Best British Gold Coins
Founded in 886, the British Royal Mint holds the distinction of being the second oldest mint in the world. For over 1,100 years, Britain’s national mint has produced some of the world’s most popular gold coins and bars. The high recognizability of British coinage has helped to make it a staple of most coin collections, and investors all over the world turn to the British Mint for its yearly releases and numismatics.
What are the best British gold coins to buy? In today’s Bullion Academy guide, we’ll be walking readers through four of our favorite coins from the British Royal Mint. With a mint that has this kind of history, it’s not hard to imagine that there were hundreds of coins that didn’t make today’s list.
To browse our full catalog of .9999 pure British gold coins, navigate over to the “British gold coins” category of the Hero Bullion website. Otherwise, we’re going to turn our attention to the history of the best British gold coins.
History of British Gold Coins
Like we noted above, the Royal Mint is Great Britain’s national mint. Gold coinage has always been an important part of the British Empire. Even Kings and Queens from thousands of years ago understood the importance of coinage. Oftentimes, early monarchs in Britain would use coins to legitimize their rule. After all, even the poorest, most isolated peasants would have to see the face of a monarch if it was stamped onto currency.
Even before the establishment of Britain’s government mint, the country made use of coin manufacturers all over the country to create valuable currencies for trade. In the modern era, we owe quite a lot of our modern coinage economy to early Britain’s practices.
The British Royal Mint
In its 1,100 year history, the Royal Mint has shifted considerably in its objectives. For much of its early years of operation, the mint’s main job was to produce currency for the citizens and government of Great Britain. The Royal Mint’s efforts helped to make Britain’s economy one of the most stable in the world and paved the way for its eventual role as a global empire.
Nowadays, the best British gold coins aren’t currency at all. Because the coins on our list are produced by the British Royal Mint, they do carry a face value. But don’t be fooled – nobody in their right mind would trade an expensive .9999 pure gold coin for its pathetically low face value.
In reality, the British Royal Mint now produces coins mainly for collectors and investors. When you take a look at some of the best British gold coins on the market, you’ll understand why. Their reputation for intricate, culturally relevant designs has made them a global leader in gold bullion sales for a reason.
How to Find the Best British Gold Coins
Before we get into the best British gold coins for investors and collectors, we should spend at least a little bit of time explaining how we came up with our list of the top coins from Great Britain.
Like most coin enthusiasts, we used 3 main factors to determine the best British gold coins: comparing premiums over spot, assessing collectability, and contrasting gold purity. Using these three factors, we’re able to make a convincing case for the best British gold coins in 2023.
Comparing Premiums Over Spot
Premium prices are generally one of the most important elements of how coin collectors choose their next investments. Not all investors are concerned with premiums. To some fans of British gold coins, the numismatic and collectable value of their investments are well worth paying an extra premium over spot.
Still, we realize that some new investors might not be familiar with the concept of a premium over spot. Spot price refers to the average sale value of one troy ounce of pure gold. But if you’ve spent any time searching for the best British gold coins, you already know that buying a gold coin for its gold melt value is nearly impossible.
By subtracting the melt value of a gold coin from its total cost on a coin dealer’s website, you can figure out how high of a premium you’re being asked to pay. For this guide, we’ve tried to identify coins with relatively low premiums over spot compared to other British gold coins.
Collectability and Recognizability
It’s actually harder to find British gold coins that aren’t recognizable than to identify the ones that are. The truth is that British coinage is recognizable all over the world. However, there are a few lesser-known coins that investors might be cautious of if their plan is to quickly liquidate their investments sometime down the road.
When ranking the best British gold coins of 2023, we tried to look for coins that are so recognizable that even novice coin investors would be able to spot them out of a lineup.
Gold Purity of British Gold Coins
This is another thing that the British Royal Mint does really well. Some mints produce coins with various different fineness levels. The American Gold Eagle, for instance, only contains around .9167 pure gold bullion. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some investors want to put their money directly on the purest gold coins possible.
We’ve opted for a variety of different purity levels for our list of the best British gold coins. The British Gold Sovereign, as an example, contains a lower gold fineness than the Gold Tudor and Gold Britannia. Still, collectors interested in investing in cheap British gold might consider the Gold Sovereign to be an excellent value option.
Best British Gold Coins for Collectors
We’ve split our guide to the best British gold coins into two sections: the best coins for collectors, and the best coins for investors. While the line between investors and collectors can be confusingly blurred, we generally find that these categories represent the two main types of gold coin investors.
We begin with the best British gold coins for collectors. The two coins below are limited series that offer a high degree of collectability. For some collectors, they might appreciate considerably in numismatic value as the years go by.
Gold Tudor Beasts Coin Series
The Tudor Beasts series is the newest version of one of the British Royal Mint’s most popular coin series: the Queen’s Beasts. The original Queen’s Beasts series celebrated the royal lineage of Queen Elizabeth II. Each coin included a reverse depiction of another one of the Queen’s Beasts, a series of heraldic statues made to commemorate her coronation in the 19th century.
The Gold Tudor Beasts Series follows the same concept, but with a new angle. Instead of Queen Elizabeth, the series follows the lineage of Henry VIII. Along the Moat Bridge in Great Britain stand ten stone statues, each a beast representing his lineage – and the lineage of the royal Tudor family.
This coin series is new. As of 2023, only two of the stone statues have been commemorated on Gold Tudor Beasts coins: the Bull of Clarence gold coin in 2023 and the Seymour Unicorn gold coin in 2024. The series is ongoing, so collectors are able to get in on the ground floor. It’s worth noting that the previous series, the Queen’s Beasts, included all heraldic beasts on their coins, along with a ‘completer coin.’
Gold King Charles Cypher Coin
To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, the British Royal Mint recently released the Gold King Charles Cypher Coin. Minted with .9999 fine gold, the obverse of this coin features an effigy of King Charles III, as well as the coin’s face value (100 GBP).
Flip the coin over, and you’ll find where the coin gets its name. Legendary mint designer John Bergdahl created a new depiction of King Charles III’s cypher, which gives us his royal title and initials.
This coin is part of an extremely limited minting run. For collectors, it’s a great opportunity to purchase a coin that they likely won’t see again for many years. After all, it’s not common for the monarch of Great Britain to die, and we only get our hands on these coins when a new coronation happens.
Best British Gold Coins for Investors
Investors look for something a bit different when they search for the best British gold coins. To the collector, the most important thing a coin offers is its history, as well as its beautiful designs and numismatic value.
But the average investor is most interested in finding British gold coins that are both cheap on premiums and popular enough to resell easily in the future. For this class of coin enthusiast, we selected the Gold Britannia and Gold Sovereign as the best British gold coins to buy.
Gold Britannia Coin
The Gold Britannia is a certified British Royal Mint classic. Minted with an exceptional fineness of .9999, it’s been an annual release from Great Britain for several decades. On the obverse, you’ll find the portrait of Britain’s current monarch. Until very recently, this was Queen Elizabeth II. Following her death, the honor goes to new British monarch King Charles III.
The reverse is what makes this coin such a great collectable. It features Britannia, the feminine personification of Great Britain. Britannia has been used as a symbol for the British islands for centuries – some historians think that her origins go all the way back to Ancient Rome!
Here, she wears a flowing gown and stands along the edge of a rocky cliff. She carries two things in her arms: a trident and the shield of Great Britain. Extremely effective security features help to make this not only one of the best British gold coins, but also one of the most safe coins in the world to invest in.
Gold Sovereign Coin
Gold British Sovereigns are another traditional offering from the British Royal Mint. The reverse-side image on these coins is incredible. It’s based on a myth about Saint George that originated in the 11th and 12th centuries. In the fable, venerated Christian soldier Saint George rode on his steed into battle with a dragon, slaying the beast and saving a small town in the process.
A modern depiction of this scene makes its way onto the reverse of the Gold Sovereign coin. On the reverse, we bet you can take a guess at who appears. That’s right – it’s Britain’s current monarch. In 2023, the British Royal Mint released the Coronation Sovereign, a unique gold coin that both pays homage to the heritage of the Sovereign and the coronation of Britain’s new King.
These coins don’t contain as much pure gold as the other coins on our list. For the Gold Coronation Sovereign, expect a total gold content of .2354 troy ounces. While premiums may be a bit higher for this coin than the Gold Britannia, the Gold Sovereign’s history of excellence among traders may help it make its way onto our list of the best British gold coins for investors.
Why Buy British Gold Coins?
Now that we’ve discussed the best British gold coins for both investors and collectors, we wanted to take just a moment to talk about why British gold is such a staple among bullion enthusiasts.
History of Excellence
We can’t talk enough about the distinguished history of the British Royal Mint. For over 1,100 years, Britain’s sovereign mint has created some of the world’s most valuable and collectable gold bullion coins.
When you buy British gold, you’re not just paying for gold. You’re investing in a long history of excellence and numismatic value among collectors everywhere.
Final Thoughts: Best British Gold Coins
British gold is a hallmark of coin collections all over the world. If you’re a serious stacker, chances are you already have a few of the coins on our list. But for new investors, it’s important to take a few moments to look at the best British gold coins to buy.
Hero Bullion is excited to offer competitive pricing and a wide inventory of quality British gold coins. If you still have questions about buying the best British gold coins, never hesitate to reach out to our dedicated customer service team.
You might also be interested in:
About The Author
Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.