take these coins and make them into new coins. This means that there are far less British gold sovereigns in existence.

Also, these coins were often used by Britain to pay debts to other countries. Then when the other country received the sovereigns they would melt the coin down for the gold. So this also produced a result of far fewer coins existing.

What this means is that there are not very many sovereigns for collectors. In fact, its estimated that only about 1% of coins that were produced are still in mint condition. The scarcity of the coins, along with their rich history, makes sovereign coins very valuable to many collectors.

Perhaps the most interesting part of their history is the use of the coins as “emergency money”. During World War II fighter pilots – both British and American – carried sovereigns in case they were downed during battle. This piece of military history makes these sovereigns particularly valuable to some collectors.

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