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Easter Weekend Holidays Timings - Happy Easter Everyone! Our offices will be closed for Good Friday-19th April and Easter Monday-22nd April. Any orders placed after 2pm on Thursday 18th will be processed on Tuesday 23rd. Our website will remain open for business.

Gold Sovereigns - The Queen and St George

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The 2019 Gold Sovereigns are timeless in their depiction of two things that are intrinsic to the British way of life. St George is depicted riding his horse, slaying the Dragon on one side, with a depiction of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the other. Both serve as potent symbols of longevity and tradition.

How fitting that the Queen should celebrate her 92nd birthday this year, just two days before St George’s Day.

In honour of Her Majesty’s celebrations, the legend of St George and of course the release of the 2019 Gold Sovereigns, we’re taking a look back at the origins of these beautiful coins.

The Royal Connection

The very name of a Gold Sovereign denotes a firm connection with the crown, despite the wording seeming archaic to modern Britons. Gold is a precious metal that has been sought-after for generations, for its seemingly ageless beauty.

The use of the word Sovereign, a word derived from the Latin word for “above”, suggested taking a likeness of the ruling monarch and engraving it in a way that would make it last for generations.

English Sovereigns

The original Gold Sovereign was first minted in 1489, during the early reign of Tudor King Henry VII. Years of civil war had come to an end, and the Houses of York and Lancaster melded into one dynasty that would rule for over a century. The English Gold Sovereign depicted the likeness of five Tudor monarchs - three kings and two queens.

On the obverse side, the Tudor rose, combining the White rose of York and the Red rose of Lancaster were engraved upon it. It was minted in 23-carat gold, almost one of the purest forms of gold you could hope to find.

Its purpose was largely ceremonial, and it fell out of production in 1603, following the death of Elizabeth I. Despite its absence for many centuries, the English Sovereign would have a lasting legacy that future monarchs would be keen to emulate when the time came.

Gold Sovereigns

But two centuries passed before the Gold Sovereign returned, during the latter years of George III’s reign. The Gold Sovereign of George III was introduced in 1817, as a means of restoring British prestige following the Napoleonic War. Engraver Benedetto Pistrucci was tasked with designing what Gold Sovereign collectors will recognise as the distinctive St George and the Dragon image. Pistrucci is immortalised with the inclusion of his initials, BP.

The British Gold Sovereign was given a declared value of one pound sterling. Even the Gold Sovereign 2019 retains an official value of one pound Sterling, despite its true worth being many times this, owing to the increase in gold’s value in the ensuing centuries.

Victorian Gold Sovereigns

The British Gold Sovereign was struck in 22-carat, a slightly reduced purity, but still impressively high. It became truly distinctive during the lengthy reign of Queen Victoria, who ruled between 1837 and 1901.

Collectors will be familiar with the Gold Sovereign’s three iterations during this period. Saint George was initially absent from the coin, until 1871, when a new version of the Young Head Gold Sovereign was produced, with the inclusion of Saint George being approved by Queen Victoria herself.

Victoria’s lengthy reign resulted in a special commemorative coin, the Jubilee Head Gold Sovereign coin, produced between 1887 and 1892. By now, Victoria was Queen and Empress to millions. This coin is a rare gem for collectors, fascinated by Britain’s imperial past.

Victoria’s later years were celebrated by the Victoria Veiled Head Coin, reflecting her status as a widow Queen, approaching the final years of her reign. By the time of her death in 1901, Victoria had ruled for an unprecedented 64 years. Gold Sovereigns had now become very much a symbol of Victorian Britain.

War and turmoil

The death of Victoria marked a gradual transition towards a gloomier era for Britain, as it soon found itself at war with Germany in 1914. By now, King George V was on the throne, and the Gold Sovereign of George V soon vanished out of circulation, as economic stress grew. For many years, there was a gap, with the Gold Sovereign seeming to be out of fashion, as the population was convinced to transition towards banknotes instead.

The Gold Sovereign remained in production, but access was more limited. Despite this, they were not only produced in Britain, but all over the Commonwealth too, in places such as Canada, India, Australia and South Africa.

By the end of World War Two in 1945, the Gold Sovereign appeared to have become a prized possession from an old era that had long since passed.

Gold Sovereign return

The sudden and unexpected passing of King George VI in 1952 resulted in his young daughter succeeding him, to be crowned as Elizabeth II. It’s fitting that the final English Gold Sovereign was minted in the reign of Elizabeth I, but the Gold Sovereign was revived again in the early reign of Elizabeth II, some three centuries later.

In 1957, the Young Head Gold Sovereign of Elizabeth II entered production, displaying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her earlier life, as a Queen presiding over an empire that was beginning to fade away, with Britain questioning its role in global affairs. This coin was particularly special, as it marked the final set of Gold Sovereigns minted before decimalisation.

Elizabeth II’s reign has seen numerous commemorative versions of the Gold Sovereign, including a special 200-year Anniversary Gold Sovereign, minted in 2017, to mark two centuries of coins, symbolising St George’s victory over the Dragon, along with a high-quality likeness of the ruling monarch. Her Majesty has also lived to see a Golden and Diamond Jubilee.

By some fateful coincidence, Her Majesty’s actual birthday falls just two days before St George’s Day. The Queen is to celebrate her 92nd birthday, and so the 2019 Gold Sovereign is the perfect way of reflecting the centuries-old union between the crown and English folklore. Why not get a piece of history yourself by buying a 2019 Gold Sovereign today?

Golden Ideas for Easter

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Romanesque Cross Bars

What better way to commemorate Easter than to have a delicate illustration of the Romanesque Cross in gold? It is a superb reminder of the lasting power of the symbol, and the gift that never ages.

Whether you’re an avid Christian or a casual Sunday church attender, there’s no doubt this is a potent image of hope, faith and rebirth, ideal for a loved one as an Easter gift.

Each bar consists of high-quality gold, manufactured in Switzerland, to the highest standards, embossed with a Roman-style cross. It also comes in secure, discreet packaging, along with a Certificate of Authenticity, that you can keep for proof of value.

Gold Sovereign Coins

Gold sovereign coins could be the ideal Easter gift, for their sheer historical significance. Struck for just over two centuries, they are well-known collectibles and hold great value.

Many of these gold coins are embossed with the classic image of St George vanquishing the dragon, one of the greatest legends from English history, with a likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, presented by a number of renowned engravers.

Rosa Gold Bars

Our range also includes the Rosa bar, a 24-carat bar that comes in a variety of weights, which could be the perfect gift for a loved one this Easter.

It bears the stamp of an elegantly-crafted rose, reflecting beauty and nature in harmony. As a symbol of affection, it could be a great alternative to a bunch of flowers or other gift items that don’t last nearly as long as gold does. 

One Gram Gold Bars

Looking for that perfect 24-carat gift? Why not consider one gram gold bars? These items are ideal for those with a limited budget, who are still keen to deliver a special and valuable gold gift this year. They are available from us for under £50, (according to prices at time of writing in late-March 2019).

Despite their size, each bar retains exceptionally high quality.

Scottsdale 1 Ounce Silver Bars

Silver is every bit as attractive as gold, but carries a fraction of the price, owing to its greater abundance in nature.

We offer a range of silver bars, such as the Scottsdale one ounce bars. These are available for as little as £23.74 (as of writing in late March 2019) and are produced to an exceptional standard.

They will certainly make a less conventional Easter gift for loved ones this Easter and will retain a unique shine, carrying great value among people interested in precious metals – and those who simply appreciate a special gift such as this from a loved one.

As well as being a truly special gift for loved ones this Easter, gold can prove to be a useful store of value, as times become increasingly uncertain. Investing in gold can help preserve value, and reflects the metal’s lasting allure over the centuries.

Brexitís Golden Moment?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

As the US-China trade war rumbles on and Chinese economic growth continues to slow, Europe has its own matters to attend to, in the form of Brexit. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29th March, but recent developments suggest that its departure will be far from smooth, if it even happens at all.

Political deadlock

Gold prices have kept up with the ongoing political deadlock, rising to around £988 at the time of writing (March 12th 2019), as the deadline looms nearer and the outcome becomes less clear. EU negotiators in Brussels have now warned that the UK must present new proposals regarding the so-called Irish backstop, a major sticking point for Mrs May and her critics from within her own party and the DUP.

The deadlock became clear, following the government’s defeat on a meaningful vote on Mrs May’s original Brexit deal in January 2019. It resulted in Mrs May losing the vote by 230 votes, delivering her government the worst parliamentary defeat in British political history.

Now she looks set to lose the vote on her revised deal, again with the DUP and a key group of Brexiteer Tories within her own party set to oppose the revisions, throwing the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU up in the air once again.

Gold’s time to shine?

The Brexit negotiations were always time-sensitive, but the closeness of the 29th March deadline increases the pressure on Mrs May’s government and raises the risk of failure, should the government prove unable to break the deadlock and get a deal through Parliament. This offers an opportunity for gold prices to break out of their two-year price range and potentially rise higher, if volatility returns to the markets.

The OECD made a warning to the UK over a possible no-deal Brexit scenario, in which the UK might leave the EU without any plans in place with regards to trade. In a new report, the organisation raised concerns that a no-deal Brexit could result in a recession, which has the potential to affect not just the UK but its trading partners as well.

Like any market, we cannot predict exactly how gold will respond. But we can say that gold prices have typically risen rapidly during instances of recession. Between 2007 and 2011, the precious metal quadrupled in value, as the UK weathered a credit crunch, a global financial crisis and a crisis in the neighbouring Eurozone. Between 2015 and 2016, it rose 50 per cent simply due to the global slowdown and the outcome of the EU referendum. This demonstrates gold’s ability to not only maintain its value but appreciate dramatically in times of crisis or following geopolitical shocks.

Increasing risks in the months ahead

The Brexit deadlock could be resolved in a number of ways, and each option carries its own risks. At the time of writing Mrs May is set to present an updated version of her Brexit proposals to MPs on 12th March, but headlines suggest that MPs may reject the proposal for different reasons.

If her own proposal is defeated, Mrs May’s government will suffer a great loss of control over the Brexit process, increasing risk in the markets. We expect to see a response in the gold price following these developments.

A no-deal Brexit may result in prolonged economic weakness. In the event that Mrs May’s deal is rejected, MPs shall return to Parliament for a vote on 13th March, where they shall either consent to or reject the no-deal Brexit option. MPs may decide to go for the no-deal option, but this would serve as something of a shock, as commentators generally agree that a majority of MPs are not in favour of the no-deal option.

Extending Article 50

In the more likely event that MPs reject the no-deal Brexit option, they will return for a final vote on 14th March. This third and final vote will revolve around voting on whether to extend Article 50 for a limited time, offering Mrs May some breathing space. It remains unclear how long the extension could be, and risk may grow if the extension proves insufficient for MPs to overcome the deadlock.

A no-deal Brexit could still occur despite the Article 50 extension, as it serves as the default position for the UK, unless a deal can be provided before the time runs out. Mrs May has a slim chance of being able to present a deal palatable to MPs if enough of them can forge a consensus during an extension period.

However, unless a sizable number MPs come forward with this new proposal, it remains unlikely. Other outcomes such as a second EU referendum are also possible under an extension period scenario, but this would require a clear majority in Parliament to make this a reality, and it could prove difficult to decide the terms of the vote.

A safe haven in turbulent times

As underlined, each conceivable outcome lacks the clarity so desired by the markets and investors. Each avenue is fraught with negative consequences for the economy, so volatility may increase no matter what happens in Westminster.

In turbulent times, investors have historically turned to gold and invested in the precious metal as an important area of a diverse portfolio. With no sign of a clear resolution on the horizon, three is potential for gold to shine once again.

If you’re thinking about diversifying your portfolio with gold, consider a selection of gold coins or bullion bars to build up your collection in the coming days and weeks. At The Gold Bullion Company, we have a number of special items available for collectors and investors.