Coins of England and Great Britain

('Coins of the UK')

by Tony Clayton


Post-1971 Gold


Decimal Crown-sized Coins <<-- : -->> Proof and Other Mint Sets

Values of Post-1971 Gold Coins
Pictures of Post-1971 Gold and Silver Bullion Coins


Quarter Sovereigns


Weight: 2.0g; Diameter: 13.5mm

This tiny gold coin was issued for the first time in 2009. They have been issued in both uncirculated and proof quality. A special design was used in 2012.


Half Sovereigns


Weight: 4.0g; Diameter: 19mm

Prior to 1971 the only half sovereign struck during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II was the unreleased coin of 1953. It was not until 1980 that a proof half sovereign was struck for issue to collectors.

These have also been struck in proof quality annually from 1982. Non-proof bullion coins were only struck in 1982, and then annually from 2000.

In 1985 and 1998 the obverse changed in line with the remainder of the decimal coinage.

The reverse has had a traditional depiction of St.George and the Dragon with three exceptions. The 1989 issue had a special design to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the issue of the first sovereign. The 2002 reverse showed the royal arms in a wreath, and the 2005 version has a modern depiction of St.George and the Dragon by Timothy Noad. A special design was used in 2012.

From 2009 the traditional reverse was modified in line with the 1893 half sovereign, and the designer's initials omitted.


Sovereigns


Weight: 8.0g; Diameter: 22mm

After 1971 no sovereigns were struck until 1974. In that year, and also in 1976, from 1978 to 1982, and annually from 2000, regular 'circulation' quality or 'bullion' sovereigns were struck. From 1979 proof sovereigns have been struck annually.

As for the half-sovereign, the obverse changed in 1985 and 1998, and the 1989 issue was of a special design to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the issue of the first sovereign. The 2002 reverse showed the royal arms in a wreath, and the 2005 version has a modern depiction of St.George and the Dragon by Timothy Noad. A special design was used in 2012. The reverse of all other sovereigns depicts the familiar St George & Dragon design.

The reverse design was modified in 2009. Based on the 1820 design, the plumed helmet no longer has a streamer.

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the issue of the modern form of sovereign, sovereigns dated 2017 have a special mintmark in the exergue to the left of the date.


Double Sovereign - Two Pounds


Weight: 16.0g; Diameter: 28.4mm

The issue of double sovereigns closely follows that of half sovereigns, except that:

The obverse changed in 1985 and 1998. The traditional reverse was used in the following years: 1980, 1982-3, 1985, 1987-8, 1990-3, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and annually from 2008.

The 1989 issue was of a special design to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the issue of the first sovereign. The 2002 reverse showed the royal arms in a wreath, and the 2005 version has a modern depiction of St.George and the Dragon by Timothy Noad.

The reverse design was modified in 2009. Based on the 1820 design, there is more detail on the dragon. A special design was used in 2012.

An interesting error took place in 1994 when some of the coins had the normal double sovereign obverse rather than the two pound coin obverse. The mint offered to exchange them for the correct coin, but this was inadvisable as the error coins are now about 1300 UK pounds more valuable!

Both versions of the commemorative 1995 coin occur in gold.


Five Pounds


Weight: 40g; Diameter: 36mm

Proof five pound coins were issued in the following years:
1980-82, 1984-85, and annually from 1989 to.

'Circulation' issues of the same design, but with an added U in a circle to distinguish them from the proofs, have been issued for many years since 1984. This was deemed necessary as the quality of a 'normal' coin is so high. In recent times it appears that this practice has become intermittent.

Except for the 1989, 2002, 2005 and 2012 issues they have the normal Pistrucci St George and the Dragon reverse - the 1989 issue was of a special design to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the issue of the first sovereign. The 2002 reverse showed the royal arms in a wreath, and the 2005 version has a modern depiction of St.George and the Dragon by Timothy Noad. The 2012 reverse has another versipn of St. George and the Dragon. In 1987 and 1988 a modified portrait of the Queen was used.

In addition gold proof versions of the cupro-nickel five pound commemorative coins are known.


Bullion Coins


These are known as Britannias, and like the Krugerrand are issued in 22 carat gold with fine gold contents of 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10th ounces, alloyed with copper until 1989 and silver thereafter. Platinum versions were issued in 2007 and 2008

They have a notional circulation value of 100, 50, 25 and 10 UK pounds respectively.

They have been issued in both proof and normal quality each year since 1987. There have been several design changes.

100: Weight: 33.9g; Diameter: 32mm
50: Weight: 17.0g; Diameter: 26mm
25: Weight: 8.51g; Diameter: 22mm
10: Weight: 3.41g; Diameter: 16.5mm

Since 1997 a 'Britannia silver' two pound bullion coin has been issued, containing 1 ounce of fine silver, along with three smaller denominations. The silver content is 95.8%. Proofs of some are known.

2: Weight: 32.45g; Diameter: 40.0mm
1: Weight: 16.22g; Diameter: 27.0mm
50p: Weight: 8.11g; Diameter: 22.0mm
20p: Weight: 3.24g; Diameter: 16.5mm

Designs have tended to follow those of the gold versions. In 2012 a special 9-coin proof set of all the different designs was issued.

On occasions one kilogram coins and 5 ounce coins have been struck in .999 gold and silver.

A number of denominated gold and silver 'coins' have also been issued for special occasions such as the Olympics.


Acknowledgements

See my Main Index page for acknowledgements


Links

Decimal Crown-sized Coins <<-- : -->> Proof and Other Mint Sets

Main Index
Values Index
Values of decimal gold coins.
Pre-Decimal Half Sovereigns
Pre-Decimal Sovereigns
Pre-Decimal Double Sovereigns
Pre-Decimal Five Pounds
Pictures Index
Pictures of Pre-1971 Gold and Silver Bullion Coins

Help and Advice


Decimal Coins of the UK - Post-1971 Gold
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v34 13th January 2017
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