Britannia gold coins

Britannias and Sovereigns: The differences

There are two very popular British coins that have shown they can stand the test of time. They are gold Britannias and Sovereigns. Both are coins you can own with pride, but knowing the similarities and differences between the two is essential.

The gold Britannia

Gold Britannias were first minted back in 1987 in 22-carat gold. The coins then consisted of one ounce of gold, however additional metals were mixed in to make them more durable. Over the years, the technology required to produce Britannia gold coins has improved, and since 2013 the Royal Mint has made them of pure 24-carat gold.


Gold Sovereigns are smaller than the Britannias, weighing just under a quarter of an ounce. During their lifespan, they have seen production in the UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada and India.

First launched in 1817, gold Sovereigns form part of the Great Recoinage that began the previous year. Worth the equivalent of £1, they were used in circulation until the First World War, but after that, the UK switched entirely to fiat currency due to the shortage of precious metals and associated costs.

So which should I choose – Sovereign or Britannia?

Investors tend to choose coins that provide the maximum amount of gold for the price paid. Both Britannias and Sovereigns attract similar prices per gram when you come to sell them, despite the fact that Britannias are so much bigger.

It’s also well worth noting that gold Sovereigns have a strong historic value which brings about hefty premiums. However, as the gold Britannia was created so much more recently in comparison, the premiums it attracts can be much lower which makes it more accessible to collectors. It depends whether you are looking for higher or lower stakes.

Essentially, whether you choose to buy a gold Britannia or a gold Sovereign is down to your personal preference. As mentioned, both are free from CGT and they’re also free from VAT. This is a big part of why they’re so investable.

Although the buying premiums vary between each coin, both are typically fairly low. That said, it’s still worth checking the values at the point of purchase. Often it can simply depend on the dealer and how much stock they have on that particular day.

Generally speaking, Britannia offers larger investors a good balance between size convenience and flexibility. However, such investors may commonly buy a number of Sovereigns in one go when the premium is favourable. Some prefer the historical element of the Sovereigns, whereas other collectors enjoy the range of designs the Britannia offers, together with its accessibility to those just tipping their toe into the market.

The good news is, whether you choose the gold Britannia or the Sovereign, you know you’re buying a world-renowned coin that’s highly investable. It’s clear that the Britannia gold coin is an exceptional piece, regardless off the design you go for. Why not learn more by reading the other articles in our blog, or drop us a message.

Britannias and Sovereigns
Gold coins

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