What is the Face Value of a Sovereign?

Gold Sov The British gold Sovereign is one of, if not the most famous bullion coin in the world and was first introduced as long ago as 1489, under Henry VII. The coin has a face value of £1, although as an uncirculated bullion coin, a Sovereign’s real value is based on its pure gold content, which is worth considerably more than £1.

Since Britain abandoned the Gold Standard in 1931 the real value of the Sovereign has changed drastically, as the adoption of unbacked fiat currencies has completely altered the value of money. At the time of writing the real value of a full gold Sovereign is around £200. This is calculated by multiplying its pure gold content (7.3224g) by the gold spot price- currently around £27 per gram.

Of course, the fact that Sovereigns are considered to be semi-numismatic coins, a point of interest for coin collectors, means that certain Sovereigns will be worth even more than their bullion value. The demand for certain Sovereigns is boosted significantly by certain factors such as their rarity, the year or mint branch in which they were produced, or the specific design that they carry. While this is particularly interesting for collectors of certain Sovereigns, it must be noted that this does not necessarily make them intrinsically more valuable, as a bullion dealer will always value a bullion coin by its pure metal content.

Gold Sovereigns are available in several denominations, each with a relative nominal face value.


Nominal Face Value

Weight (of which pure gold) (g)

Quintuple Sovereign


39.94 (36.613)

Double Sovereign


15.98 (14.63)



7.98 (7.3224)

Half Sovereign


3.98 (3.6575)

Quarter Sovereign


1.99 (1.82875)

As semi-numismatic coins, certain rare Sovereigns will attract high demand from coin collectors and will therefore come at high premiums to their precious metal value.