Analysis of Alloy Content of Modern Gold Sovereigns
Most people 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.
Niton XRF Test Results
We used our Niton XRF machine to analyse the alloy content of a number of British Gold Sovereigns. The table below shows coins from a representative selection of dates and mints. Even though XRF machines are quite expensive, they do not give precise results, and are subject to tolerances and small levels of error. See for example our Substandard Krugerrand blog.
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.
|1853||London||U.K.||Sovereign||Young Head Shield||917||45||37||1||0||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|
|1890||London||U.K.||Sovereign||Jubilee Head St. George||919||75||7||0||0||0|
|1900||London||U.K.||Sovereign||Old Head St. George||915||80||5||0||0||0|
|1932||South Africa||U.K.||Sovereign||George V Small Head St. George||914||82||4||0||0||0|
|1988||London||U.K.||Proof Sovereign||QEII Maklouf||920||80||1||0||0||0|
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