1817 Gold Sovereign


The 1817 sovereign was the first modern gold sovereign to be issued. The proof is rare.

King George III’s portrait can be seen on the obverse of the coin, Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George and the dragon is depicted on the reverse.

The sovereign is made of 22 carat gold, and weighs 7.98 grams. It contains 0.2354 ounce of fine gold.

Only 3,235,239 sovereigns were struck in 1817. It is very unlikely that all of these still exist today, as many have been melted down over the last two centuries.

Sovereigns issued from 1817 to 1837 are often described as ‘Early King’ sovereigns. King George III, King George IV and King William IV are all depicted on sovereigns minted during these years.

The value of the 1817 sovereign will be heavily dependent on the date and condition.

Public Domain images, Image Attribution: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com.


Mintage: 3,235,239 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1817 ?
George III is King but due to illness his son George is Prince Regent. Prime Minister is Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (Tory). James Monroe replaces James Madison as President of the USA. Last major Luddite attack is against lace-making machines in Loughborough. Waterloo Bridge opens in London. 5 July sees the Sovereign coin reintroduced. Gas lighting is trialled on stage in London's West End theatres. Jane Austen dies. Elgin Marbles displayed in British Museum. John Constable paints Flatford Mill.
George III (1760-1820)
Born on 4 June 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha in the house of Hanover, George III reigned for over 59 years.

George had 15 children - nine sons and six daughters. In the latter part of his life George suffered from a mental illness and his son George became Prince Regent from 1811-1820 and ruled on his behalf. On George III's death, the Prince Regent became George IV.

Note the latin spelling of George on his coins: Georgivs.
General Description: Sovereigns
The 1817 Gold Sovereign is an example of the Gold Sovereign and is one of the most ubiquitous of all coins and much sought after by both coin collectors and bullion investors. Sovereigns have been minted since 1817 (in Britain 1817-1917, 1925 and 1957 on). At coins fairs you often hear the dealers refer to these coins as Sovs.

Besides being minted in Britain, Sovereigns have been made in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Perth), India (then Bombay, now Mumbai), Canada (Ottowa) and South Africa (Pretoria) although these regional mints have not made sovereigns since 1932. The non-British coins carry a small mintmark ('S','M','P','I','C' or 'SA') just above the date. This 1817 Gold Sovereign was minted at The Royal Mint.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (George III) and the Reverse is most often St George and the Dragon, although other backs have been used and are of interest to collectors. The Reverse often gives the Sovs a new term, like "ShieldBacks".

Specifications for the Gold Sovereign
 
  • Weight: 7.9881g
  • Diameter: 22.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm
  • Purity: 22 carat = 91.67% (11/12ths gold, 1/12th copper. Adding copper makes the coin more scratch and dent resistant)
  • Gold Content: 113 grains = 7.3224 g = 0.2354 troy ounce
  • Face value: £1 = 20 shillings
  • Monarch: George III

History

Up until 1604 there was a coin called the English gold sovereign and in 1816 when there was the "Great Recoinage" the name was revived. At that time standard gold (22 carat) was valued at £46 14s 6d per troy pound; this meant a £1 coin needed to weigh 123.2744783 grains or 7.988030269 g. The weight is still the same today.

As a historical note: to maintain the Gold Standard, in 1816 the value of silver was set at 66 shillings for one troy pound and silver coins were only legal for denominations up to £2.

The first sovereigns carried the head of King George III and the famous George and the Dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci (29 May 1783 – 16 September 1855), an Italian engraver who became chief medallist at the Royal Mint.

With high value coins such as the 1817 Gold Sovereign, collectors and bullion investors often worry about forgeries but actually gold coins are very difficult to forge due to gold's unique properties of density and colour. Gold is extremely dense and to use another metal and gold-plate it would result in a coin that is under-weight, over-diameter or half as thick, something that would be spotted very easily. More difficult to spot would be a bullion coin melted down and re-cast as a highly collectable date, but an expert can usually tell these too. You should always use reputable dealers.

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, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. 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.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
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.

The 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.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Sovereigns page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1817 SOVEREIGN KING GEORGE III FULL GOLD SOVEREIGN COIN
1817 SOVEREIGN KING GEORGE III FULL GOLD SOVEREIGN COIN
£ 5,250.00
GEORGE III 1817 GOLD FULL SOVEREIGN - FINE
GEORGE III 1817 GOLD FULL SOVEREIGN - FINE
£ 865.00
1817 Gold Half Sovereign George III Great Condition
1817 Gold Half Sovereign George III Great Condition
£ 600.00
1817  Sovereign
1817 Sovereign
£ 4,095.00
KING GEORGE THE III 1817 GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN...
KING GEORGE THE III 1817 GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN...
£ 1,475.00
KING GEORGE THE III 1817 GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN ABOUT UNC...
KING GEORGE THE III 1817 GOLD HALF SOVEREIGN ABOUT UNC...
£ 1,575.00
1817 Britain George III Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - Certified NGC AU Details
1817 Britain George III Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - Certified NGC AU Details
£ 1,467.95
1817 Britain England George III Gold Half Sovereign Coin 1/2S - NGC VF Details
1817 Britain England George III Gold Half Sovereign Coin 1/2S - NGC VF Details
£ 577.11

List of items on: