Gilchrist Sovereign Reference

The Gold Sovereign is a fascinating coin not just for the UK collector, but also many collectors around the world. It is steeped in rich history and for the keen numinatist much variety, which adds that additional layer to collecting that we all love.

It was this variety in the earlier Sovereigns especially that peaked the interest of Gilchrist, and what turned a basic date run of Victorian Sovereigns into the database of rare and unique coins that can be found here today.

Below is an explanation of how the referencing system works:


1843: Normal Date - The first pair of digits correspond to the date, the second pair of digits if “00” denote that this coin is the accepted standard variation.

The catalogue begins with reference “100” for the George III 1817 Sovereign, this is the first modern sovereign and is the accepted standard variety.


1843: Narrow Shield - The second pair of digits if numbered represent a variety within the coin, either a different pattern as this coin displays, an engraver error or other variation to the standard coin.

If the second two digits are below “10” then generally these will be previously discovered coin varieties.


1843: I in Britanniarum Complete - If the second pair of digits as displayed in this coin are above “10” then they are unique to the Gilchrist collection and referencing. These can contain unique discoveries with large engraver errors, or simply clarification on existing variations that have been further researched by Gilchrist.

The above coin is in fact far scarcer than the 1843 with missing serif, virtually all 1843 sovereigns exhibit the missing serif on the reverse and as such Gilchrist records this as the standard coin 2600.


1863: Die Number 25 - The last type of reference number is an extension to the standard coins reference for the Die Number series (1863-1868). This is quite simple in that the additional digit(s) after the hyphen indicates the die number of the coin.

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