First World War

The story behind the Winston Churchill £5 Coin

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Plaster engraving of the new Churchill effigy

This year a brand new £5 coin has been issued to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, and it features a never-seen-before effigy of the great man.

Designed by renowned sculptor and artist David Cornell FRSA, the new portrait shows a defiant Churchill in military uniform.

I’ve been given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the portrait, and had a quick chat with the artist himself.

David Cornell is perhaps more famous for sculpting members of the Royal family, (he was even commissioned to paint a birthday portrait of the Queen) so I thought I’d ask him about his inspiration behind the new design:

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David Cornell FRSA working on the new effigy of Sir Winston Churchill

“Winston Churchill was a major part of my childhood growing up in London during the War, hearing his speeches and seeing photos on posters, which left an indelible impression on me.

“I realised later what a great man he was and his contribution to the War effort, inspiring the people of Great Britain.

“As a portrait artist, it has been a great honour for me to be able to portray him in this tribute to honour his legacy.”

First of all Cornell worked on a plaster engraving of the portrait, making sure it fits the very particular dimensions of a coin.  You can see the fine detail in the picture above, and also the large size of the plaster, which has to be reduced when the die is created to strike the coin.

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The finished Winston Churchill Jersey £5 Coin

The finished £5 coin also features an inscription of one of Churchill’s famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’  Although spoken in reference to the heroes of the Battle of Britain, the quotation was chosen as it represents Churchill’s indomitable spirit during the war.

The coin has been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and is available now in a range of metals – from an impressive 5oz 22 carat gold version measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, to a highly collectable cupro-nickel version available to all.  I’m sure you’ll agree, it will make a fitting tribute in any collection to our greatest ever Prime Minister.


If you are interested…

the winston churchill c2a35 proof coin boxed - The story behind the Winston Churchill £5 Coin

The new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version.  Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.

NOW SOLD OUT – For other Churchill coins please click here

What’s your coin of the year?

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We have selected our top ten shortlist of the most popular coin designs of the year – which one is your favourite?

Cast your vote now using the poll at the bottom of the page.

A) The Jersey 2014 70th Anniversary of D-Day £5

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Celebrating 70 years since the heroics of D-Day, this £5 coin from Jersey depicted a soldier landing on the beaches during the epic conflict.

B) The Canada 2014 Royal Generations 1oz Silver Coin

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For the first time ever, four generations of the Royal Family were engraved on this Canadian $20 coin. Also of note is the fact that the coin shows the direct line of succession for the throne.

C) The Jersey 2014 ‘100 Poppies’ £5 Coin

the 2014 100 poppies 5 pound coin - What's your coin of the year?

Issued in support of the Royal British Legion, this coin grabbed the headlines with its 100 engraved poppies, one for each year since the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

E) The Guernsey 2014 First World War Centenary £5 Coin

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Issued to commemorate the Centenary of World War I, this emotive coin from Guernsey features lines from Laurence Binyon’s famous poem ‘For the Fallen’ alongside a uniformed soldier.

F) The UK 2014 Commonwealth Games 50p

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In July the Commonwealth Games was held in Glasgow – and the nation really got behind ‘the friendly games.’ The Royal Mint issued this 50p featuring a runner and a cyclist alongside text in the ‘arts and crafts’ style.

G) The Cook Islands 2014 Moldavite Meteorite Impact Coin

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Surely one of the most innovative coins of the year – this remarkable concave coin features a real piece of Moldavite – a mineral created during a meteorite collision with the Earth millions of years ago.

H) The UK 2014 ‘Year of the Horse’ Silver Coin

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In 2014 the Royal Mint decided to copy the other established mints of the world and introduce a ‘lunar’ coin, principally for export to China. An unusual departure for our coinage, it’s nonetheless an energetic and lively depiction of a horse.

I) The Cook Islands 2014 Tyrannosaurus Rex Coin

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Containing a hidden secret, this photographic T-Rex coin reveals the skeleton of the dinosaur when a UV light is shone over the surface.

J) The Guernsey 2014 Reflections of a Reign Coronation Coin

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Looking back at some of the key moments of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, this Guernsey coin features an engraving of the young Queen, alongside a full colour photograph of her Coronation ceremony.

K) The UK 2014 Lord Kitchener £2 Coin

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One of the most talked about coins of the year, this British £2 coin reproduced the iconic ‘Your Country Needs You’ poster which symbolised the early years of the First World War.

Cast your vote now!

Royal Mint announces new coin themes for 2015

2015 is set to be something of a momentous year for coin collectors, with five significant anniversaries to be commemorated next year. They are:

£2 – The 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

2015 magna carta - Royal Mint announces new coin themes for 2015marks 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta – an agreement which forced King John to abide by the ancient laws and customs by which England had previously been governed. Literally translated as “Great Charter” it laid the foundations for modern democracy and the rights of English citizens. In fact, it is still cited in many legal cases to this day.

50p – 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britainbattle of britain - Royal Mint announces new coin themes for 2015

Perhaps surprisingly, this will be the first time that the Battle of Britain is commemorated on a United Kingdom coin. In the summer of 1940, Nazi Germany was advancing through Europe, but their failure to gain air superiority over the RAF in Britain was ultimately one of the turning points of the war.

£2 – 100th Anniversary of the First World War – Royal Navy

The second design in the series of First World War £2 coins pays tribute to the role of the Royal Navy. At the time, it was by far the most powerful navy in the world and was a major asset to Britain in defending coastal waters against the Germans.

waterloo - Royal Mint announces new coin themes for 2015 £5 – 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo

Also making its debut on United Kingdom coinage for 2015 is the Battle of Waterloo. Fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied armies against Napoleon Bonaparte of France in 1815, it was a defining moment in European history – ending 20 years of conflict in the continent.

£5 – 50th Anniversary of the Death of Winston Churchill

churchill - Royal Mint announces new coin themes for 2015There are few Britons more worthy of commemoration than the wartime Prime Minister himself, Sir Winston Churchill. Following his death in 1965 he became the first person outside of the Royal family to be commemorated on a coin, and now, fifty years on, he is being honoured again on a new £5 coin.

Next year the Queen is due to become the longest reigning monarch in British history, and there will soon be a new portrait on our coins to honour her. With the final appearance of the long-standing effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS and five very noteworthy anniversaries, it already looks like 2015 will be a truly landmark year for coin collectors.