Analysis of Alloy Content of Modern Gold Sovereigns

Author: Lawrence Chard - Director and Expert Numismatist

Published: 26 Feb 2018

Last Updated: 14 Feb 2020

Contents

Synopsis 

Most know that the gold content of a full sovereign coin is 22ct. Expressed as a percentage, this would be 91.66%, millesimally it is 916.6; sometimes shown rounded to 917. What most people, including experienced dealers, cannot tell you is the composition of the balance.

2020 gold full sovereign st george and the dragon benedetto pistrucci

Alloy Analysis

We have not included a note of the tolerances (error limits), but the maximum value was 0.003%, applicable to a few of the gold figures. The smaller values have lower tolerances.

Date Mint Country Coin Type     Gold Copper Silver Iron Tin Other
1817 London U.K. Sovereign George III 912 40 45 2 0 0
1861 Sydney Australia Sovereign - 916 27 56 0 1 0
1871 London U.K. Sovereign Young Head St. George 915 76 8 0 0 0
1871 Sydney U.K. Sovereign Young Head St. George 919 76 5 0 0 0
1873 Melbourne U.K. Sovereign Young Head St. George 918 77 5 0 0 0
1887 Melbourne U.K. Sovereign Young Head St. George 914 75 6 0 0 0
1957 London U.K. Sovereign First QEII 917 83 0 0 0 0
1974 London U.K. Sovereign QEII Machin 916 84 1 0 0 0
2014 R.M. U.K. Sovereign Latest 918 82 0 0 0 0

Further Reading

If you would like to know more about bullion coins and the most iconic pieces of coinage that numismatics has to offer then we recommend the following: 

George William de Saulles, Sole Engraver Of Edward VII

Buying Gold From The Royal Mint Could Change

Expensive Novelty Coin Gifts and Marketing Trickery

The Gold Sovereigns of Queen Victoria

2020 Royal Mint Investment Sovereigns 

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