Danny I. asks: I have a few gold coins and I would like to get a rough idea of their value. Could you help me with that? I shall describe them: On one side there is a portrait of a king and it says “EDWARDVS VII D:G: BRITT: REX F:D:IMP on the other side there’s a mythologic figure on a horse fighting a beast. Some of the coins are dated 1907, others are 1902, 1906 1911, 1917. The weight of each coin is 0.2354 oz. Thanks, Danny.
All are British Sovereigns. The 1902, 1906 and 1907 coins show a bust of Edward VII, the 1911 and 1917, a bust of George V. The reverse is a depiction of St. George and the Dragon. The only coin that may have numismatic value would be the 1917 – if it is from the London Mint (no mint mark on the base below the dragon). Value in average circulated condition-about $4,000.
There were four gold coins that were minted under Edward’s reign. A half sovereign, about the size of a U.S. dime, a sovereign, about the size of a U.S. nickel, a 2 L (pound) about the size of a U.S. half dollar and a gold 5L, about the size of a U.S. silver dollar.
The sovereign denomination was the same as 1 pound in shillings(20) or crowns(4). In the 19th century sovereigns were trade units, that is gold money that countries used to pay other countries to satisfy debts. In the 20th century and especially after 1933, sovereigns were essentially bullion items, that is, valued on their gold content alone. The sovereigns are a convenient way to store gold. Since they are issued by an official body, in this case the British Royal Mint, the gold content is guaranteed, therefore the coins do not have to be weighed or assayed to trade as gold.
Each sovereign contains .2354 troy ounce of pure gold, or slightly less than a quarter ounce. To determine each sovereigns value in dollars, simply multiply the above decimal against the current world price of gold in troy ounces (see the CoinSite’s Metals page for up-to-the minute world prices of precious metals). For example at $1200 gold a sovereign would be worth US $282.40 [.2354 x 1200].