The British Half Sovereign coin has a long history in the UK which makes the gold coin a particularly sought after collector´s item. Half sovereign coins first made an appearance in Britain way back in 1489 during the reign of King Henry VII but became known throughout the world during the reign of King Henry VIII when it was revered as a symbol of power and wealth.
Production of the British Half Sovereign stopped abruptly in 1604 on the orders of King James I, but was reintroduced during the great re-coinage in 1817 and was minted until 1926 when it ceased annual production with the exception of commemorative gold coins in coronation years. The half coins have been minted on an annual basis again since 1982 albeit not on a proof basis.
Sovereign coins are particularly popular because of the precision engineering and the intricacies of the design of the iconic engraving of Saint George and the dragon by Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci. The coins are made from 22 carat gold and contain 0.1176 troy ounces.
One of the most famous anecdotes involving a British Half Sovereign coin involved the legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel who swallowed a gold piece when attempting to perform a magic trick for some children. The coin was lodged in Brunel´s windpipe and was only removed by hanging him upside down from a plank and pulling him until the coin was unblocked.
Sovereign gold collectors
The half sovereign was circulated more than the full sovereign during the Victorian era, during which time it is estimated coins only had a life span of around 15 years before they dropped below the legal weight for it to be considered of any worth. It is estimated that of all the half gold sovereigns ever minted, only around one per cent are still in collectable condition.
In 1891, the British government allowed the general public to exchange their damaged half sovereigns for new issues. The old coins were then melted down and re-struck. Also, half sovereign coins that were minted pre-1837 ceased to be legal tender and subsequently recycled to produce fully weighted coins.
There is generally a good availability of half sovereign coins, but investors should expect to pay a little more premium than you ordinarily would for other coins because of their miniature size. The general rule is the smaller the gold bullion the higher the premium.
Invest in gold
With gold prices currently experiencing a steady downward, now is a great time to invest in gold. Analysts predict the precious metal market will perform poorly throughout 2014 as equity markets strengthen, thus giving investors plenty of time to buy gold bullion whilst prices are low.
Gold always recovers and when the next economic crisis hits we can expect to see gold prices rise quite sharply – and according to some analysts gold prices could reach all-time highs and even double the price which they are now. To check out the latest gold prices and invest in the security of your financial future visit coininvest.com today and buy your share of half sovereign gold coins.