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Half Sovereigns

Purity Weight (g) Fineness Min. Gold Content (g) Guaranteed Min £
Half Sovereign 3.99 .9166 3.657 85.90

Gold SovereignsThe modern gold British Half Sovereign is crafted from a 22 carat gold alloy, measures 19.30 millimeters in diameter and weighs in at 3.994 grams. 3.7 grams of pure gold go into the manufacture of each gold British Half Sovereign.

The British Half Sovereign was first introduced to U.K. coinage in 1544, during the reign of Henry VIII but it was discontinued in 1604 until the coin was reintroduced in 1817, as the British government went through a restructuring period for their coinage systems. The British Half Sovereign then continued to be regularly produced until the year 1926, when it ceased annual production with the exception of special commemorative issues in coronation years until 1980.

In the years following 1980, the British Half Sovereign coin has been released each year as a limited edition collectors coin.

Interesting British Half Sovereign Trivia:

One of the best known anecdotes related to the British Half Sovereign coin is that of the British Civil Engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who, in 1843, was attempting to amuse children with a magic trick and inhaled the small coin. Numerous ineffective attempts were made to remove the coin which was lodged in the gentleman's windpipe, including the use of specially made forceps and a machine that Brunel invented to shake the coin loose.

While these attempts were all met with failure, Brunel eventually managed to get the coin out, though there is debate over exactly how this happened. One story tells that the would-be magician simply coughed the coin up but another version suggests that his father suggested he be bound to a plank and inverted, allowing the coin to be freed.

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