I have seen claims on the internet saying sovereigns have face value of £1 and £100. These coins therefore have an embedded put option at the strike being the face value.

  • You also need to factor in the continued devaluing of the face value via inflation, as well as the security/insurance costs of where you hold them.
    – Philip
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 11:08

2 Answers 2


Here's the explanation from WikiPedia:

Britannia gold coins contain one troy ounce of gold and have a face value of £100. Gold Britannias also are issued in fractional sizes of one-half, one-quarter, and one-tenth of a troy ounce and with face values of £50, £25, and £10 respectively.

The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Prior to 1932 it was a fully circulating coin within Britain's then Gold Standard currency. Today it is used as a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewelry.

I don't know how you'd have a put on something with higher actual value than face, because otherwise the same would be true with the American Eagle $20 and $50 coins.

  • Right, you have an embedded put that's out of money but might have some time value (though at strike of £100 on a £1000 coin in terms of gold content it's probably not worth a whole lot).
    – SMeznaric
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:55
  • The other part of my question was about the face value of a sovereign coin.
    – SMeznaric
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:56
  • Perfect. If you can add that to your answer I'll happily give you a +1 and accept the answer. Thanks a lot
    – SMeznaric
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 0:42
  • One thing that might be interesting to add - what is the nominal value of a guinea, if someone were to take one to the bank? None minted for two centuries but the notional unit remained in use until decimalisation... Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:49
  • @Andrew When created, the guinea's value was £1 or 20 shillings (20s), but it fluctuated up from there (at one point as high as 30s or £1.50) as the price of gold rose compared to silver. Between 1717 and 1816 it was fixed at 21s (£1.05). In 1816 it was denominated and replaced by the soveriegn, fixed at £1.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 7:59

The British gold Sovereign is one of, if not the most famous bullion coin in the world and was first introduced as long ago as 1489, under Henry VII. The coin has a face value of £1, although as an uncirculated bullion coin, a Sovereign’s real value is based on its pure gold content, which is worth considerably more than £1.

Since Britain abandoned the Gold Standard in 1931 the real value of the Sovereign has changed drastically, as the adoption of unbacked fiat currencies has completely altered the value of money. At the time of writing the real value of a full gold Sovereign is around £200. This is calculated by multiplying its pure gold content (7.3224g) by the gold spot price- currently around £27 per gram.

Of course, the fact that Sovereigns are considered to be semi-numismatic coins, a point of interest for coin collectors, means that certain Sovereigns will be worth even more than their bullion value. The demand for certain Sovereigns is boosted significantly by certain factors such as their rarity, the year or mint branch in which they were produced, or the specific design that they carry. While this is particularly interesting for collectors of certain Sovereigns, it must be noted that this does not necessarily make them intrinsically more valuable, as a bullion dealer will always value a bullion coin by its pure metal content.

from Bullion by post . com

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