1925 Gold Sovereign London


The 1925 Gold Sovereign - London Mint

The reverse shows Pistrucci's George and the Dragon. It was the first London Sovereign minted since 1917 and the last London Sovereign of George V. However, most of the Commonwealth mints produced sovereigns for this year and several other years.

Note on Restrikes: 1925 George V dies were used to mint sovereigns in the reign of George VI. Sovereigns were minted in 1949 (138,000), 1950 (318,000) and 1951 (430,000), all dated 1925. Some say you can tell the difference as the restrikes have a more pronounced rim.

As most of the pre-war sovereigns were melted into gold bars for the war effort, if you have a 1925 sovereign it is more likely to be a restrike even though the mintages were much lower.

No proof sovereigns were issued in 1925.

Image credit: M J Hughes Coins


Mintage: 3,520,000 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1925 ?
In the UK: The Monarch is King George V. Prime Minister is Stanley Baldwin (Conservative). Britain returns to the gold standard (and it's the gold bullion standard rather than the specie standard). John Logie Baird transmits the first (greyscale) television pictures. American giant General Motors buy Vauxhall Motors of Luton for $2.5 million.
In USA: The President is Calvin Coolidge (R-Massachusetts). Vice President from March 4 is Charles G. Dawes (R-Illinois). F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes The Great Gatsby. The Pittsburgh Pirates win their 2nd World Series Title beating the Washington Senators 4 games to 3. The First National Spelling Bee is held.
George V (1910-1936)
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936 and was King during World War 1. George was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson of Queen Victoria. After his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

In 1919-20, the Silver price rose dramatically so .925 silver coins began to made in 0.500 siver. Gold Sovereigns were produced in large quantities early in George's reign - over 30 million in 1911 and again in 1912, although there was no bullion sovereigns issued 1918-1924 (Commonwealth mints did continue mintage).
General Description: Sovereigns
The 1925 Gold Sovereign London 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 1925 Gold Sovereign London was minted at The Royal Mint.

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

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 1925 Gold Sovereign London, 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.
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