Your shortcut to becoming a Queen Elizabeth II stamp collector…

By Katie Way | January 31, 2023 |

Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952. During her remarkable 70-year reign, she celebrated seven jubilees and was the first British monarch to receive a Platinum Jubilee. As our country’s longest reigning monarch, Her Late Majesty’s legacy cannot be overstated.

And today, a handful of collectors will be given a rare and unique opportunity to reflect on her most remarkable milestones with an exclusive ready-made collection. But considering how sought-after her commemoratives have become, this is why you don’t want to miss out…

Extraordinary demand for Her Majesty’s collectables

Queen Elizabeth II’s influence on the collecting world has been immeasurable. And nearly six months after her sad passing, we are still witnessing excessive demand for commemoratives of her reign.

In fact, her signed Christmas cards are being sold for thousands on the secondary market, and her official UK coins are now selling out years later!

So, here’s your opportunity to get ahead of the crowd and take a shortcut to becoming an official UK stamp collector with one click of a button…

The Official UK Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stamp Collection

This traditional piece is essential for any collection. At a time more poignant than ever to collect Her Majesty’s commemoratives, this is the perfect way to preserve her extraordinary legacy…

Comprised of the official UK stamps from her Silver, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee, this complete collection takes you on a journey through the most remarkable milestones of our longest reigning monarch.  

Housed in a luxury folder preserving the stamps’ pristine condition, your collection dedicates an entire historical retelling of each Jubilee to all the special UK stamp sets released for each celebration in 1977, 2002, 2012 and 2022.

A shortcut to getting your stamp collection started

We are offering to do the hard-work for you by giving away this rare shortcut to becoming a serious stamp collector. 

What’s more, this collection is the key to saving you precious time and pennies. So, take the shortcut and own the entire collection with one click of a button!

And considering Queen Elizabeth II collectables are scarcer than ever, this is the easiest way to secure the entire range of Jubilee stamps in one complete collection. But with just a handful of collections available, make sure you don’t miss out on securing such a unique traditional piece…

Click here to secure yours now >>>

FIRST King Charles III Coronation Coin REVEALED – The Dual-Plated Coronation 50p

By Kate Morgan | January 30, 2023 |

The question everyone has been asking is when are we going to see King Charles III Coronation coins, and the answer is right now.

24ct Gold Plating

To celebrate King Charles III’s coronation in May, a brand new dual-plated 50p has been issued, featuring the inscription ‘God Save the King’. It also features a rare, dual-plated finish of silver and 24 carat gold plating – not something we see very often.

The Coronation 50p Collection

The Dual-Plated Coronation 50p is the first coin in a brand new British Isles 50p series being issued over the coming months in the lead up to the coronation. The collection has been fully approved by Buckingham Palace and the King himself.

And you can own it today for just £4.99 with our introductory offer, saving you £20!

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2023 British Isles Dual-Plated Coronation 50p in hand

Platinum Jubilee Dual-Plated 50p SOLD OUT

Importantly, the initial stock of the 2021 Platinum Jubilee Dual-Plated 50p sold out in less than 2 hours, that makes it one of the fastest sell outs of recent years. And given the significance of the first coronation in 70 years, another sell-out is surely a certainty.

Secure yours

So, to secure your keepsake of this momentous event in our country’s history, you’ll need to act fast to avoid missing out. Secure your Dual-Plated Coronation 50p here >>

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Meet the maker – Glyn Davies on creating the FIRST King Charles III British Isles portrait

By Kate Morgan | January 19, 2023 |

The first official British Isles King Charles III effigy has just been revealed, and we had the privilege of meeting the designer. Jonathan sat down with renowned coin designer, Glyn Davies, via video call to talk about his King Charles III portrait for British Isles coinage, which features on the brand new Discovery of Tutankhamun 50ps.

Watch the interview

Meet the designer

Jonathan:
Welcome to the Westminster Collection. We are honoured today to be joined by Glyn Davies and Glyn Davies is an artist, and he has had the privilege of designing the first official British Isles King Charles III portrait for all the British Isles coins. So welcome, Glyn. It’s great to have you with us.

Glyn:
Thank you very much. Nice to join you.

Jonathan:
It’s great, I don’t often get to speak to the people or the person behind some of these portraits and images so it’s a real privilege for me, I’m really honoured to meet you. I’ve got to ask you just a few questions about this, because it really is intriguing to me and lots of our collectors. The first one is obviously, you’ve designed this brand new image of the King. How did that situation come about?

Glyn:
Well, you’ve got to keep abreast of current events and possible eventualities. So I sort of started to think about this in around about 2021, 2022 and then there was plenty of time to put a lot of thought into it. And it’s always been at the back of my mind anyway, you know, you’re always thinking about it, just like maybe Prince William is now, it’s always there.

And it was a few little sketches, a few ideas over the years, but it was nice to eventually get a brief and put something solid down.

Jonathan:
How much time did you have once you’ve got the actual brief and put something solid down?

Glyn:
Well, because things move pretty quickly, not as long as you would like, even though it’s been there at the back of your mind and you suddenly think, ‘Oh, right, I’ve got to get on with this’, this needs to be done pretty sharply’. But it’s good to have that time to think about it and to analyse what you’ve got to do.

Jonathan:
What were those things that you would analyse? What bits or what parts were really important?

Glyn:
Well, I tend to look at anatomy a lot for reference. I had a chat with Raphael (Raphael David Maklouf designed the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II used on the coins of many Commonwealth nations from 1985 to 1997) to make sure I was going down the right path. He’s got a lot of knowledge, a very talented man and I just wish I had an ounce of his talent. He’ll tell you straight whether you’re not doing it right, which is always good. And then just going back to the anatomy and looking at how Charles has aged.

An encounter with the King

Glyn:
There have actually been a few occasions where I’ve been able to see him (King Charles III) in real life as well, but purely by accident. He attended my nephew’s passing out parade for the RAF so I had a good look then and I managed to get a few photos close up. I was thinking ‘I hope he turns to the side so I can get the right profile’.

Jonathan:
And did you get the photo you wanted?

Glyn:
I did. From a few hundred yards. But when I got close up, it’s just impossible. I mean, it was entertaining trying though.

Jonathan:
I love that story. And so that was the accidental meeting at your nephew’s passing out parade.

Glyn:
And then he was in my hometown a few months ago as well, he popped up out of the blue and I was like, ‘Oh another chance!’ But again, it’s hard whenever you try to take a photo, It’s like the photos my mum used to take of us as children. You know, the heads missing.

Jonathan:
And that’s the vital part for the portrait! I love this Glyn, I love these more personal stories about how you’ve designed this.

The process of creating a Royal effigy

Jonathan:
So how long did the whole process take? Obviously you had a lot of time to think about it but once you were given the brief, how long did the process take for your to come up with this incredible portrait for British Isles coinage?

Glyn:
It took about 3 to 6 months, let me say six months really to do the initial sketches, draw concept sketches, having Raphael check them and getting some feedback. And then doing some clay sketches and working out proportions, getting the composition right, making sure I’m doing the right side of his head as well.

Jonathan:
Of course, because he faces the other way to his mum, obviously.

Glyn:
And then deciding whether to do traditional clay and plaster or digital.

Jonathan:
Which way did you go?

Glyn:
I went digital. I’ve got a clay one here which I’ve had a few goes at, it just wasn’t quite getting there. But the digital one was working, so I went with that.

Jonathan:
I actually find that very interesting, so you had a go with the clay but the digital one was the one you chose.

Glyn:
There’s more than one iteration of the digital one as well, because you know, you’re never truly happy.

Back to the beginning

Jonathan:
Have you been an artist all your life?

Glyn:
Yeah. The only thing I passed my O-levels in.

Jonathan:
Oh, really? Because that was a passion of yours?

Glyn:
I don’t think it was. Rugby was my passion. But you couldn’t do O-level in that.

Jonathan:
That is true. So obviously you passed O-levels, but then what else have you gone on to do before you got into what you’re doing now?

Glyn:
I started off with animation, film and TV. I did that for about 15 years.

Jonathan:
Okay. What kind of things?

Glyn:
Mostly children’s TV cartoons, but, you know, lots of drawing and lots of life drawing.

Jonathan:
What was that like?

Glyn:
It was all right. Until it turns into factory work after a while, if you have to draw 12 drawings for every second, it’s not as creative as I thought it was going to be when I first got into it. And because the employment only ever lasted as long as the films were being made, I would find myself being made redundant after 1 or 2 years.

Jonathan:
And then did you move straight into this kind of area or was there another stepping stone?

Glyn:
Oh, I went back to University to do a masters in film and video editing. I specialized in news and propaganda and then there was a few years where I had to look after my mother because she was poorly. Then I ended up doing AV stuff, working on conferences and things like that, editing videos, like videos in the stadium, which is always entertaining. You know when you’ve got a big screen and you have to replay the highlights? Bit of pressure. But it was nice to be in the stadium when Wales won, although it wasn’t too often.

A career in coin design

Jonathan:
So after that, you went back into design work and being an artist?

Glyn:
I really didn’t know anything about coins, I didn’t know you could do that as a living. And when I ended up at the Royal Mint, I didn’t know that was around the corner from where I lived.

Jonathan:
And how did you end up there, if you don’t mind me asking?

Glyn:
Well, the stadium work was drying up and it was less editing and more lugging staging around. So I went back to drawing, back to life drawing, back to my roots, I guess. And then I saw an advert for The Royal Mint and that was how I got into the coin design.

Jonathan:
What was that like, when you first turned up at the Royal Mint?

Glyn:
It was nerve wracking, I couldn’t understand, like most people are naïve, they go, ‘What, you design coins? But surely they’re all the same shape all the time?’

Jonathan:
Yeah, and you’ve designed a few coins for the Royal Mint – The Sapphire Jubilee and some of the Tower of London series.

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2017 Sapphire Jubilee £5 Coin

Glyn:
Yeah. So many were so long ago as well. The Remembrance coin, that was my favourite.

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2015 Remembrance Day coin designed by Glyn Davies

Jonathan:
That one’s your favourite?

Glyn:
Yeah, well, because I was making it at the same time of year that my mother passed away and I was using the poppies that used to grow in her field to design the coin. So it was quite emotional, I guess.

Jonathan:
I imagine that must be very special for you actually to design that coin in that year.

Glyn:
It was, yeah.

The pressure of perfection

Jonathan:
So what’s the hardest part, do you think, of making a portrait of a new monarch?

Glyn:
The hardest part is just stepping away from it as and saying ‘that’s finished’, you know? Because I could keep pushing and pushing, and I’m trying to learn as well as trying to develop skills at the same time. It’s a lot of pressure to try and get it right as well, as you want to do it justice not just to the King, but to everybody else involved, you don’t want to offend anybody.

Jonathan:
How does that compare to previous pressures, whether it be children’s TV or running a live video in a stadium full of 70 or 80,000 people live?

Glyn:
The live stuff was quite intense. Especially not knowing a lot about football, when I did those games and having to pick and choose what were highlights and play them back within 30 seconds. It’s quite intense, but you get used to it.

Jonathan:
How does this pressure compare?

Glyn:
This is worse, a lot of peer reviews and anything that’s wrong, people can spot it immediately, you know, and yeah, it’s very scary. Putting your artwork out there for people to judge.

Jonathan:
Yeah well I’ll say again that we’ve had lots of positive feedback on this and I think you’ve done a great job. People are excited to get this new coinage from the British Isles, which of course is really collectible with the lower mintage levels, you know, from the smaller islands and the lower edition limits on the more collectible precious metal coins as well. To have the King’s head on, that you’ve designed, what’s it like to know that people are going to have this coin in their pocket? We’re going to have this coin to pass down to generations and it’s got your design on it?

Glyn:
I’m proud, you know, proud and anxious.

Words of wisdom

Jonathan:
What advice would you give someone who might be interested to be the next artist for the next monarch if you were going to be Raphael for someone else, what would you say?

Glyn:
Study, study, study, study. Do as much different sculpting as you can, keep at it. You don’t always get favourable feedback on stuff you’ve done, but that’s not always a negative. You have to take it on the chin. You have to take criticism because if you don’t, you won’t learn from what you’ve done before. When you look back at stuff and you can see valid points that people have made.

Jonathan:
And something you also said, you said about stepping back. And also at some point saying ‘I’m finished’. Almost accepting that even though, you know, you could do more.

Glyn:
Yeah, I look at everything and think ‘That could change. That could be a bit lower. That could be higher’. Because I’ve done a few sculptures and they’ve looked like they’re supposed to and I keep pushing and pushing until eventually you push away from it. And there’s no going back when you’re using clay, you know, unless you start all over again, which I’ve done a few times. But you have to step back sometimes.

Jonathan:
You also referenced the support that Raphael Maklouf gave you. Did he spill any secrets about his sitting with Queen Elizabeth II when he was designing her effigy?

Glyn:
No. But he’s very good at that. You know, those opportunities don’t happen now. It would be lovely to sit there with somebody like King Charles sat in front of you, drawing and sculpting, but I just think life is too busy now for that.

Jonathan:
Well, you managed to do it with a few photos from a few hundred yards away. So well done.

Thank you so much for your time today. I really do appreciate it, I know how busy you are but I’m sure lots of our collectors are going to really enjoy hearing from you about what goes into such an incredible portrait.

Glyn:
Fantastic. No problem. And I hope to speak to you again.

Own the new effigy on the Discovery of Tutankhamun 50p collection

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