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British Gold Britannias vs. Gold Sovereigns: A Comparison

Published by honor in category Precious Metal Information Guides on 03.07.2024
Gold price (XAU-GBP)
1,855.40 GBP/oz
- GBP5.54
Silver price (XAG-GBP)
22.36 GBP/oz
- GBP0.30

When it comes to investing in gold coins, two names often come up: the British Gold Britannias and the Gold Sovereigns. Both have rich histories, high gold content, and strong appeal to investors and collectors alike.

But which one should you choose? Let’s dive deep into their differences and see how they stack up against each other.

History of Gold Britannias

The Gold Britannia was first introduced by the Royal Mint in 1987. This coin was created in response to the increasing global demand for gold bullion coins. The Britannia design itself dates back to Roman times, symbolising Britain’s naval prowess and strength.

Over the years, the design has evolved, with various artists adding their unique touches, but it has consistently featured the iconic figure of Britannia.

britannia-1-oz-gold-coin-reverse-2024 In Stock

1oz British Britannia Gold Coin 2024

We sell 1+ £1,902.85 1835.69 1835,69 1835.69 1835,69 1835.69 1835,69 1902.85 1902,85 1900.99 1900,99 1897.28 1897,28
We sell £1,897.28 1835.69 1835,69 1835.69 1835,69 1835.69 1835,69 1902.85 1902,85 1900.99 1900,99 1897.28 1897,28
We buy £1,835.69
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History of Gold Sovereigns

Gold Sovereigns, on the other hand, have a much longer history. The first Sovereign was struck in 1489 under the reign of Henry VII. The coin was reintroduced in 1817 and has been in continuous production (with some interruptions) ever since.

The Sovereign is synonymous with British history and prestige, often featuring the reigning monarch on the obverse and Saint George slaying the dragon on the reverse.

king charles iii sovereign obverse1 In Stock

Great Britain King Charles III Gold Sovereign

We sell 1+ £453.65 432.16 432,16 432.16 432,16 432.16 432,16 453.65 453,65 453.43 453,43 453.21 453,21
We sell £453.21 432.16 432,16 432.16 432,16 432.16 432,16 453.65 453,65 453.43 453,43 453.21 453,21
We buy £432.16
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Design and Appearance

Gold Britannias Design Features

Gold Britannias are known for their stunning design. The obverse typically features the reigning monarch, while the reverse showcases Britannia holding a trident and shield, symbolising strength and protection. Over the years, the design has seen several variations, keeping it fresh and appealing to collectors.

Read more on the topic here: The new 2024 Britannia coin design

Gold Sovereigns Design Features

Gold Sovereigns have a classic and timeless design. The obverse features the current monarch, while the reverse traditionally displays the iconic image of Saint George and the dragon, designed by Benedetto Pistrucci. This design has remained largely unchanged, giving the Sovereign a sense of continuity and tradition.

Read more on the topic here: Are Britannia Gold Coins a good investment?

Gold Content and Purity

Initially, Gold Britannia Coins were struck in 22 karat gold (91.67% pure) until 2013, when the Royal Mint increased the purity to 24 karat gold (99.99% pure).

This change to 24 carat gold significantly boosted their appeal to investors seeking higher purity gold

Gold Sovereigns have always been produced in 22 karat gold (91.67% pure). This consistency in purity has helped maintain their status as a reliable and recognised investment option worldwide.

Size and Weight

Fractional coins

Comparison of Dimensions and Weight

Gold Britannias are available in various sizes, including 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz, making them versatile for different investment levels.

The standard Gold Britannia weighs 31.21 grams and has a diameter of 32.69 mm

Gold Sovereigns, however, are typically smaller, with a standard weight of 7.98 grams and a diameter of 22.05 mm. They are also available in half and quarter sizes, but the standard full Sovereign is the most common.

Market Value and Liquidity

Current Market Trends for Gold Britannias

Gold Britannias are widely recognised and traded globally. Their market value closely follows the spot price of gold, with a slight premium due to their purity and design. They are highly liquid, meaning they can be easily bought and sold.

Current Market Trends for Gold Sovereigns

Gold Sovereigns also enjoy strong market recognition and liquidity. Their value is similarly tied to the spot price of gold, though they may carry a slightly higher premium due to their historical significance and collector interest.

Investment Potential

Gold Britannias offer excellent long-term investment potential. Their high purity and changing designs can make them more appealing to a broader audience, potentially increasing their value over time.

Gold Sovereigns are also a solid long-term investment. Their historical significance and consistent design appeal to both investors and collectors, ensuring steady demand and potential appreciation.


Collectors value Gold Britannias for their changing designs and high gold content.

Limited edition releases and special designs can significantly increase their collectible value

Gold Sovereigns have a robust collector base due to their rich history and consistent design. Rare and historical Sovereigns can fetch high premiums, making them highly desirable among numismatists.

Tax Implications

In the UK, physical gold coins including Gold Britannias are considered legal tender and are exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), making them a tax-efficient investment option.

Gold Sovereigns also benefit from CGT exemption in the UK, adding to their appeal as a tax-efficient investment.

Ease of Storage and Transport

home safe

Gold Britannias, especially in larger sizes, may require more storage space. However, their high value per unit weight can make storage relatively straightforward.

Gold Sovereigns, being smaller, are easier to store and transport. This makes them convenient for investors looking for a compact form of wealth.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Gold Britannias symbolise British heritage and naval power. Their design reflects the strength and resilience of the nation, making them a significant cultural artefact.

Gold Sovereigns are steeped in history, representing British royalty and prestige. Their long-standing presence in the coinage world underscores their historical and cultural importance.


Both British Gold Britannias and Gold Sovereigns have their unique advantages. Sovereigns are ideal for collectors and those making smaller investments, given their historical significance and affordability.

Britannias, with their higher gold content and modern designs, cater to larger investors and those seeking pure gold bullion. The choice between the two depends largely on individual investment goals and personal preferences. Both of these coins help contribute to a diversified investment portfolio.

Gold price (XAU-GBP)
1,855.40 GBP/oz
- GBP5.54
Silver price (XAG-GBP)
22.36 GBP/oz
- GBP0.30

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