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What are the different mint marks on sovereign Gold coins?

The Royal Mint in London has always been the main mint required to produce the British sovereign. However, with the expanding British Empire, Gold coins started to be produced in other cities and countries, so it made sense to mark the Gold coins to distinguish them from each other.

In 1851 Gold was discovered in Australia, so The Royal Mint decided to start minting Gold Sovereigns there to save shipping costs. Sydney was the first city to have its own mint mark In 1855. During 1855-1926 they used the letter S to show the coins were from Sydney.

Melbourne was next and used the letter M from 1872-1931. Finally, Perth was distinguished with the letter P between 1899-1931.

After establishing branches in Australia, others were formed in Ottawa (Canada), Bombay (India) and South Africa. 

On St George and the dragon Sovereign coins, the mint marks can be found on the ground below the horses’ hoof just above the date. In the one below you can see the M for Melbourne so we know this one was minted in Melbourne in 1911.

On older coins, you can see the mint mark just below Queen Victoria’s neck. The one below was also minted in Melbourne. 

If there is no mark present on the coin it indicates that the coin was minted by The Royal Mint in London.

In 1914 banknotes were introduced. During WW1, Britain requested for all British citizens to give up their Gold Sovereigns to help with funding the war. The production of Sovereigns was halted by the Royal Mint in 1917. Some of these Gold coins are now quite rare so they can be worth a lot of money.  The Gold sovereign is still one of the world’s most collectable coins. 

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The difference between a Gold Britannia coin and a Gold Krugerrand

If you want to invest in Gold bullion coins, it’s important to understand the difference between the different coins. Almost all first-world countries mint their own Gold coins so it can be a bit confusing to know which ones to buy.

In this blog, we will start by discussing the difference between the two most well-known coins, the Gold Britannia coin and the Gold Krugerrand coin. 

The Gold Britannia Coin

The Gold Britannia coin is the most well-known gold coin in the UK. It was first minted in 1987 with a face value of £100. It is one of the most popular coins amongst British investors. The Britannia coin was originally created as a 22-carat coin, but in 2013 it was switched to a 24-carat coin. It became a bigger coin with a diameter of 38.61mm. A year later in 2014, it was changed back to its original size of 32.69mm and 31.1grams but remained a 24-carat Gold coin. Both the 24-carat and 22-carat Gold Britannia coins have the same value. 

On the head of the Gold Britannia coin, you will see Queen Elizabeth II. On the back of the coin is a portrait of Brittania, a Roman goddess of battle and guardian of the seas. Britannia is recognised worldwide as a trusted symbol of British National pride and the quality of British minting. 

Buying physical gold like the Britannia Gold coin has tax benefits in the UK; it is exempt from capital gains tax and VAT. In addition, Gold bullion coins can be exchanged for cash, goods and services all over the world.

Every October we see a shortage of Brittania Gold coins as the Royal Mint create the next year’s coin during the month of October. So at the moment, they are printing the 2023 coin. 

The crrent value of the Gold Britannia Coin is: 

The Gold Krugerrand Coin

The Gold Krugerrand coin was the world’s first bullion coin, minted in South Africa. It was first produced in 1967 and since then has remained the most traded Gold coin globally. 

It is 22-carat Gold and has a purity of 91.67%; the remaining percentage is made up of copper, which makes the coin highly durable. This means that the coin has fewer wear and tear marks than other coins of a certain age. 

On the head of the coin, you will find the 3rd President of The South African Republic, Paul Kruger. This is why the coin was named the Gold Krugerrand, a combination of Kruger and the South African currency “the rand.” The reverse of the coins features the Springbok, South Africa’s national animal.

The Krugerrand is a popular choice for UK investors as it is VAT free. In addition, it has a consistently low price, making it a great choice for first-time investors. 

Both the Britainna and the Krugerrand coins are equal to 1oz of gold. In terms of the value of Gold, they both have the same amount of Gold but they are priced differently. The Britannia is usually cheaper because it is made in the UK and the Krugerrand is coming from South Africa. Nevertheless, right now The Britannia is more expensive because of the current changes happening within the Royal Family. 

If you have more in-depth questions about the different types of Gold coins, you can drop us an email or even come and see us in London.

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When will coins change to King Charles III?

Along with the rest of the UK, we were deeply saddened by the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8th, aged 96. 

The Queen’s face is one that we all see daily. Her head takes pride of place on our stamps, banknotes, coins and medals. This has been the case since the start of her reign in 1956. 

During Elizabeth II’s reign, the UK transitioned into a decimal currency, and the switch came on Monday, February 15th 1971. Before the switch, it was customary for more than one monarch’s face to be on British coins, but they were all updated with the Queen’s head in time for decimalisation in 1971. 

There are 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK that picture Her Majesty’s head. The Royal Mint will no longer create new coins with her image, but it will take a while for us to start seeing King Charles III’s head on our coins. It could also take many years for the late Queen’s image to completely vanish from circulation. 

The first step will be for The King to work with The Royal Mint to approve a new design for coins and notes. The Chancellor and then the King will approve the final design. As part of a 300-year-old tradition, King Charles will face left on the new coins. Each time there is a new monarch, the direction of their head changes. The late Queen’s father, King George VI, faced left on coins before she took reign. 

Even though many significant changes will happen over the next few weeks and months, we don’t have to worry about invalid coins. Coins with the late Queen’s head on them will remain legal tender, and over time they will eventually be phased out.

However, it would be a good idea to check your coins as some of them could become very valuable in years to come. For example, the second most valuable Queen Elizabeth II coin is the mule gold proof Double Sovereign £2 coin with the wrong obverse. It is 22ct gold and was released in 1994 to celebrate 300 years of the Bank of England; it also has a unique reverse inspired by the original Britannia seal of the UK’s central bank.

Mr Jon White is a coin expert, and in an interview, he explained that this rare find has a current value of £5,000 as there are only 1,000 of them in circulation.

If you are interested in investing in Gold coins, we have a range of Gold sovereign coins on our website. If you’d like to have a chat about how to get started, drop us an email or give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.