Gold Sovereigns - We want to buy yours!

Gold Sovereign group photo

I have to admit, the gold sovereign is one of my favourite coin types ever to be produced. I love the feel of a sovereign in the palm of my hand, the density of the gold, and often, the history associated with them. The sound produced from multiple gold sovereigns hitting against each other is fantastic!

Unfortunately for us, we are coin dealers and so we are unable to keep them for ourslves. Instead, we are mere temporary custodians, holders until we find them a good home......

The modern day sovereign as we know it was first issued in 1817, during the reign of King George III.

As with most gold sovereigns, the monarchs portrait is depicted on the obverse of the coin, with Benedetto Pistrucci's famous portrayal of St. George slaying the dragon characterised on the reverse.

Gold sovereigns were introduced with the face value of one pound (£1), or 20 shillings at the time. They are made of solid 22 carat gold, to a weight of 7.98 grams (This usually rounds up to 8 grams on most scales!). During the Victorian period, the popularity of sovereigns grew with the expansion of the British Empire.
They were seen as a reliable payment source amongst many merchants, with accurate gold fineness and weight. As more and more gold fields were discovered, Coin Mints sprang up all over the Empire. Not surprisingly, during the 19th Century, these Mints were all located in Australia. The Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint and Perth Mint. The London based Royal Mint was no longer the sole producer of gold sovereigns. Minting later took place in Ottawa (Canada), Bombay (India) and Pretoria (South Africa). Combined, millions of gold sovereigns were issued every year.

From 1825 until 1887, a shield design replaced the depiction of St George and the dragon on the reverse of a sovereign. However, Benedetto Pistrucci's masterpiece was reintroduced in 1871 (Both shield back and St George sovereigns were produced together until 1887, when the Sydney and Melbourne Mints followed the London based Royal Mint, and dropped the shield design completely). Each gold sovereign tells its own history, bearing a 'mintmark'. This mark states where the sovereign was minted. Here is a table detailing the mintmarks for each mint:

No Mintmark = London
'S' = Sydney
'M' = Melbourne
'P' = Perth
'I' = Bombay
'C' = Ottawa
'SA' = South Africa

On a St George sovereign, the mintmark can be found just above the date, below the horses hoof. On a shield back sovereign, the mintmark is directly below the shield.

Since becoming full time coin dealers in 2006, we have handled many sovereigns, and are always actively looking to purchase them. If you have a single coin to sell, or a decent quantity, please get in contact for our up to date buying price.

For decent quality sovereigns with no damage (I.e. The coin has not been mounted, cleaned, is excessively worn or holed), we would pay 100% of gold value. As far as we are aware, no other dealers are currently paying this price.

If you are interested in selling to us, please give us a call on 01420 768161 or e-mail us at

We are happy to quote a price, and upon acceptance, hold that price for 24 hours, so delivery can take place. Customers are more than welcome to visit our shop in Alton, Hampshire for immediate payment. Alternatively, you can post to us via Royal Mail Special delivery. We are able to settle payment on a same day bank transfer.

If you are unable to visit us, please get in touch for a chat, as we may be able to visit you!

Please consider M J Hughes Coins when selling your sovereigns....