This year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee – the first ever British monarch in history to do so. To mark the occasion, a brand new British Isles £5 Proof coin has been issued featuring a sparkling sapphire crystal as a truly fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign.
In light of its release, I thought I’d take a look at the history and timeless designs of previous British Jubilee commemorative coins issued during the Queen’s reign…
The 1953 Coronation UK Crown
The 1953 crown was issued to celebrate Her Majesty’s Coronation and was the very first UK commemorative coin to be issued during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Unusually, the obverse portrait features an engraving of the Queen riding on horseback at the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 1953 with an edge inscription which reads ‘Faith and Truth I will bear Unto You’, taken from the Coronation Oath. The Coronation crown was to form the basis of future Jubilee commemorative crown designs and still remains one of the most sought-after by collectors. It is often the starting point for many great collections.
The Silver Jubilee UK Crown
In 1977, Her Majesty celebrated 25 years on the throne – her Silver Jubilee and the first of her reign. To celebrate the occasion, a new commemorative crown was issued by the Royal Mint designed by renowned sculptor and designer of the Queen’s portrait on the UK’s stamps, Arnold Machin. The coin’s reverse design is focused upon the Coronation theme and features the Ampulla and anointing spoon from the Royal regalia surrounded by a heraldic floral pattern and the Crown.
The coin’s obverse takes inspiration from the 1953 Coronation Crown, showing a newly designed image of the Queen on horseback. Unusually, this is the only crown in British history not to feature an edge inscription or date on its reverse and is one of the last crowns to be issued with a face value of 25 pence (commemorative crowns issued after 1990 have a face value of £5), which makes it continually sought-after among collectors.
The Golden Jubilee UK Crown
2002 saw the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, marking her 50th year on the throne and the release of a new commemorative, this time, issued with a face value of £5 . The coin was designed and sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, who created the fourth portrait of the Queen on the obverse of our UK circulating coins. The reverse design once again, features a newly designed image of Her Majesty on horseback inspired by the original Coronation crown design. The reverse features a specially designed portrait of the Queen.
The Diamond Jubilee UK Crown
In 2012, the nation witnessed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sixty years on the throne is a landmark milestone and one that has only been reached by one other monarch – Queen Victoria in 1897. This is the first ever coin to be struck to mark a Diamond Jubilee because there were no special coins issued for Queen Victoria’s.
Special one-off portrait designs
To mark such a momentous occasion, Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS was once again commissioned to design the coin. The obverse features a portrait of Her Majesty crowned and wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, inspired by the sculpture that appears in the entrance of the Supreme Court building in Parliament Square. The reverse design shows a portrait of the Young Queen inspired by Mary Gillick’s portrait of Her Majesty, the very first to feature on the obverse of the UK coins in 1953.
The Sapphire Jubilee £5 Guernsey Coin
2017 marks Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 65th year on the throne, the first ever British Monarch in British history to do so. To mark such a landmark, historic occasion, this brand new limited edition £5 Proof coin has been issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Fully approved by Her Majesty the Queen, the design by ex-Royal Mint engraver, Michael Guilfoyle features the Sovereign’s crossed sceptres from the Coronation regalia with the number 65 marking the years Her Majesty has been on the throne with a stunning crystal inset into the design representing a blue sapphire.
You can now own the new Guernsey Sapphire Jubilee Proof £5 Coin today.
With a low edition limit of just 4,950 worldwide in such a landmark year, demand for this limited edition special Proof coin is expected to be high.
Prince George appears on a British 1st class stamp issued 21st April 2016 – the first time he will be pictured on our post.
The new stamp is part of a special miniature sheet issued to commemorate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, and forms part of a group shot featuring Princes William and Charles, alongside Her Majesty the Queen herself.
Photographer Ranald Mackechnie captured the shot in Buckingham Palace’s White Drawing Room, with the aid of a few carefully positioned books to bring the young Prince George into the frame.
The miniature sheet harks back to the stamps issued in 2000 for the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday, which also featured a family scene. However this stamp sheet is particularly special, as it is the first time three heirs apparent have posed together in this way.
Perfect for collecting
The new stamp sheet will be particularly sought-after by collectors, as philatelic ‘firsts’ like this are always in demand – especially when linked to such an important Royal event.
Further adding to the appeal are six more commemorative UK stamps due to be issued simultaneously. Each features a photograph of the Queen from throughout her life, and the images are instantly evocative of her lifetime of service to the country.
Aside from their visual appeal, there are also a number of British ‘firsts’ here too, including the first time the Queen has been pictured on a stamp with a head of state from another country – in this case Nelson Mandela.
Suffice to say, this impressive new issue is a fitting tribute to The Queen, and these stamps will make a proud addition to the collection of anyone that wants to mark this landmark Royal occasion.
You can own ALL six new stamps, plus the miniature sheet, on The Ultimate Queen’s 90th Birthday First Day Cover. Officially postmarked by Royal Mail on the Queen’s Birthday 21st April 2016, this cover is available to order now.
On 21st April, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 90th birthday – the first British monarch ever to do so.
In honour of the occasion a new coin has been issued – featuring a specially commissioned one-year-only birthday portrait.
The coin has been officially approved by Her Majesty the Queen, and proudly displays the royal cypher atop a large “90”. The central design is flanked by the Royal Standard and Union Flags on either side.
But it is the new effigy that will fuel collector demand. Replacing the familiar standard portrait for one year only, renowned sculptor Luigi Badia was tasked with creating a special 90th Birthday engraving of the Queen.
As you’ll appreciate, that is not a simple process, with an extremely rigorous approval procedure. To give you some idea, the Palace requested three separate revisions until they felt the effigy was perfect.
That’s why special portraits such as this are few and far between and are so popular with collectors.
Luigi, from New York, explains the concept behind the design:
“I was extremely honored to be commissioned to sculpt a brand new portrait to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. I was inspired to use the St Edward’s crown as it captures her sense of duty from when she first wore it during her Coronation in 1953, a sense of duty that she has had through-out her life and reign”
The design process…
Careful consideration has to be put into the shape and size of the coin. Luigi painstakingly hand-engraved the design – with the added complication of retaining the typesetting within the circular shape.
The finalised ‘plaster’ engraving is then ready to be reduced down into a die (shown opposite) – which is hardened and used to mint the commemorative coins collectors can own.
Struck to a variety of specifications…
The new coin is to be struck in a range of different specifications, from a face value version right up to a staggering 10oz gold edition – which has already sold out.
And the other coins are likely to prove just as popular – with a highly collectable proof coin, a pure silver coin, and a 1/4oz gold coin amongst those available, there is something to suit everyone.
These coins really do make a fitting tribute to Her Majesty, and the stunning 90th birthday portrait marks them out as truly prestigious commemoratives to forever remember this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
If you want to mark the occasion you can add a Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Proof £5 Coin to your collection today.