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Is a Gold Sovereign Legal Tender

Many gold and silver coins are considered legal tender in the UK. When a coin becomes legal tender, it implies that you can purchase goods and pay for the same, using the coin. Therefore, it is mandatory for any business within the economy to accept this coin as currency.

The Gold Sovereign

The Sovereign has a long history that makes it one of the most iconic coins in British coinage. During the reign of King Henry VII, an English coin called the Sovereign was brought into circulation in 1489. Subsequently, King James I acceded to the English throne by 1603. He also issued a Sovereign to commemorate the year of his coronation. However, by 1660, King Charles II had come into power and the Royal Mint went through a period of reorganisation. During this time, the Sovereign faded away and was replaced by the Guinea.

Is a Gold Sovereign Legal Tender
A very rare Henry VIII Sovereign

The modern Sovereigns

By 1816, a new coinage act was instituted across Great Britain, and the gold standard was implemented. It was around this time that the Italian designer, Benedetto Pistrucci arrived in London and was commissioned to design a new coin. He created the design of St George slaying the dragon, and a new gold coin christened the Sovereign was released depicting the head of King George III. Since then, the Gold Sovereign was used throughout the reigns of different monarchs. King George III was succeeded by King George IV and later by his third son, King William IV, whose short reign lasted from 1830 to 1837. Upon his death in 1837, Queen Victoria inherited the throne.

Is a Gold Sovereign Legal Tender
War propaganda poster featuring the Gold Sovereign

Through the reign of monarchs

The reign of Queen Victoria saw the issuance of three Sovereigns, which are now popularly known as the Young Head, the Jubilee Head and the Old Head. The Sovereign continued to be in circulation throughout the reigns of the Queen’s successors, namely, King Edward VII and King George V. Although the coin was withdrawn from circulation during the earlier part of the 20th century, it continued to be struck as a bullion coin and continued to be recognised as legal tender in the UK.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

Old Sovereigns are legal tender in the UK due to their £1 face value. In theory, you can use the Sovereign to purchase goods up to £1 in value, but the gold content of the coin is worth far more. Its legal tender status is important for gold investors as it deems any profits made from Sovereigns as tax-free.

A timeless classic

The Sovereign’s long history through the centuries has made it a timeless coin that is extremely attractive to collectors and investors alike. Of course, there are other iconic British coins like the Gold Britannia. However, the Britannia was only issued in 1987. The prestige and status enjoyed by the Gold Sovereign lasted throughout the glorious years of the British Empire.

It became synonymous with the status of the British Monarch and propaganda posters were printed during the First World War, depicting a Gold Sovereign, with the head of King George V. The poster carried the tagline, “The British Sovereign will win.” The poster was used to encourage citizens of the Empire to invest money in a government scheme, designed to raise funds for the war.

Talk to us before you buy a gold Sovereign

Physical Gold is one of the nation’s most reputed precious metal dealers. We have a team of experts and researchers who can assist you in getting a great deal on Gold Sovereigns. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online.

 

Image credits: Picryl.com and Picryl.com


DANIEL FISHER

Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.

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