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***
On Friday 10th October the new ‘100 Poppies’ coin was released, and the distinctive design has been turning heads.
Commemorative coins have been issued in support of the Royal British Legion since 2008, some of them even struck in the famous poppy shape. But this year’s coin is a little different.
100 Poppies for 100 years
As 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, digital artist Chris Lloyd wanted to subtly allude to the poignancy of the occasion. He came up with countless designs, but nothing quite captured the moment in the way he wanted.
I asked Chris what gave him the inspiration to produce such a memorable coin after struggling for so long:
“It was only when I thought back to that moving part of the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, when hundreds of poppies fall from the ceiling, that inspiration struck. I decided that the best way to represent the centenary anniversary would be with 100 poppies, one for each year. I even counted them by hand, marking each one, to make sure the right number are there!”
The only text on the obverse of the coin – ‘Lest we forget’ – taken from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen – serves as a starkly poignant reminder.
A coin for everyone, proof, silver and gold
The new coins are being made available in a range of metals, to suit any collection. From a Proof condition £5 coin, right up an impressive 22 Carat Gold edition, all of the limited edition coins are available now.
A donation is made from the sale of each coin to the Royal British Legion. So those who secure their coins will know they own an important piece of history, and they’re helping 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.
Get your coin in time for Remembrance Day
The 2014 ‘100 Poppies’ £5 Proof Coin is available to order now.
Proud supporters of The Royal British Legion.
Ninety years since Howard Carter discovered Tutankhumun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, a unique 5oz Silver Coin uncovers its very own hidden treasures of Ancient Egypt.
Struck from pure Sterling Silver to the finest proof finish, this incredible coin is richly evocative of Ancient Egypt.
Notice the beautiful 24 Carat Gold centrepiece – Pyramid-shaped, naturally – beautifully engraved with symbols and hieroglyphics from Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus in which the teenage king’s body lay undisturbed for nearly three thousand years.
Triangular it may be but it’s still a coin. To prove it, Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of the Queen appears on the obverse – alongside the Egyptian gods Hathor and Anubis.
Remove the Pyramid altogether and you’ll uncover another numismatic gem – Tutankhamun’s burial mask in glorious technicolour.
And I should of course mention the size of the Ancient Egypt 5oz Coin. With a 65mm diameter, this mesmerising coin fills the palm of your hand.
Just 450 Ancient Egypt 5oz Coins were struck worldwide to mark the 90th anniversary of the most exciting archaeological discovery of the last century.