Posts Tagged ‘Coin design’

New Poppy Coin revealed today in time for Remembrance Day 2015

A brand new Remembrance Day Poppy Coin has just been released in support of the Royal British Legion.

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The 2015 Remembrance Day £5 Poppy Coin

Issued especially to commemorate Remembrance Day, the Official 2015 Poppy Coin is the latest commemorative to be struck in support of the Legion and features a distinctive new ‘wreath’ poppy design.

I spoke to the designer, Chris Lloyd, to find out his inspiration behind the new design…

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Chris Lloyd –  Designer

I was inspired by the poignant poppy wreaths that are laid on War memorials during remembrance services all over the country and the world.  

“I was keen to form the wreath shape around the edge of the coin using intricately detailed engraved RBL poppies, with individual poppies picked out in the traditional red colour as worn by the public every November.

“I hope that this coin will serve as a timeless reminder of the sacrifices made in conflict both past and present.”

poppy coin design desk - New Poppy Coin revealed today in time for Remembrance Day 2015

Designing the 2015 poppy wreath coin

A One-of-a-Kind Design

This exclusive new design is only to be found on the official range of coins issued in support of The Royal British Legion. The nuanced, textured piece of numismatic art is truly as unique as it is beautiful.

The only text on the reverse of the coin – ‘Lest we forget’ – taken from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen – serves as a starkly poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by so many.

A Range of Coins Available – Each with a Donation

The limited edition coins are available to own in a range of different metals to suit all collections. From a Proof condition £5 coin right up to an impressive 22 Carat Gold edition – there is even a generous 5oz Silver version, truly a sight to behold.

To further support the work of the Royal British Legion, The Westminster Collection have organised for a donation from the sale of each coin to go directly to the charity, helping them to continue to provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.


If you’re interested… 103p 2015 remembrance day 5 proof poppy coin cuni coin in box - New Poppy Coin revealed today in time for Remembrance Day 2015

You can add the 2015 Remembrance Day £5 Proof Coin to your collection today – click here for details.

A donation from the sale of each coin will go directly to The Royal British Legion.

 

The 50th anniversary of the most reproduced image in the world

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Arnold Machin’s Effigy of the Queen in silhouette

50 years ago in 1964 Her Majesty the Queen approved a new portrait for her coinage, and set in motion a chain of events that led to the creation of the most reproduced image in the world.

The portrait in question was designed by Arnold Machin RA – and if you look in your pocket now you’re still likely to find a coin bearing the distinctive profile.

But even though millions of coins are struck every year – it was when the design was adapted for use on our stamps that it really took off…

300 billion and counting

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The 6 1/2p Definitive Stamp featuring Arnold Machin’s effigy of the Queen.

Best estimates suggest that the Arnold Machin RA effigy of Queen Elizabeth II has now been reproduced on our stamps over 300 billion times – a staggering number.

In fact, amongst collectors, UK definitive stamps are now simply referred to as ‘Machins’ because the image is so ubiquitous.

But who is Arnold Machin RA, and how did he come to design this instantly recognisable image?

From pottery to sculpting the Queen’s portrait

Arnold Machin was born in 1911 in Stoke-on-Trent.  Modelling and sculpture was in the family, but his father struggled to make ends meet with his freelance modelling job.  Consequently Machin started work aged 14 at the Minton China Factory, as an apprentice china painter.

But he could not keep away from sculpture, and after a working for many years in the arts was appointed an associate member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1947.

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Arnold Machin’s Effigy on a UK Crown

As if this wasn’t enough of an honour, in 1964 Machin was approached to design an effigy of the Queen for the new decimal coinage to be introduced in 1971.  So, despite never having designed a coin before, Machin was granted four sittings with the Queen.

Cleverly using the bas-relief technique, which creates a raised sculpture from a plaster base, Machin came up with a design the Queen appreciated so much she has insisted it be used unchanged on our stamps for the past 40 years.

An £18,000 plaster cast

Perhaps testament to the enduring popularity of the image, and the design process behind it, one of Machin’s original plaster casts recently sold at auction for the princely sum of £18,000.

And I don’t think this will be the last we’ll hear of record breaking Machin sales – as time goes by the power of the image will not diminish, yet the availability of collectables will.

And now we are due to see a new portrait of the Queen on our coinage in 2015, this is bound to be an area to watch.


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The Arnold Machin Queen Elizabeth II Philatelic Silver Set

The Arnold Machin Queen Elizabeth II Philatelic Silver Set

The Westminster Collection is proud to present the first ever officially licensed silver philatelic set featuring Arnold Machin’s famous effigy of the Queen.

NOW SOLD OUT