1887 Gold 5 Pound Coin – Victoria


The 1887 Gold 5 Pound Coin - Victoria

The 1887 gold coin was the first ever circulating £5 sovereign. It was issued to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. With a diameter of 36mm and a weight of 39.9g, this is an impressive 22 carat gold coin. SCBC 3864.

There is also a Proof version, and a variant on the proof where the initials "B.P." have been removed. The Sydney Mint also made the coin (it has a 'S' on the ground) but this is an extremely rare coin.

The Obverse of the 1887 Gold Five Pounds is a portrait of Queen Victoria by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm which became knows as the 'Jubilee Head' and was used on gold sovereigns 1887-1893.

The Reverse shows Benedetto Pistrucci famous image of St George slaying the dragon.

Sadly a number of counterfeits of the 1887 gold £5 have been found, so always buy from a reputable dealer or look for a coin that is slabbed and guaranteed.

Image Credit: The Royal Mint. (Note that the images were taken from an NGC encapsulated coin being sold by the Royal Mint and the retaining tabs are visible). Coin shown is graded as AU58.


Mintage: 54,000 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1887 ?
The Monarch is Queen Victoria, who in June celebrated her Golden Jubilee for 50 years of her reign. Prime Minister is Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative). US President is Grover Cleveland (Democrat). St John Ambulance Brigade is introduced. Hammersmith Bridge opens in London. The Hovis process for making breadmaking flour is patented. Celtic F.C. is formed in Glasgow. The first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle is published. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London. Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky first distilled.
Victoria (1837-1901)
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria ruled for 64 years, a record only recently surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II.
 
Victoria's parents were Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathern, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She married Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who later became known as Prince Albert. Victoria had nine children, the eldest son succeeding her as Edward VII.


Victoria posed for a number of head portraits, but there are generally three major variants: Young Head (1838-1887) by William Wyon, RA; Jubilee Head (1887-1893) by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm and Old Head (1893-1901) by by Sir Thomas Brock.

General Description: Gold 5 Pound Coins
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 often 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, 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 Gold 5 Pound Coins page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
UK and Territories £5 Five Pound and Crown Coins - Circulated unless Specified
UK and Territories £5 Five Pound and Crown Coins - Circulated unless Specified
£ 8.99
1990 ~ 2021 FIVE 5 POUND COINS IN ORIGINAL ROYAL MINT PACKS BU BUNC
1990 ~ 2021 FIVE 5 POUND COINS IN ORIGINAL ROYAL MINT PACKS BU BUNC
£ 22.50
BU & Proof Commemorative £5 Crown Coins 1965 - 2015 Five Pound – Royal Mint
BU & Proof Commemorative £5 Crown Coins 1965 - 2015 Five Pound – Royal Mint
£ 15.99
1993 - 2022 Proof British £5 Five Pound Coin Crowns Choose Your Date
1993 - 2022 Proof British £5 Five Pound Coin Crowns Choose Your Date
£ 9.95
1972 - 2022 Elizabeth II £5 Five Pound Crown Proof - Choose Your Year
1972 - 2022 Elizabeth II £5 Five Pound Crown Proof - Choose Your Year
£ 12.99
Five Pound Coins 1993 - 2015 Circulated Very High Grade British £5 Coin
Five Pound Coins 1993 - 2015 Circulated Very High Grade British £5 Coin
£ 9.95
BU & Proof Commemorative COVERS £5 Crown Coins 1965 - 2015 Five Pound Royal Mint
BU & Proof Commemorative COVERS £5 Crown Coins 1965 - 2015 Five Pound Royal Mint
£ 12.99
£5 COIN RARE FIVE POUND 1990 TO 2006 ALL YEARS AVAILABLE
£5 COIN RARE FIVE POUND 1990 TO 2006 ALL YEARS AVAILABLE
£ 13.99

List of items on: