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Different alloys for gold coins....


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I was reading an excellent article on Chard's website, where there was table showing the variation in the composition of Sovereigns over several years - starting from around 4% of silver and the rest copper in the initial coins, whereas gradually the composition has changed to 80ish parts out of 1000 consist of copper ( and the rest gold). I am also aware of the Swiss Mint releasing gold coins last year, with a 90 Au, 6 Ag ( and rest Cu) alloy ( Swiss mint products always seem to be sold out, would appreciate a link to a seller too).

My question is - did the Royal Mint remove the silver content to improve the 'durability' of the coin as the coins would be in circulation, or is it merely a cost cutting measure ? 

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Requires a metallurgist to work out the benefits & trade-offs using various alloys.
Sovereigns open up the opportunity to incorporate 8.5% approx other metals and the choice may be cost related but I would assume more to being able to have a uniform mix and what aids the process during manufacture. Another reason of adding a bit more copper at the expense of silver might ( I don't know for sure ) be cosmetic. Some people like the darker colour but I prefer the yellow gold, more natural colour, than the browner used in some recent sovereign issues. 

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1 hour ago, argentumstacker said:

My question is - did the Royal Mint remove the silver content to improve the 'durability' of the coin as the coins would be in circulation, or is it merely a cost cutting measure ? 

What year were sovs last in circulation? They haven't reverted back to more silver since then. 

I think there are pros and cons to the modern composition but I prefer the older yellowish colour 

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5 hours ago, argentumstacker said:

I was reading an excellent article on Chard's website, where there was table showing the variation in the composition of Sovereigns over several years - starting from around 4% of silver and the rest copper in the initial coins, whereas gradually the composition has changed to 80ish parts out of 1000 consist of copper ( and the rest gold). I am also aware of the Swiss Mint releasing gold coins last year, with a 90 Au, 6 Ag ( and rest Cu) alloy ( Swiss mint products always seem to be sold out, would appreciate a link to a seller too).

My question is - did the Royal Mint remove the silver content to improve the 'durability' of the coin as the coins would be in circulation, or is it merely a cost cutting measure ? 

Thank you for the compliment, but I would say the article you saw is merely OK rather than excellent. It really needs expanding and improving.

I have said more in some TSF posts, for example:

 The answer to your question is:

An aberration, as yet unexplained.

Somebody at the RM, between 1957 and now, seems to have thought that sovereigns were traditionaly made of red gold. They were, and still are, wrong.

Will they admit it, and correct the error?

Who knows?

It was unlikely to be aimed at making them more durable, as since they changed to red gold, sovereigns were no longer a circulation coin. In any case, removing the silver would not necessarily make them more durable.

It could be for cost reasons, but see the notes about cost in the above thread. It is almost certainly a minuscule difference, and very short-sighted.

 

Chards

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1 hour ago, argentumstacker said:

I read the other thread, so does the Perth Mint still produce sovereigns with silver in them?

YES, in fact the Perth mint sovereigns use all silver as its alloy, with no copper whatsoever! (eg 2005 commemorative)

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