All our pre-owned coins undergo strict quality checks by our team of experts to ensure their condition is excellent. The coins are issued without expensive presentation boxes to maximize the amount of gold for your money. You may wish to consider the accompanying Half Sovereign coin capsules.
Sovereign coins have been minted since 1489, but the half sovereign did not appear until 1544. While gold coins had been circulated in England for nearly 150 years, the Sovereign was to mark the biggest and most valuable coin to date. The impressive name of the coin reflected its splendid design, with the front displaying King Henry VII in full coronation outfit, and the reverse showing the newly formed alliance of York and Lancaster after the end of the War of the Roses. The impressive size and illustrations of the coin were intended to reflect the lavish nature of the new Tudor dynasty.
The Edward VII half sovereign coin was minted in 22 carat gold throughout Edward’s short reign from 1902-1910.
The coin itself shows a portrait of King Edward on one side and Benedetto Pistrucci’s ‘St George and the Dragon’ on the reverse. Sometimes it’s quite easy to confuse the Edward Half Sovereign with the King George Half Sovereign due to their modest size and, identical reverse and similar portrait on the obverse. One quick method of differentiating the two is the knowledge that the Edward bust looks right, while the George portrait faces left.
Seeing as Edward only reigned for a short period of time, there was no need for the king’s portrait to be updated.
This compares to his mother, Victoria, who had 3 different versions of her portrait on coins throughout her reign and our current Queen who is now on her 5th portrait.
The coins will date between 1902 – 1910. The picture illustrates the type of coin you’ll receive, not the exact item.
Edward VII was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and was King from 1901 until his death in 1910. His actual name was Albert Edward, but he chose to reign under the name of Edward VII so as not to undermine or diminish his father, also Albert.
Until Prince Charles, he was heir apparent and Prince of Wales longer than anyone in history.
Whilst the heir apparent, he performed plenty of ceremonial public duties representing Britain throughout the world as he was excluded from political power.
Although this made him popular with the public, his reputation as a bit of a playboy caused friction between him and his mother and damaged their relationship.
The original face value of a half sovereign was 10 shillings, although this was open to expected fluctuations in the gold bullion price. It is still the face value today (in old money), although this converts to 50p in decimal currency, half that of the full Sovereign coin.
It was struck throughout the 5 mints of the empire (London, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Ottawa).
This shows how strong the British Empire was around this time and its tentacles spread far and wide.
Today, all British coins are produced at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant in Wales, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1968 in anticipation of the major challenge of switching British currency to decimal. Nowadays, the Mint produces almost 5 billion coins per year and is the world’s largest export mint, producing coinage for 60 countries.
The Edward Half Sovereign is a popular choice for gold coin collectors due to its rich associated history and numismatic value. They remain well sought due to the short reign of the king, and therefore limited supply, ensuring they command a healthy price.
The coin is also a common selection for those focussing on gold investment, due to their tax free nature and high liquidity. Their diminutive size provides great divisibility to a portfolio, which can be a major consideration for those seeking a flexible portfolio. Buying a large portfolio consisting solely of half Sovereigns isn’t recommended as balance, variety, and cost are key. Combining these coins with the larger Edward VII Full Sovereign coin, some newer bullion coins and some larger Britannia gold coins, will achieve this balance.