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.
The Royal Mint have announced that on 2nd March, the effigy of Her Majesty the Queen on UK coinage will be replaced with a brand new fifth portrait. While we wait for the new portrait to be revealed, here’s a little more detail about the history of the current portrait that has featured on our coinage for the past 17 years…
In 1997 the Royal Mint held a competition to design the obverse of the Golden Wedding Crown. The standard of entries for the joint portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip was so high that it was decided it was time to explore the possibility of replacing the existing portrait by Raphael Maklouf. The winning portrait was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS and introduced in 1998.
Designed to fill the full circle of the coin, its larger size was a deliberate response to the smaller coins that had been introduced into circulation. Compared to its predecessor, the portrait is noticeably more mature. Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS felt that there was ‘no need to disguise the matureness of the Queen’s years. There is no need to flatter her. She is a 70-year-old woman with poise and bearing’.
Since then he has designed the 2000 Queen Mother Centennial Crown, 2002 Golden Jubilee Crown, and the conjoined portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on the 2007 Crown. His effigy of Her Majesty has been used on all circulating British coins since 1998.
Secure the last set of UK coins to feature the current portrait of the Queen
Struck by the Royal Mint to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated finish, the set features the eight 2015 UK definitive coins from the 1p to the £2, brought together with the flagship 2015 1oz pure Silver Britannia coin. Just 495 complete Queen’s Fourth Portrait Specimen Sets have been released.
Presented in a luxury wooden Presentation Case and complete with its Certificate of Authenticity, this really is the ultimate way to bid farewell to a familiar face.
NOW SOLD OUT
A couple of weeks ago we asked you to vote for the Royal Portrait you liked the most.
If you were wondering what the results were, take a quick look at the “videographic” below…
You can own all four Portraits on original UK Crowns.