This week a new £5 coin will be issued to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becoming our longest reigning monarch on 9th September.
One of the very first coins has been issued by Jersey and I’ve been given exclusive access to go behind-the-scenes for the blog.
The new £5 coin has been designed by Timothy Noad, whose work has featured on many UK coins over the years. He has even designed the Gold Sovereign twice, an unprecedented honour which is testament to his passion and understanding of numismatic art.
This passion shows through in his design for the new £5 coin. Featuring an Oak Tree and the Royal Cipher surrounded by the inscription ‘1952 – Long to Reign Over Us – 2015’, the coin has a dignified and prestigious presence. I asked Timothy what gave him his inspiration for the design:
“The oak tree came to mind as an emblem with many relevant associations. The Royal Oak, as well as a popular pub name, is a well-known image and oak branches form part of the heraldic badge of the House of Windsor.
“It is also a symbol of Britain, endurance and longevity, so very appropriate for the Queen. Shields were hung on trees during medieval tournaments, often held in honour of a Queen or noble lady, and this shield bears the Queen’s personal cipher. I enjoy seeing how my drawings are translated into actual coins and I am very happy with this design.”
From Drawing to Finished Coin
But getting from an idea to a struck coin is a time consuming process, a real labour of love.
First of all the design is hand-drawn, and careful consideration has to be given to the shape and size of the engraving so it can be accurately minted. Then the wording has to be laid out, with the added complication of retaining the typesetting within the circular shape.
Finally, the finished drawing is scanned and processed, ready to be made into a die which will eventually be used to produce the commemorative coins you can own.
Limited Edition Versions Available
The most affordable limited edition version of the coin is the Proof Edition, featuring the addition of gold ink. Just 4,950 will be minted and these are sure to be popular.
The coin is also being struck in a range of other formats, from a face value version right up to a staggering 5 ounce gold edition – I’ve held one and its sheer scale took my breath away.
So there’s a type of coin for all collectors – and if there’s one thing I’m sure, it’s that this coin is a truly fitting commemoration of the remarkable reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
If you’re interested…
The Longest Reigning Monarch £5 Proof Coin is available to pre-order now.
***NOW SOLD OUT***
The ‘100 Poppies’ Coin, launched by The Westminster Collection in partnership with The Royal British Legion last October has now raised over £131,000.
Since 2008, The Westminster Collection, has created a unique commemorative poppy-themed coin each year to honour those who have sacrificed their lives in the Armed Forces. However sales of the 2014 centenary edition coin have seen the biggest donation to date, ensuring that the memories of the fallen live on – as well as the care and support offered by The Royal British Legion.
The full amount was presented to The Royal British Legion by The Westminster Collection’s Chairman, Stephen Allen, on Tuesday 14th April at a special event held at The Legion’s pop-in centre in Southampton. The money raised will help The Legion provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.
Stephen said, “though we have been working in partnership with The Royal British Legion since 2004, the Poppy Coin came about in 2008 as a way to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
“We are delighted that the partnership has continued to grow, and our special Poppy Coins each year are a way of giving back to a charity that has done so much for both the Service community and the national spirit of Remembrance over the past 94 years.”
Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said the coin acts as “poignant reminder” of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“We are so proud of our long-term partnership with The Westminster Collection, a family business which shares our commitment to supporting the entire Service community; whether it’s helping veterans to remain independent in their homes, supporting bereaved families, ensuring people have access to the benefits they deserve or offering employment advice.
“The Poppy Coin is not only a poignant reminder of those who have fought and sacrificed their lives, it also helps the Legion to carry out our vital welfare work, allowing today’s Armed Forces, veterans and their families to live on to a more hopeful future.”
SAVE £10.00 on the new new VE Day Silver Medal
Following the success of last year’s coin, The Royal British Legion have teamed up once again with The Westminster Collection to issue an official VE Day silver medal to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
NOW SOLD OUT
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:
“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.
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 new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version. Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.