Which Gold Sovereign Coin is the Most Valuable?

The modern gold Sovereign, as it is better known, has been around since 1817. The iconic British coin contains gold with a purity of 22 carats. The gold Sovereign was withdrawn from circulation in 1932. However, the Royal Mint has continued to issue these coins as bullion coins. The well-known design of St George and the Dragon, created by the Italian engraver, Benedetto Pistrucci has made the Sovereign one of the most sought-after British coins in the world. It is attractive to both investors and numismatists as an investment and a collectable coin.

Abundant availability

Due to its long history, the gold Sovereign has been around for more than two centuries. During this time, the coin has seen the reigns of several British monarchs. Having been minted for over 200 years, the gold Sovereign is easily available to investors. However, the value of a gold Sovereign is often decided by its gold content, the age and condition of the coin. Newer gold sovereigns do not carry hefty premiums.

On the other hand, Victorian gold Sovereigns can fetch a much higher value due to their increasing scarcity. The reign of Queen Victoria witnessed issues of three gold Sovereigns – the Young Head, the Jubilee Head and Old Head. The price of a Sovereign can also vary according to demand and the type of investors. For example, a private buyer may often pay a higher price for a gold Sovereign that was issued in a particular year.

Which Gold Sovereign Coin is the Most Valuable?
A Young Head Sovereign from the reign of Queen Victoria from 1838

The most valuable gold Sovereigns

Let’s take a look at gold Sovereigns that have fetched record prices. George III Sovereigns have proved to be the most valuable due to their scarcity, with one fetching £186,000 at auction. Of the commonly traded and readily available bullion Gold Sovereigns, the Young Head Victoria tends to be the most valuable with prices around £300 each. Proof and rarer modern Sovereigns can also fetch higher prices like the Elizabeth II head which trades around £400.


The gold Sovereigns from the reign of King George III were minted in 1817. This was the year that the gold Sovereign was reintroduced into British coinage, after a long hiatus since 1603. The Sovereigns of King George III were struck for three years with limited mintage, as a part of the great re-coinage of 1816. Only 3,500 coins were minted till 1819. Naturally, few have survived and their increasing rarity led to the princely sum of £186,000 being paid at an auction recently.

Which Gold Sovereign Coin is the Most Valuable?
Sovereigns from the reign of King George III are very rare

Rare proof coins

Another example of an incredibly rare and valuable set of gold Sovereigns were the ones made for the reign of King Edward VIII. Although these proof coins were ready, the young King abdicated and the coins were withdrawn from release. Only a handful was ever made, and these proof coins are extremely rare. In 2014, just one proof coin from the original set fetched £516,000 at a 2014 auction, which was subsequently sold to a collector for 1,000,000 pounds in 2020. Of course, as mentioned earlier, there are plenty of old Victorian Sovereigns that can fetch a hefty price, albeit not in hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Speak to our coin experts before you purchase a gold Sovereign

The coin experts at Physical Gold have a great deal of knowledge, backed by their rigorous and committed research into the history of British coinage. If you’re thinking of buying a gold Sovereign, and want one with the best value, speak to us. You can call us on (020) 7060 9992 or reach out to us online by visiting our website.


Image credits: Public.Resource.Org and Picryl

By Daniel Fisher

Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *