The first sovereigns to feature English kings were minted in 1489 and they have become one of the best recognized and trusted gold coins in the world. For over 500 years they have been accepted as currency and a medium of exchange across the globe. The first sovereigns were minted in honor of King Henry VII in 1489 and were considered to be a hallmark of the Tudor Dynasty. There have been many different designs over the centuries and while the kings may have come and gone, the sovereign has remained with many different faces. While many of the gold sovereigns have long since disappeared into private collections, they are still available in several variations. Most notably among these are the King Edward VII of 1902-1910 and the King George V of 1911-1932. Both of these gold bullion coins contain .2354 troy ounce of .9999 pure gold and are still accepted as legal tender.
One of the things that make these coins so popular as a form of investment is that they considered as private and are not taxable by the IRS in any way. Thus you can collect as many as you wish, build your investment and not have to worry about reporting them to the taxman or paying taxes on the profits as long as you do not sell them. These coins are still widely used as emergency money; while this may sound odd consider their history. During the Second World War, Allied pilots in both the RAF and USAAF carried King Edward VII and King George V gold sovereigns in their emergency kits in case they were shot down over enemy territory. They could use the gold as a bartering tool to help them escape capture and find their way back to friendly territory.
Today this practice is still very much in use as the US and many other allied air forces still carry British gold sovereigns and have done so throughout operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Should they have the misfortune to be shot down in combat operations, it is thought that they would be able to use these gold coins as currency or to barter with the local indigenous people in order to secure their freedom and safe passage back to friendly territory and then back to their base of operations. With so many coins still in circulation, you might not think that they would be worth much to a collector, however as they have very beautiful designs such as the mythical King George slaying the dragon on the King George V coin, they are very collectible. They are also exempt from any US confiscation laws and are currently trading at much lower than similar US gold coins.