1825 Gold Sovereign


The 1825 Gold Sovereign

The 1825 Sovereign has King George IV's Head on the Obverse, but the mintage is a combination of four variants. 

There are four variations of the 1825 Gold Sovereign, although the first two are the most common:

  • Laurel Head (Roman style) with St George on reverse (shown right).
  • Bare Head (designed by William Wyon) with Crowned Shield coat of arms on the reverse (the most common type of 1825 sovereign).
  • Proof 7 heart semée (rare).
  • Plain edge proof (rare).

1825 Sovereign Obverse Bare HeadThe 1825 bare head sovereign was the first sovereign to be issued during the reign of King George IV featuring his bare head portrait.

Two different design sovereigns were issued in 1825. The first being the Laureate portrait (Reverse design of St George and the dragon), followed by the Bare portrait.

King George IV’s Head can be seen on the obverse of the coin, a shield of arms 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.

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.

Only 4,200,343 sovereigns were struck in 1825 (Bare head, Laureate head and others combined). It is very unlikely that all of these still exist today, as many have been melted down over the last two centuries.

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

Image credit: M J Hughes Coins


Mintage: 4,200,343 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1825 ?
The Monarch is George IV. Prime Minister is Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (Tory). USA President is John Quincy Adams, replacing James Monroe. Work on the new London Bridge, designed by John Rennie, begins. Scottish adventurer Gregor MacGregor's scam causes the first modern stock market crash. The world's first modern railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, opens and George Stephenson drives the first train. The first horse-drawn omnibuses appear in London. Reconstruction of Buckingham Palace by architect John Nash. Michael Faraday isolates benzene. Retired brewer Richard Cox cultivates the first Cox's Orange Pippin apple. London is estimated to overtake Peking as the world's largest city. British première of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. 
George IV (1820-1830)
Public domain image from wikipedia.orgGeorge IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover following the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820, until his own death ten years later. George IV had previously ruled as Prince Regent from 1811-1820 due to his father's mental illness.

George was married to Caroline of Brunswick and they had a daughter, Princess Charlotte, who died following the birth of a stillborn child. As the second son of George III (Prince Frederick) was childless, following the rules of the monarchy on his death George was succeeded by his brother, William IV.

Note that on coin, George IV is often written as Georgivs IIII.
General Description: Sovereigns
The 1825 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 1825 Gold Sovereign was minted at The Royal Mint.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (George IV) 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 IV

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 1825 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:

USA On eBay USA:
1825 Gold Britain England George IV Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - XF Details (EF)
1825 Gold Britain England George IV Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - XF Details (EF)
USD $ 1,123.30
1825 Britain England George IV Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - AU Details
1825 Britain England George IV Gold Sovereign Coin 1S - AU Details
USD $ 1,348.90

List of items on: