1981 Gold 5 Pound Piece

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The 1981 gold proof five pounds piece £5 was the first modern gold proof five pounds piece to be individually issued by the Royal Mint.

Queen Elizabeth II's second portrait can be seen on the obverse of the coin (Designed by Arnold Machin), and Benedetto Pistrucci's famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon is depicted on the reverse.

The coin weighs 39.94 grams and is made of solid 22 carat gold.

The gold £5 was originally housed in a tan coloured leatherette presentation case with a certificate of authenticity (COA).

It is estimated up to 6,000 examples were issued by the Royal Mint, individually and as part of the 1981 collection.

Mintage: 6,000 (may include coins issued as part of a set). Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1981 ?
Monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister is Margaret Thatcher (Conservative). US President is Ronald Reagan. The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer. Sinclair ZX81 computer launched. Social Democratic Party formed. Bucks Fizz is the wins the Eurovision Song Contest with "Making Your Mind Up". "Postman Pat" first broadcast on BBC.
General Description: Gold 5 Pound Coin
Not that many people own Gold Five Pound coins, I suppose mainly because they are an expensive coin even in bullion form. Perhaps even fewer realise there are two basic kinds of gold five pound coin. They are very similar, yet distinct. 

The Gold £5 Coin 1985 Gold £5 (Sovereign type)

Often referred to as the non commemorative £5 coin or the Quintuple Sovereign as it is exactly five times heaver than a Sovereign (7.9881 x 5 = 39.94g). As one sovereign is nominally one pound then a quintuple sovereign must be five pounds.

The Gold £5 coin has its history deriving from the five guinea coin right back at the start of the 19th Century. In those days a guinea was valued at one pound rather than the one-pound-and-one-shilling it is often remembered as nowadays. George III, George IV and Victoria all issued actual gold £5 coins and others issued a few too, but Elizabeth II began the surge in production, especially from 1980 onwards. From 1990, the £5 coin was minted in Cupro-Nickel too and silver versions were also available.

The Gold Crown

The Crown is another English coin with a long history. You may remember the Half-Crown from pre-decimalisation days, but the Crown has been a commemorative coin for as long as we can remember. The Crown was legal tender at a quarter-pound, which was five shillings (25 pence in decimalised money).

In the Eighties we saw the introduction of the pound coin and the two-pound coin, so the Government decided that the crown needed to be restored to it former glory as biggest denomination coin and the crown was re-denominated to £5 in 1990.

This re-denominated was OK by itself, but as a (still) mainly commemorative coin it was soon available not only as Cupro-Nickel but as silver and ... gold. That meant we had a new, official, gold £5 coin.

It also weighs 39.94g. And to prove its value it has '5 pounds' written on it.

The only difference between the sovereign gold £5 coin and the gold crown is the diameter. The crown maintained its original diameter of 38.61mm compared to the slightly smaller 36.613mm of the sovereign type.

The re-denominated had other effects too. Whether re-denominated is determined as from this point onwards or backward-compatible is unclear to many. The original crown was a gold coin, so does that mean that Henry VIII's gold crowns were the first £5 coins? So the history of coins starts to rewrite itself in some ways, although if this is intended or correct I'm not sure.

The Gold Five-Pound Piece

I've noticed many dealers referring to these coins as '£5 pieces'. Maybe it's a way of avoiding the confusion and grouping the coins into the same category rather than having them as two separate entities. Besides the slight difference in diameter (which is difficult to see as most of these coins are encapsulated in some way) there's little to tell.

If the reverse looks like it commemorated something then it's probably a crown. If the reverse is the same as the reverse of a sovereign of the same year then it could be a five pound coin. Whatever, you have a gold five pounds with almost 40g of gold; it's impressive and they are a great investment.

Five pound coins are aften in 4- or 5-coin sets, together with combinations of a sovereign, half-sovereign, double sovereign, quadruple sovereign and maybe some commemorative item or a year-set collectable. They can be bullion, proof or matt-proof.

Despite the high intrinisic value and even higher collector value, five pound pieces are much sought after and are often sold out within days of release causing some of the coins to have a very high price tag.
Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, it moved to the Tower of London in 1279 and remained there for over 500 years. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton. Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.
The Monarch: Elizabeth II (1952-)
Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning monarch ever. Born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Queen in 1952 and her Coronation was on 2 June 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II has issued many coins and was monarch during decimalisation.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

It's orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
Do you want to buy or sell a 1981 Gold 5 Pound Piece? Selling to M J Hughes Coins means that you do not have to pay sellers fees, Paypal fees or any other transaction fees. They will give you an immediate offer and pay you the same day. Single coins or entire collection. Buying from M J Hughes Coins gives you a money-back guarantee of authenticity. Visit http://mjhughescoins.com.
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