In my latest video I unbox a rare collaboration from two of the world’s leading Mints that’s been issued to mark the 95th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
But ONLY 6,500 have been released.
A TINY number considering the incredibly rare collaboration.
Watch my latest unboxing video to discover why you NEED to add this rare collaboration to your collection…
If you’re interested…
Over the coming days and weeks much will be written about Prince Philip. The dashing naval officer who married a Princess and has since provided steadfast support to the Queen as Britain’s longest serving Consort. But few of the many obituaries will dwell deeply on his key involvement in Britain’s coinage.
First Job – new coin designs
A new monarch means many things – one is a new coinage. On 21 March 1952, just weeks after the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Philip attended his first meeting as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, medals, seals and decorations (RMAC); a role that he would hold for the next 47 years, until his retirement in 1999.
A keen artist himself, the Prince’s first job was to oversee the selection of the Queen’s portrait to ordain her new coins. An uncrowned Queen was chosen from a field of seventeen designs, giving Nottingham born sculptor, Mary Gillick, the honour of creating the most seen portrait of the new Queen. Equally importantly, the young Prince oversaw the design of the most important coin of the moment – the Coronation Crown, featuring Gilbert Ledward’s Queen on horseback on the obverse and Edgar Fuller’s reverse design containing the Coats of Arms of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The UK’s biggest ever currency change
Gillick’s design remained on pre-decimal coinage until 1970, when Prince Philip was involved in another huge coinage milestone – the introduction of decimalisation. The process required a complete redesign of Britain’s coinage as well as an updated effigy of Her Majesty, designed to help the new denominations stand out. The RMAC selected Royal Academician Arnold Machin to sculpt the Queen, this time wearing a tiara. However, it was the reverse coin designs that were perhaps more significant.
A “monstrous piece of metal”
Under Prince Philip’s presidency, the RMAC started to work in top secret on designs as early as 1962, before there was any official government announcement confirming decimalisation. The final designs were created by Christopher Ironside and featured heraldic elements of the United Kingdom. But it was the new 50p coin – introduced to replace the 10/- note – that caused the greatest stir, with its unique heptagonal (7-sided) shape. Now Britain’s most popular coin with collectors, that was certainly not the case on its launch with one newspaper calling it a “monstrous piece of metal” and a retired colonel even starting Anti-Heptagonist movement.
In the 28 years that followed Decimalisation, Prince Philip guided the RMAC through two more effigies, Raphael Maklouf (1985 – 1997) and Ian Rank-Broadly (1998 – 2015), as well as the launch of 20p, £1 and £2 coins into circulation and numerous commemorative issues.
The five UK Coins that feature Prince Philip
Of course, Prince Philip has also featured on UK coins himself. The 1972 Crown issued to mark his Silver Wedding Anniversary was an understated affair. However, in 1997, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Prince Philip featured on a UK coin for the very first time as part of a conjoined effigy on the obverse of the commemorative £5 coin. 2007 saw a similar conjoined portrait before the recent 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary design, which featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on horseback in what can only been seen as a nod to the original 1953 Coronation Crown as well as a third conjoined portrait.
Yet it was in 2011 that Prince Philip was finally granted the greatest privilege – his own £5 Coin to celebrate his 90th Birthday – a splendid close up portrait of the Duke by Mark Richards FRBS. This was followed in 2017, with a design of the young Prince Philip by Humphrey Paget to mark Prince Philip stepping down from public duties after 70 years of service. We will remember Prince Philip for many things – but among them, spare some room for the man who has had more influence over the nation’s coins than any other. Surely the nation will do just that with a final memorial £5 Coin, in the same way we paid tribute to Princess Diana and HM Queen Mother.
Click here to view a number of new and previously issued numismatic and philatelic tributes to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Happy Birthday to Her Majesty!
This year, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 95th birthday. A remarkable milestone for the record breaking monarch and a moment that is crucial to our country’s history. Her reign alone has seen the transformation of the Commonwealth, our entry into and exit from the European Union, the invention of the internet, and 14 prime ministers! As the Queen’s 95th birthday approaches, not only has she become the first monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, but she is also the first to reach this milestone age.
Many historic commemoratives have been issued to mark these important moments, and these have become must-haves for collectors. With the Queen’s next milestone birthday approaching, the demand for these commemoratives is rising and they’re becoming harder to source, especially those more historic issues…
The Coronation Crown
The most famous historic commemorative in the collecting world has got to be the UK Coronation Crown. Issued in 1953, the year of the Queen’s coronation, this Crown coin represents the beginning of a long and prosperous reign for the Queen. It features a special effigy of the Queen on horseback, a fitting tribute to the young Queen’s love of horses. At almost 70 years old, this coin has become a staple for Royal and Historic collectors as it marks one of the most important years of the Queen’s life.
The 1953 Coronation Stamps
Alongside the Coronation Crown, four commemorative one-year-only stamps were also issued with a special design specifically for the coronation. At 68 years old, these stamps are extremely hard to source in good condition. They are popular with collectors around the world, particularly the Yellow-Green 1/3 stamp, which shows the Queen in her Coronation gown and crown.
The Longest Reigning Monarch Issues
In 2015, the Queen became the longest reigning monarch, as she passed Queen Victoria’s record, marking an important moment in history. The Royal Mint issued a remarkable £20 Silver Coin, which included five portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse creating a timeline effect of the Queen’s historic reign.
Alongside this the Royal Mail also issued special one-year-only commemorative stamps to celebrate this important moment, including a special purple 1st class definitive stamp.
The Sapphire Jubilee Gold £5 Coin
The Royal Mint has issued several remarkable commemoratives to celebrate the Queen’s life and service, but the 2017 Sapphire Jubilee Gold £5 coin stands out above the rest. Struck for the 65th year of the Queen’s reign, the design includes a quote from the Queen’s 21st Birthday Speech “My whole life, whether it be long or short, devoted to your service”, represents the Queen’s lifelong dedication to serving the country. Less than 650 of these coins were ever issued and it has become one of the most sought-after Gold £5 coins ever…
The Queen’s 95th Birthday £5 Coin
Potentially the most important £5 ever issued is the UK 2021 95th Birthday £5. It holds multiple tributes to her Majesty’s long life, including the year of her birth – 1926. The coin also features the inscription “My Heart and My Devotion” in reference to the promise made in her first ever televised speech on Christmas Day in 1957.
As the Queen reaches her birthday this year, demand for this issue has already proven to be incredibly high with collectors. This coin is set to be a long lasting symbol of the Queen’s longevity, and one that collectors won’t want to miss out on.
So there’s our Top 5 commemoratives which celebrate the Queen’s legacy, which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re interested: The Queen’s 95th Birthday Coin and Stamp Collection!
Own the Queen’s 95th Birthday Coin and Stamp collection for JUST £64.99 (+p&p). Including four one-year only historic coronation stamps, the first Crown of the Queen’s reign, the BRAND NEW UK 95th Birthday £5 Coin in Brilliant Uncirculated finish, and limited to JUST 295, this set really does have it all…