Tax Free Gold Index Page

Main Page
Collectors Coins
British Gold Sets Information
British Gold Sets For Sale
Five Pounds Information
£5 For Sale
Two Pounds Information
£2 For Sale
Britannia Proof Sets
Mixed Gold Sets
Sovereign Information
Krugerrand Information
Krugerrands For Sale
Half Sovereigns
Half Sovereign Information
Half Sovereigns For Sale
Gold Bars
Bars Information
Bars For Sale
We Buy Gold Coins
About Us
About Us
Our Selling Terms
Order Form UK
Order Form USA

1831 William IV Coronation Gold Coin Proof Set

Proof & Specimen Sets
Up until relatively recent times, 1970 or thereabouts, the Royal Mint appears not to have referred to proof coins and sets as "proof", preferring to use the word "specimen". This can create confusion and ambiguity. We will attempt to explain and clarify.

The word "specimen" simply means any individual item or sample used as representative to study or illustrate all examples of its type or class.
From this, it follows that a coin specimen could be any coin of its type, date, or design, and not necessarily one with any special finish, or in any particular condition or grade. However, as mints have from time to time made sample coins available to individuals, whether mint officials, VIPs or collectors, it will often have been their practice to select a particularly nice sample, and perhaps even to produce samples prepared and struck with extra care and attention. It must have been a natural progression for these "sample" or "specimen" coins, to have acquired some form of nomenclature to differentiate them from their mass produced counterparts, and at some time in the past, the word "specimen" is the label which was applied to them.
It follows from this that not all "specimen" coins or sets will be "proof" ones, but it does so happen that many of them are in fact what we would now classify as proofs.

As the word "specimen" is somewhat ambiguous, it seems quite sensible and desirable that the word "proof" has been applied to coins and sets which would previously have been described as "specimens".
What most coin collectors, dealers, and mints would now call proof include those coins struck from polished blanks with a highly polished mirror finish. In recent years only the field (background) is mirror finished, while the raised part of the designs receive a matt finish, but before then, many proofs had a high polish on all parts including the raised areas. It seems almost universally recognised that the mirror finish background in combination with a matt raised design is the best and most pleasing way to produce a proof coin.
Occasionally, mints use a reverse-proof design, where the raised parts are highly polished while the background is matt, but this tends to be less popular, and is less aesthetically pleasing for most coin designs.
Some proof coins and sets are issued with an all matt design, The United Kingdom 1902 Coronation coin sets, for example, were all issued with a matt finish on all parts of the coins. We do not know why.

Proof Etymology
Let's examine the meaning of the word "proof".
In printing, a proof is a trial print, often a single sheet of paper, which is printed for the purpose of checking, correcting, and approving its content and correct rendition of its print quality, and colour rendition. This may actually be inferior to the final production quality, even though it may have been produced in small quantities.
Another meaning is the determination of the quality of something by testing, as for example in the Trial of the Pyx, an annual event in which British and other coins produced the the Mint are tested.
If a new coin design requires approval by the monarch, government official, engravers, or other mint personnel, it would seem natural to prepare and present samples which were as good as possible, and superior to those which would eventually be mass produced for circulation. This special treatment could often have included polishing the raised parts of the dies, which would produce the fields of the coins, and sand-blasting the incuse parts of the dies which would produce the raised parts of the coins. It would also be sensible to use multiple strikes to obtain the best possible sharpness. Running the coining press at lower speed, and with different pressure would also affect the final results. Polishing the blanks (planchets) would also help to achieve the maximum possible quality of finished article.

1831 Sets
In 1831, for the Coronation an eleven coin gold proof set was issued including gold and silver coins.
At the time these sets were issued, it appears they were called "specimen" coins, although we would nowadays call them proofs.

The Eleven Coins
The fourteen coins in the set include the three gold coins, the gold sovereign, the half sovereign, along with the two pound coin, often called a double sovereign.
The eleven remaining coins are crown (five shillings), halfcrown, shilling, sixpence, penny, half penny, farthing and the four maundy coins.

Specifications - Gold
All composed of 22 carat gold (91.66% pure).
Two Pounds28.4015.980.4708Crowned Shield & Mantle
Sovereign (Pound)22.057.990.2354Crowned Shield
Half Sovereign (Fifty Pence)19.303.990.1177Crowned Shield and Mantle
Total 27.960.8239 

Specifications - Silver & Copper
Crown - Five Shillings38.6128.27590.925 Silver0.8409Shield on Mantle
Halfcrown (Two Shillings and Six Pence)32.3114.3800.925 Silver0.4205Shield on Mantle
Shilling23.595.65520.925 Silver0.1682Value in Wreath
Sixpence19.413.01000.925 Silver0.0895Value in Wreath
Penny34 Copper Britannia
Half Penny28 Copper Britannia
Farthing22 Copper Britannia
Maundy Fourpence17.631.880.925 Silver.0559Value in Wreath
Maundy Threepence16.261.410.925 Silver.0419Value in Wreath
Maundy Twopence13.440.940.925 Silver.0280Value in Wreath
Maundy Onepenny11.150.470.925 Silver.0140Value in Wreath
Total 56.02110.925 Silver1.6589 

Notes on Tables
Weight = gross weight in grams.
AGW = Actual pure gold weight in troy ounces.
ASW = Actual pure silver content in troy ounces.

Prices & Availability
Please contact us prior to ordering for current prices and availability.
DateDescriptionFromMintageGradeStockPrice £Price $
1831Official 14 Coin Proof or Specimen Set£2 FDCWanted£Ask$Ask

More Information
More information about British gold sets is available on our British Gold Sets Information page.

You may wish to use our order form.

Postage & Packing
UK Registered Post (Special Delivery) £9 per order, plus £1 per £1,000
EU Insured Post £10 per order, plus £1 per £1,000
USA Airmail $10,
Insured Shipping $20, plus $1 per $1,000
Canada Airmail $15,
Insured Shipping via Fedex $60, plus $1 per $1,000

Obverse of 1831 William IV Sovereign
Obverse of 1831 William IV Sovereign

British Gold Sets Information

Reverse of 1831 William IV Sovereign
Reverse of 1831 William IV Sovereign


"Tax Free Gold" website is owned and operated by Chard (1964) Limited
32 - 36 Harrowside, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England. Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081; Fax 408058;
E-mail: Contact Us  The URL for our main page is:

EV SSL Certificate