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2022 Memorial Sovereign Alloy Change / Yellow Gold?


westminstrel

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13 minutes ago, westminstrel said:

Has anyone noticed a more yellow colour on the new 2022 Memorial Sovereign compared to previous years?

Here’s a comparison to the most recent 2022 Platinum Jubilee Sovereign.

3152534A-0F73-4AB1-9133-96465E1A1583.jpeg.4d2ba8feeb0cc8bd08207df41b5e062f.jpeg64C364C5-86BE-463D-9CA2-351BB8A50F24.jpeg.c7f46f3d08ead6c0279de963e9c57f47.jpeg

Good spotting!

I had thought about the colour, but it is perhaps just their photo / artwork department improved the image colour.

I will be testing some when we get our first batch.

😎

Chards

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On 15/11/2022 at 10:49, Bixley said:

You had better ask Mr. Chard to see if he has any embargoed information on the colour. 

If it was embargoed, I would not be permitted to tell you, but I know nothing.

There is a strange paradox in that:

If I know nothing, I am free to tell you what I know, but if I do know something, I can't necessarily tell you!

😎

Edited by LawrenceChard

Chards

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I noticed the colour change in the pictures this morning - maybe less copper and more silver in the composition?

I'll see what comes through the post and compare it to the 95th birthday sovereign.

I hope it's less rose gold and more gold gold! 

Absolutely love Jody Clark's detailed design on the reverse, so won't be too disappointed if it is the usual rose gold colour...  there's still gold in them there hills (coins!) 😄 

Edited by GoldenGriffin
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6 hours ago, Solachesis said:

I feel this design colour matches the current colour of sovereigns. They have never looked pink like the royal Mint's photos, and it's weird they used that colour in the photos 

Very much this.

I held off getting the 2022 bullion sovereign when I saw the Royal Mint's photos. It was only when I saw some unboxing videos on YouTube and the colour didn't seem that bad, that I pulled the trigger. It's still not an ideal colour, but it's nowhere near as bad as the stock photos.

Hopefully the photographer was fired.

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1 minute ago, SheepStacker said:

Very much this.

I held off getting the 2022 bullion sovereign when I saw the Royal Mint's photos. It was only when I saw some unboxing videos on YouTube and the colour didn't seem that bad, that I pulled the trigger. It's still not an ideal colour, but it's nowhere near as bad as the stock photos.

Hopefully the photographer was fired.

Definitely! I love the proof Sovs I have, imo they are incredible, and as you say look worse in photos. I have a Viccy and that is glorious too, but in a different way. I understand a preference, but I don't get all the 'hate' for the alloy at all.

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If Sovereigns with King Charles III are now less rose gold it will all make more sense to me.

Historically gold Sovereigns have pretty much been 22 / 24 parts gold and that tradition will probably continue.

- Rose gold for the Queen.

- Gold gold for the King.

And makes it easier to identify the monarch on your Sovereigns just by the colour.

Very clever idea by the RM if this turns out to be true and really like the concept.

Edited by GoldenGriffin
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18 hours ago, kimchi said:

Definitely! I love the proof Sovs I have, imo they are incredible, and as you say look worse in photos. I have a Viccy and that is glorious too, but in a different way. I understand a preference, but I don't get all the 'hate' for the alloy at all.

I agree with your comments and Sheepstackers. Firstly, the RM has been using ‘Red’ gold for the last 40 years for the Sovereign unlike the Gillick sovereigns which had a little silver in the alloy. The perceived ‘Pinkness’ is the fault of the RMs advertising departments editing suite, not necessarily the photographers. Thus many potential sovereign buyers have been deterred from buying a sovereign simply by the overly pink nature of the photo in the RMs advertising.  In reality we know they are visually not half as bad. It’s not a question of being a ‘hater’ of the use of red gold - they just don’t compare with the sovereigns of the past which have a more golden appearance. 

It’s worth noting that the RMs 22ct gold is only used for minting Sovereigns. I assume the gold is sourced through the LBMA, an accredited supplier, and is refined to order? Perhaps L.C. knows, who has always been a campaigner to change the alloy….  

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 I find the current color difficult to describe.T he marketing is reddish pink but in hand it's like a shiny brown with a golden shine if one rotates the coin. Personally I rather like them as sovereigns mixed with the matte gold of Perth Mint coins looks really good. I've never seen a sovereign with partial silver alloy but I guess a little changes it quite a bit or otherwise it wouldn't be such a persistent talking point. US Eagles have some silver and certainly have a more 'gold' look than a sovereign but clearly aren't 9999 pure. Based on that, I can see why people want silver in there.

I would assume adding silver would add more production cost and it's just easier to go with the 9167 gold 833 copper.

Edited by AgCoyote
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40 minutes ago, Britannia47 said:

I agree with your comments and Sheepstackers. Firstly, the RM has been using ‘Red’ gold for the last 40 years for the Sovereign unlike the Gillick sovereigns which had a little silver in the alloy. The perceived ‘Pinkness’ is the fault of the RMs advertising departments editing suite, not necessarily the photographers. Thus many potential sovereign buyers have been deterred from buying a sovereign simply by the overly pink nature of the photo in the RMs advertising.  In reality we know they are visually not half as bad. It’s not a question of being a ‘hater’ of the use of red gold - they just don’t compare with the sovereigns of the past which have a more golden appearance. 

It’s worth noting that the RMs 22ct gold is only used for minting Sovereigns. I assume the gold is sourced through the LBMA, an accredited supplier, and is refined to order? Perhaps L.C. knows, who has always been a campaigner to change the alloy….  

The 22ct gold the Mint uses is not only used for sovereigns, but for other gold proof coins, such as fifty pences, gold proof crowns, and some others. Precious Metals are not sourced directly through the LBMA, but through its members, with some possible non-members.

Gold for commercial and industrial use is usually refined into fine gold, typically 9999 fine, before being alloyed to its required fineness.

I have no special knowledge of the Royal Mint's purchasing policies for gold, but I believe it sources many of its "blanks" from third party suppliers. At this stage, the RM could presumably specify the alloy it desired. My belief, stated many times, is that at some point during QEII's reign, someone in the production department of the Mint wrongly assumed that being 22cat was sufficient, and that red gold alloyed only with copper, was perfectly acceptable, and probably a few pence cheaper. He may have believed that gold sovereigns, or crown gold was traditionally red, containing no silver.

It may also be that the original crown gold specifications did not include any any specific mention of silver, as almost all gold bullion available at the time would have contained a proportion of silver as an impurity, and was rarely, if ever fully or further refined to eliminate it, possibly because it was also known to help produce pleasantly yellow coloured alloys with good working properties.

At every possible opportunity I remind Royal Mint management of the above. I am sure some still do not know, others probably don't care, while the few who are aware may encounter similar resistance or inertia to that which I observe.

😎

Chards

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31 minutes ago, LawrenceChard said:

The 22ct gold the Mint uses is not only used for sovereigns, but for other gold proof coins, such as fifty pences, gold proof crowns, and some others. Precious Metals are not sourced directly through the LBMA, but through its members, with some possible non-members.

Gold for commercial and industrial use is usually refined into fine gold, typically 9999 fine, before being alloyed to its required fineness.

I have no special knowledge of the Royal Mint's purchasing policies for gold, but I believe it sources many of its "blanks" from third party suppliers. At this stage, the RM could presumably specify the alloy it desired. My belief, stated many times, is that at some point during QEII's reign, someone in the production department of the Mint wrongly assumed that being 22cat was sufficient, and that red gold alloyed only with copper, was perfectly acceptable, and probably a few pence cheaper. He may have believed that gold sovereigns, or crown gold was traditionally red, containing no silver.

It may also be that the original crown gold specifications did not include any any specific mention of silver, as almost all gold bullion available at the time would have contained a proportion of silver as an impurity, and was rarely, if ever fully or further refined to eliminate it, possibly because it was also known to help produce pleasantly yellow coloured alloys with good working properties.

At every possible opportunity I remind Royal Mint management of the above. I am sure some still do not know, others probably don't care, while the few who are aware may encounter similar resistance or inertia to that which I observe.

😎

When I was last at the Perth Mint, of of the staff doing a tour said they make the .999 blanks for a number of mints including the RM.  

Not my circus, not my monkeys

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17 minutes ago, dicker said:

When I was last at the Perth Mint, of of the staff doing a tour said they make the .999 blanks for a number of mints including the RM.  

Could we use those for Sovereigns then!? 😄Seriously though, I have contacted their refinery in the past to enquire about Sovereign alloys …’it would take time and effort to find out’ was the answer! Subsequently I found out the alloy was all Silver, at least for their commemorative Sovs. Therefore I doubt they would do 22ct red gold blanks and then transport them to the UK, but could be wrong. I had forgotten that the RM had used ‘red gold’ for minor coinage such as the bi-metal gold £2 using red and yellow gold!  I wonder if I’m right in saying only the Kruggerand and our Sovereign today use Red gold for the alloy?
My visit to the Perth Mint was mainly watching the ‘Gold Pour’ with my mouth open…..!🤩

There seems to have been a trend towards using 9999 gold, eg our gold Britannias/QBs etc. Great coins IMO.
 

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51 minutes ago, dicker said:

When I was last at the Perth Mint, of of the staff doing a tour said they make the .999 blanks for a number of mints including the RM.  

I think it is likely that they do make some, if not all, of the RM's fine gold blanks.

They dig the stuff out of the ground almost in their backyard!

😎

Chards

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1 hour ago, Britannia47 said:

Could we use those for Sovereigns then!? 😄Seriously though, I have contacted their refinery in the past to enquire about Sovereign alloys …’it would take time and effort to find out’ was the answer! Subsequently I found out the alloy was all Silver, at least for their commemorative Sovs. Therefore I doubt they would do 22ct red gold blanks and then transport them to the UK, but could be wrong. I had forgotten that the RM had used ‘red gold’ for minor coinage such as the bi-metal gold £2 using red and yellow gold!  I wonder if I’m right in saying only the Kruggerand and our Sovereign today use Red gold for the alloy?
My visit to the Perth Mint was mainly watching the ‘Gold Pour’ with my mouth open…..!🤩

There seems to have been a trend towards using 9999 gold, eg our gold Britannias/QBs etc. Great coins IMO.
 

I think that XRF tests I have done on modern Australian gold sovereigns show they are alloyed with silver and no copper, which is why they are an attractive colour.

There is probably nothing to stop the RM from sourcing sovereign blanks from Perth Mint, and using the same alloy as the Australians. they would cost a little mor, but as the RM has recently increased premiums on bullion sovereigns, I think they could well afford the extra.

You are wrong about Kruggerands, but you are right about Krugerrands, being red gold, but they were not always. the first time I notice red gold Krugers was the 2017 issue, although I have not tested every date or kept a comprehensive record.

There may be other red gold coins. Some coins which are often stated to be red gold are not. Whoever states they are red gold often seem to do so from a position of ignorance or faulty assumption.

As for "watching the ‘Gold Pour’ with my mouth open", how many gold inlays do you now have?

😎

Edited by LawrenceChard

Chards

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1 hour ago, LawrenceChard said:

It may also be that the original crown gold specifications did not include any any specific mention of silver, as almost all gold bullion available at the time would have contained a proportion of silver as an impurity, and was rarely, if ever fully or further refined to eliminate it, possibly because it was also known to help produce pleasantly yellow coloured alloys with good working properties.

This actually seems to be the case.  From Schedule 1 of the 1971 act, the weight and fineness is specified but it makes no representation of the rest of the composition of the alloy.  As I understand, electrolytically refined gold of really high purity is something that wasn't done much until recently, as the process to do it requires quite a lot of gold to be held in stock as a part of the electrolyte solution - which makes it very capital intensive.  Traditional precipitation from aqua regia tended to produce gold of about .995 purity or so unless you re-refined it several times. 

image.png.5f9902cc308bcd9adf04aed6e4a49884.png

From what I understand, it doesn't take a lot of silver in the alloy to make quite a difference to the colour - the silver in white gold almost completely obliterates the yellow colour from the gold.  I'm pretty sure I've seen something you wrote about this somewhere as well.  So, from the digging I did on the subject, a reasonable explanation is that the RM isn't under much if any obligation relating to what they alloy the gold with, just as long as the resulting coin is .917 fine gold and weighs 7.99g.

Thoroughly dissolving the silver out of gold with Nitric acid before you refine it takes several cycles of cooking it in hot acid, which is quite time consuming, so it's probably easier to just leave some of the silver in the gold if you don't have a reason to make the gold super pure.  If you're selling to a customer that's going to alloy it down to .917 then making the gold super pure is probably not worth the trouble - after all, the customer is just going to assay the gold and add base metals to alloy to the right fineness.

Nowadays, it's possible that nobody really sells .995 gold anymore so the RM is buying fairly pure gold to begin with, so they just add copper and wind up with an alloy of gold and copper with little or no silver.  I'm not clairvoyant and I don't have any special insight into Royal Mint policy, but it seems the most likely course of events that might lead to the current state of the RM's rose gold coinage.  

 

Edited by Silverlocks

The Sovereign is the quintessentially British coin.  It has a German queen on the front, an Italian waiter on the back, and half of them were made in Australia.

 

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2 minutes ago, Silverlocks said:

This actually seems to be the case.  From Schedule 1 of the 1971 act, the weight and fineness is specified but it makes no representation of the rest of the composition of the alloy.  As I understand, electrolytically refined gold of really high purity is something that wasn't done much until recently, as the process to do it requires quite a lot of gold to be held in stock as a part of the electrolyte solution - which makes it very capital intensive.  Traditional precipitation from aqua regia tended to produce gold of about .995 purity or so unless you re-refined it several times. 

Thoroughly dissolving the silver out of gold with Nitric acid before you refine it takes several cycles of cooking it in hot acid, which is quite time consuming, so it's probably easier to just leave some of the silver in the gold if you don't have a reason to make the gold super pure.  If you're selling to a customer that's going to alloy it down to .917 then making the gold super pure is probably not worth the trouble - after all, the customer is just going to assay the gold and add base metals to alloy to the right fineness.

From what I understand, it doesn't take a lot of silver in the alloy to make quite a difference to the colour - the silver in white gold almost completely obliterates the yellow colour from the gold.  I'm pretty sure I've seen something you wrote about this somewhere as well.  So, from the digging I did on the subject, a reasonable explanation is that the RM isn't under much if any obligation relating to what they alloy the gold with, just as long as the resulting coin is .917 fine gold and weighs 7.99g.

image.png.5f9902cc308bcd9adf04aed6e4a49884.png

That's a pretty good exposition about refining and costs, which is implicit in what I have stated many times over.

It seems to Mint is under no obligation to use silver, as you have stated.

It is not the addition of silver which "bleaches" (yellow) gold to appear white, but also other metals including zinc, palladium and nickel. The last of these is a very effective whitener, but tends to make alloys brittle, and requires different annealing. It can be useful to make springy alloys.

😎

Chards

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14 minutes ago, LawrenceChard said:

That's a pretty good exposition about refining and costs, which is implicit in what I have stated many times over.

It seems to Mint is under no obligation to use silver, as you have stated.

It is not the addition of silver which "bleaches" (yellow) gold to appear white, but also other metals including zinc, palladium and nickel. The last of these is a very effective whitener, but tends to make alloys brittle, and requires different annealing. It can be useful to make springy alloys.

😎

Maybe I should start a petition on the parliamentary site to amend the act to require the RM to include at least 3% silver (the composition of AGEs) in the alloy of sovereigns.  I wonder if one could get the 20,000 signatures or whatever it is they need to get it debated in parliament.

Edited by Silverlocks

The Sovereign is the quintessentially British coin.  It has a German queen on the front, an Italian waiter on the back, and half of them were made in Australia.

 

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Just now, Britannia47 said:

Let’s have another look at where we are today compared to the Gillick Sovereign. It’s a fairly drastic colour shift in the wrong direction IMO. Ignoring the design for a moment, which one would you really prefer? ….

 

 

As any Male Porn Star will tell you, it's all a matter of lighting... ;)

2022so.JPG

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It's a bit difficult to read this NSW Parliamentary Paper, but it appears the debate has been active at least since 1863 😉

Coins were minted in Sydney and sent directly to the RM for melting where they extracted the silver and reminted the coins in copper alloy. 🤷‍♂️

 

 

Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 7.17.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 7.19.08 PM.png

Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 7.40.53 PM.png

Edited by jultorsk

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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