The 2020 Pre-Decimal 50th Anniversary Gold Sovereign Range

The 2020 Pre-decimal 50th Anniversary Gold One-Eighth Sovereign Banner
In 1970, the last ever pre-decimal coins were struck. Pre-Decimal coinage is however very much still heard and seen today, despite there being many younger generations who have only ever known ‘Decimal’ currency of pounds and pence, missing out on centuries of history and tradition.

Decimalisation, or Decimal Day as it is most known, occurred in 1971 after the pre-decimal system was deemed too complicated with pounds, shillings and pence. Initially, the plan was to make the new decimal currency into cents and dollars (known more in the USA), but this was reconsidered, and pounds and pence were the chosen coinage.

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Timeline of the 200 Years of the British Gold Sovereign

The British Sovereign was first imagined in 1489 by King Henry VII, after he instructed officers of his Royal Mint to produce a ‘new money of gold’. Prior to that point, England had enjoyed circulating gold coinage for almost a century and a half, but the new coin, named a Sovereign, was to be the largest coin both in size and value.

Then in 1817, the ‘new sovereign’ made its debut with a newly imagined design featuring St George slaying the dragon. The new design was created by Italian gem engraver Benedetto Pistrucci and was destined to become one of the world’s most loved coin designs.

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Coin Grading – What You Need to Know

coin grading
There are a number of coin grading scales to bear in mind when looking into coins and their condition. It can be very daunting and confusing if you are unsure what you are looking for, so we have broken it all down for you, from historical grading to the present day; UK and US.

In Britain, the original grading scale classed every coin as either ‘Fine’ or ‘Extremely Fine’ – these were the only options. As times changed, extra steps were added into that scheme: ‘Good’ and ‘Very Good’, both below Fine, and ‘Very Fine’, below Extremely Fine. That created five grading steps, which was even further expanded over time by dealers by adding ‘Almost’ or ‘Good’ to any of those grades, with ‘Almost Fine’ being less than Fine and ‘Good Fine’ being better than Fine, but less than ‘Almost Very Fine’.

For over one hundred years this was the grading scheme in Europe, and it didn’t include the grade ‘Uncirculated’, for the simple reason that it was considered that any coin that came from circulation couldn’t be ‘uncirculated’.

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Everything you need to know about the MV Royal Daffodil

Our 2020 Dunkirk 80th Anniversary Gold Sovereign Range commemorates the remarkable rescue of Allied troops from the beaches of Northern France, sometimes known as ‘Operation Dynamo’.

The Gold Quarter Sovereign in particular, features a design that pays tribute to the MV Royal Daffodil, a passenger vessel that undertook no fewer than seven trips to the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 and rescued up to 9,500 troops. On the final trip, a bomb went right through her hull and exploded beneath her; the hole was plugged with a mattress and she made it home. After the War she was refitted and proudly bore a plaque that commemorated her as a ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’.

We are taking a closer look at the Troopship Royal Daffodil and everything you need to know.

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Queen Elizabeth II: Pre Decimal vs Decimal Coins

decimal day
Although decimalisation occurred in 1971, the names of pre decimal coinage can still be seen and heard today; making them very much a part of British Culture and history. For the period before decimalisation, Britain relied on a system of pounds, shillings and pence.

There were 12 pennies to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound.  There were also Half Crowns, Three Pennies, Sixpences and Farthings. Prior to the decimal era, many had problems dealing with the complicated system, with Sir John Bowring, a Member of Parliament at the time, being one of the first calling to change to a currency based on units of ten.

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A Beginners Guide to Coin Collecting

coin collecting
Coin collecting – or ‘numismatics’, the technical term – can be a rewarding and enjoyable past time. Many people begin their coin collecting journey after inheriting a coin or collection from a family member, or sourcing a coin for a particular sentimental event. However you start coin collecting, it is a hobby that falls across generations young and old, and is actually said to be one of the world’s oldest hobbies.

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