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Elizabeth II Decimal Gold Sovereign

Product code: GSOVEDF


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Royal Mint
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Elizabeth II Decimal Portrait Sovereign Gold Coin

The Elizabeth II Decimal Portrait Sovereign is one version of arguably the world’s best-known coin and the Royal Mint’s flagship issue, the Sovereign, which has a history dating back to 1489.

The obverse features the Queen Elizabeth second portrait, while the reverse displays the classic St.George and Dragon design bt Benedetto Pistucci.

The coins will date between 1974-1984.

The picture illustrates the type of coin you’ll receive, not the exact item.

All our pre-owned coins undergo strict quality checks by our team of experts to ensure their condition is excellent. Coins will be carefully packed loose, but If you’d like to further protect your coins, we offer Sovereign coin capsules

History & Design

Manufactured by the Royal Mint, one of the six main types of Elizabeth II Sovereigns is the Queen Elizabeth II Decimal Portrait sovereign coin.

Since decimalisation in 1971, there have been three coin portraits of the Queen, and this coin is fondly known as the ‘Second Portrait’, because the obverse of the coin has the second portrait of Her Majesty to feature on a Sovereign. The reverse proudly depicts St George’s epic clash with the dragon. The coin contains 7.98 grams of 22 carat gold.  These ‘second portrait’ coins were issued for nine of the years between 1974 and 1984.

Interestingly, the second portrait was ready to be used in 1968 (and was in fact first used on 10p & 5p coins from that year) but as no sovereigns were minted between 1969 – 73, the first year that this second portrait was utilised on a sovereign was 1974.

This second royal portrait was Arnold Machin’s fine handiwork and was chosen by the Queen herself in 1964. Machin was made a Royal Academician in 1956 and went on to create the obverse and reverse designs of the 1977 Silver Jubilee crown.

What was decimal

Decimal Day was 15 February 1971 and marks the entire UK monetary system being updated to replace the old Pounds, Shillings and Pence format. It was designed to modernise our cash system and bring us more in line with Europe, but the new system was met with confusion and reluctance. Unlike single coin or note updates now, the Royal Mint had a massive challenge on their hands. It began with educating the public and businesses as to how the new system would work. They then had to pre-make various denomination of coin in preparation for the launch. The 6 billion new coins required, provided the catalyst for the Royal Mint to move from their modest premises in Tower Hill to more substantial headquarters in Wales.

Our Expert Opinion

The Elizabeth II Decimal Portrait Sovereign offers huge nostalgia to those born in the seventies and eighties, the decimal portrait is instantly recognisable as a depiction with charm and grace. As an investment, it offers the chance to own tax free gold coins at low premiums. Offering more history, rarity and desirability than the subsequent Elizabeth portraits, yet with very modest premiums compared to older coins from the George, Edward and Victoria eras. Small enough to offer great divisibility, this coin is allocated regularly into our Director’s Pick mixed portfolio. It’s a great coin to own as part of a varied UK coin holding, or as a singular investment.

Orders are delivered free of charge within the UK only.

Delivery is in non-branded tamper proof packaging by Royal Mail Special Delivery and is fully insured. Delivery usually takes place before 1pm on the day following despatch, but some areas may run over this timeframe.

Maximum value per parcel is £50,000, so larger orders will be sent in multiple installments.
When placing your order, the delivery address needs to match the registered address of the buyer.

You’ll receive a despatch email with a tracking link once the goods are sent so you can see the status of the delivery and location of the parcel.

In the event that no-one is in to receive the delivery, you’ll be left a red card confirming attempted delivery, with confirmation on the Royal Mail tracking page. You then have the choice of arranging redelivery or picking up the parcel from your nearest sorting office.

For more details please see section 4 of our Terms & Conditions and our Delivery & Storage page.

If you request storage for your order, your goods will be sent free of charge to the storage vaults.

All gold & silver orders are stored at Loomis International in the UK and held on a fully allocated and segregated basis.
Storage fees are 1%+VAT/year for gold and 1.5%+VAT/year for silver, subject to minimum charges.

Please see further details of storage fees and minimum charges on our Storage & Delivery page.

Storage is charged at point of purchase by selecting ‘Buy with Storage’ to the next semi-annual pay date. Semi-annual storage dates are 15 March and 15 September each year and are subject to minimum charges for the period.

A recurring storage fee will be taken from your card at each semi-annual storage date.
You can opt to have your goods delivered at any time, subject to delivery charges of £25 +0.25% of the metal value.