5 significant and valuable British sovereigns

All sovereigns have value. 

Their gold for starters, so check the latest precious metals prices before you sell up, you'll never struggle to find a buyer. 

Some though transcend that raw value to become coin collecting classics. 

Benedetto Pistrucci

Benedetto Pistrucci designed the early sovereigns, his George and the Dragon is with us still.

Rarity. Quality. Condition. Significance. 

Add a sheen of any of these to your sovereign and it may become a valuable collector's item. 

Even a world-record holding British coin classic. 

Here, in no particular order, are 10 valuable, significant British sovereigns

5 - 1920 Sydney Sovereign 

1920 Sydney sovereign

A coin like this set a record when it was sold in 2021. 

To get an obvious contradiction out of the way first, many "British" sovereigns were minted away from the shores of the UK. 

Mints around the Empire produced sovereigns, and with gold availability a key driver of the highly regulated supply of sovereigns Australia was a huge producer. 

A very well preserved 1920 gold sovereign sold in Monaco in 2021 for around £0.75 million in 2021. 

4 - Edward VIII Pattern Sovereign 


Edward VIII sovereign

This coin shouldn't exist.

Edward VIII's heart belonged to (divorced, American) Wallis Simpson. And so, his crown would belong to his brother. 

Before the Royal Family's most significant modern scandal took down a king, he was proclaimed sovereign. And, so the wheels of coin (and stamp) design were put in motion. 

The 1937 Edward VIII sovereign exists only as trial run proof and pattern pieces.

There are thought to be six surviving and one was sold for £1 million in 2020, setting a record for any British coin. 

3 - 1819 George III sovereign

1819 sovereign

It's a very early issue and it's not really clear why there are so few.


That's what does it for this - also very lovely - early sovereign. 

Experts aren't completely sure why so few sovereigns were minted that year, but the result is that there are only seven known examples in private hands. 

With fewer than 4,000 made they're as rare as a coin gets. 

It's the first design, by Pistrucci, so it's a real historical piece too. The George and Dragon image is still with us now. 

They have sold for approaching £200,000 and if you ever see one (many are thought to have left the UK) you should grab it. 

2 - 1863 827 sovereign 

1863 die 827 sovereign

A figure makes all the difference for this sovereign.

If you spend any time looking at GB coins you'll soon learn to know and love William Wyon. 

He's the engraver behind the "Young Head" portrait of Queen Victoria that adorns this sovereign and many more British official productions. 

Victoria was a good 20-odd years older than that image of an 18 year old when one of the rarest sovereigns of her reign was struck. 

The 827 is the key. This is a die number. Its purpose isn't yet quite clear. It may have been a way of testing quality. It's possible they marked the use of a particular batch of gold. 

You should expect to pay around £15,000 for good examples now. 

1 - 1917 George V 

George V 1917 sovereign

The First Wold War was the death knell for the sovereign as an everyday piece of currency.

War ruins everything. 

And, although the British Empire was on the winning side of one of history's most destructive, bloody episodes, they still emerged largely wrecked. 

Gold was in short supply and high demand during the war. The sovereign's period as a circulation coin was coming to an end. 

Producing large numbers of gold coins wasn't a priority. And many of the coins that were produced ended up being shipped overseas as bullion to pay the interest on war debts. 

Tragic in so many ways. And now extremely desirable and valuable. 

You'll need £30,000 to get one now.

Buy rare historic coins now

We sell rare and valuable coins. You can see some of what we have on offer here. 

If you'd like to get in touch with us you'll find our contact details here. And if you give us yours we'll let you know whenever we have new exciting collectibles in stock. 

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock