Welcome to a behind-the-scenes encounter with a true artistic genius. Join us as we delve into an exclusive interview with renowned artist, Mike Guilfoyle. In this captivating interview, we’ll uncover the intricacies and insights behind his latest masterpiece– the King Charles III 75th Birthday Coin. Prepare to be enchanted by the inspiration, craftsmanship, and intricate details that make these coins a work of art, all revealed by the visionary behind the design.
You can explore the key features of the King Charles III 75th Birthday Coins, by clicking on the white dots on the interactive image below:
A flagship specification for Westminster collectors, ‘Masterpiece’ issues truly live up to their name and this British Isles Platinum Jubilee release was no different! Issued to mark Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign, this coin was struck from Pure Silver to a Proof finish and features a thoughtful design that pays tribute to the constant and reassuring figure. In fact, artist Neil Bromley spent 2-3 weeks on the exquisite reverse design, and we think he did an amazing job. Just ask the 285 collectors who have bought this Masterpiece, causing a complete SELL OUT!
For this particular Masterpiece, the Queen’s Virtues are the focus — and in this blog, we’ll dissect the fascinating design…
What are the Queen’s Virtues?
The Queen’s Virtues encapsulate the personifications of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. They are widely acknowledged as principles founded by Queen Victoria in the Victorian Age, and to this day, are carried forward by Queen Elizabeth II and so remain the core virtues of the British nation. The virtues are Victory, Charity, Justice, Courage, Truth and Constancy.
The Queen holds the position of Head of the Armed Forces and as such, victory as a virtue, represents the end of conflict and celebration of peace.
The virtue Charity expresses the Sovereigns responsibility to make charitable efforts to take care of the suffering.
Sovereigns have established legal systems throughout the UK and from the beginning, have become important figures in the enforcement of law. Therefore, one of the Queens virtues is ‘Justice’ — as monarchs have been known as the ‘Fount of Justice’. The Platinum Jubilee Silver Masterpiece features a winged Angel representing justice for the people on earth, ensuring harmony and orderly manner within society.
Courage helps the Sovereign perform tasks that need to be carried out, and it is said the virtue courage makes all others possible.
Truthfulness is important to the Sovereign — Our Queen Elizabeth II is known to be the searcher and seeker of truth.
As the longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty has shown great constancy over her 70-year reign, maintaining commitments and Royal duties.
The masterpiece carries each of these virtues in segments, with the seventh segment at the bottom displaying ‘70’ in Roman numerals and ‘Platinum Jubilee’ written in Latin.
Meet the Designer
Neil Bromley who studied art for six years at college and graduated with a H.N.D in Calligraphy and Heraldry at Reigate School of Art in 1995, spent 2-3 weeks designing the reverse. Having designed and drawn over 30 coin designs to date, his work includes the painting of family crests, shields and full coats of arms.
Bromley took inspiration from the Queen Victoria Monument in London, situated in front of Buckingham Palace, which commemorates the death of Queen Victoria in 1902.
Using 2,300 tons of white Carrara marble, the central monument is 25 metres high and was created between 1906 and 1924 by Sir Thomas Brock. It features Victoria, as well as statues representing courage, constancy, victory, charity, truth, and motherhood.
Creating a Masterpiece
Bromley spent many hours researching the Victoria Monument — alternative images of the six virtue statues from different angles were found to define a balance within the coin. He also took inspiration from some of the original drawings by Thomas Brock and old photographs.
Once Neil had suitable images, they were drawn by hand to form a pencil sketch on trace.
Each virtue was then re-drawn on hot press paper as separate single artworks. Each drawing taking around 2-3 days. Given the amount of detail in each statue, it was important to capture as much as possible and to create depth.
The coin design was created separately and took into account the directions of the images that related to the Latin text in each segment. The Latin for each segment was discussed through a medieval forum to gain the correct spelling and to advise on a suitable Latin inscription for Platinum Jubilee. This was discussed and agreed upon by several medieval historians and calligraphers.
The final Masterpiece design was then struck from .999 Pure Silver to a Proof finish, with selective 24 Carat Gold-plating added to enhance elements of the design. The Proof finish requires immense craftsmanship and as such a mirror-like result sharpens the design.
And as I mentioned earlier, this incredible piece SOLD OUT in a matter of hours…
If this disappoints you, then I have what you need…
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To celebrate the launch of FIVE brand new British Isles Christmas Carol 50ps, we caught up with designer, Jo Goodberry (you may remember she designed the incredibly popular Pantomime 50ps last year), to get a behind the scenes look at what went in to designing these incredibly festive 50p coins.