As the United Kingdom prepares for King Charles III’s coronation this year, we can expect worldwide mints to issue coins marking the historic event. But how sought-after will they be?
Well, when you look to recent royalty coins, including those featuring His Majesty’s portrait, there’s sure to be sell-outs.
FIRST UK King Charles III Coins Sell-Out in HOURS
Following Queen Elizabeth II’s sad passing in September 2022, a new UK 50p and £5 coin were issued to commemorate her incredible life and legacy.
These were the first ever UK coins to feature King Charles III’s portrait on the obverse, and the first time we’d seen a new obverse portrait on coins in 70 years.
And, these coins were in such high demand that all premium limited specifications sold out at The Royal Mint within JUST HOURS of release.
This isn’t surprising considering The Royal Mint had queues of over 66,000 collectors on their website, each wanting to secure these coins for their collections.
The First King Charles III Sovereign
The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Sovereign was the first ever UK Sovereign to feature King Charles III’s portrait on the obverse. It was also the first time a memorial sovereign had been issued.
These factors made an already popular coin extremely sought-after by collectors.
It proved so popular with collectors that the Gold Proof, Gold Proof Quarter-Sovereign and Gold Proof Half-Sovereigns all becoming best sellers at The Royal Mint.
Prince Charles 70th Birthday £5
In 2018, The Royal Mint issued a £5 coin to celebrate King Charles III’s 70th birthday. What makes this coin unique is that it was the last UK coin to feature the portrait of His Majesty as ‘Prince’ before he became King.
Since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we’ve seen demand for this coin increase as collectors look to build their King Charles III collections.
The Brilliant Uncirculated version has been listed on eBay for nearly 10 times its face value, whilst the silver proof version is being listed for more than £249.
Dual-Plated National Anthem Platinum Jubilee 50ps
Prior to Charles’ accession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee was the most significant royal event in history.
To commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, the Isle of Man issued a set of National Anthem Platinum Jubilee 50ps.
The National Anthem collection included a dual reverse design, featuring the words of the iconic National Anthem on the left, and the Queen’s heraldic Beasts on the right.
These coins proved extremely popular with collectors – the initial release of 2,000 dual-plated National Anthem 50ps selling out in less than 2 hours.
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Marking her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, today she also celebrates her 96th birthday.
Her Majesty ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952 and has since reigned as a constitutional monarch through years of significant change. She sees public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work, having links with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.
During her lifetime many coins have been issued in celebration of her birthday, of which she has two — her actual birthday on 21st April and her official birthday on (usually) the second Saturday in June.
Let’s take a look at some of the different coins released over the years in celebration of Her Majesty’s birthdays below.
2021 UK Queen Elizabeth II 95th Birthday BU £5
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 95th birthday in 2021. This major event, making her the first ever ruling monarch in British history to reach this milestone, was commemorated on a UK £5 coin.
The extraordinary 95th anniversary year is highlighted on this detailed £5 coin, designed by heraldic artist Timothy Noad. It features the date of the Queen’s birth and the year 2021 visible on the reverse. The Royal Cypher takes centre stage, with the quote “MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” surrounding it along the edge. Ninety-five mills are found on this coin’s ‘waved’ milled edge, celebrating one for each year of the Queen’s life.
Traditionally, UK £5 coins are reserved for the most important Royal and Historical anniversaries, and there are few Royal events which are as important as Her Majesty’s birthday.
QEII 95th Birthday BU 50p
In 2021, 10,000 of these 95th Birthday 50ps were released into circulation on the Isle of Man. Fully approved by Buckingham Palace, this design features specially commissioned artwork by sculptor Luigi Badia.
Badia has impressively created over twenty-five portraits of the Queen and this QEII 95th Birthday Brilliant Uncirculated 50p features a recently designed portrait of Her Majesty. His process of sketching a new portrait of the Queen starts with collecting lots of reliable references, combining them to make a unique portrait.
When Badia sketches a portrait to feature specifically on a coin, he usually chooses a profile portrait for a more traditional design. He uses the sketch just as a guide for then producing the plaster model, which he crafts himself over a few weeks to ensure the final coins depict his version exactly.
British Isles 50p coins like this rarely turn up in your change in the UK, making these 50p coins some of the most sought-after circulating coins around.
UK 2021 Queen Elizabeth II’s Official Birthday Silver
This special DateStamp™ issue features JUST 500 hand-selected UK 2021 Royal Coat of Arms 1oz Silver Coins, protectively encapsulated and stamped with the official Royal Mail one-day-only postmark of 12th June 2021 – the official date of Her Majesty’s 95th birthday.
This 1oz coin is impeccably struck from 99.9% Pure Silver to The Royal Mint’s Bullion finish. The reverse design by Timothy Noad depicts the official Coat of Arms of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, with the historic design celebrating centuries of British Royal lineage — The Royal Arms is the official coat of Arms of the ruling monarch.
The UK Royal Coat of Arms 1oz Silver Coin has a maximum mintage of 100,000 coins but considering JUST 500 of these limited DateStamp™ issues were available upon initial release, it makes this particular presentation incredibly sought-after.
Visible within the reverse design are the national flowers for each country within the UK: the Tudor rose of England, the Leek for Wales, the Shamrock for Northern Ireland, and the Thistle for Scotland. Featuring on the obverse is Jody Clark’s definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
2006 UK 80th Birthday £5 Coin
In 2006 a special £5 coin was released, which has since been announced as the fourth rarest £5 coin issued (as of the latest mintage update in 2013)! This £5 coin celebrates the Queen’s 80th birthday, with the dates 1926 and 2006 inscribed as Her Majesty was born in 1926.
This £5 coin is very popular with collectors, which is not surprising when you see its beautiful design. Three trumpets with trumpet banners display on the reverse, accompanied by the inscription “VIVAT REGINA”, the Latin phrase for ‘long live the Queen’. Danuta Solowiej-Wedderburn designed the reverse whilst the obverse features Ian Rank-Broadley’s (FRBS) portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
One such event that took place for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday included an informal walkabout in which the Queen spent roughly forty-five minutes interacting with more than 20,000 well-wishers who lined the streets outside Windsor Castle. She was accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and crowds waved Union flags, as well as carried colourful celebratory bouquets.
Did you know that due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Trooping the Colour ceremony which traditionally marks Her Majesty’s official birthday, could not follow its long-established format in 2021.
Coins that have an interesting back-story, such as these, can be particularly sought-after with collectors!
The Land of Hope and Glory Collection tells the story of Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Britain goes Decimal…
On the morning of the 15th February 1971, Britons woke up with a brand new currency following increasing global pressure to go Decimal. In one of the biggest changes to our currency in 1000 years, we left behind the old Pounds (£), Shillings (/-) and Pence (d) system and introduced the decimalised coins that we know today.
Under the new system, the Pound was retained, but was divided into 100 new pence rather than 20 shillings (or 240 pence). And to help the public get used to this major change, new Decimal coins, training stamps and conversions charts were all made available to the public ahead of Decimal Day.
Do you still have any of the old pre-Decimal coins? Let us know in the comments
First Test Tube Baby
On 25th July 1978, a five-pound baby girl named Louise Joy Brown was born in Lancashire. As the first baby to be conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), Louise’s birth made headlines and she became known around the world as the first “test tube baby”. A few years later, Louise’s younger sister Natalie was born, also via IVF. And in 1999, Natalie became the first mother born through IVF to give birth – without IVF.
Patrick Steptoe, Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy, the pioneering medical professionals who were involved in Louise’s birth were awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their life-changing work. As of 2022, it has been estimated that over eight million babies worldwide have been conceived via IVF
The Home Computing Boom
1980s Britain saw a boom in home computing and a drastic change in public opinion towards the technology. Once seen as complex machinery used only by scientists and large organisations, computers were rare and most people would have never seen a computer in real life…
Fantastic machines like the Acorn Electron, Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum were developed to make computing user-friendly for the first time and to bring the wonders of information technology into homes, schools and workplaces.
Technology would continue to advance throughout the decade, as the home computing boom caused an unexpected growth in video gaming and by 1989 a British scientist, Tim Berners Lee, conceived and developed the World Wide Web.
The Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
Described at the time as a “fairytale wedding”, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29th July 1981. The event was watched by a record-setting global television audience of 750 million, all eager to see Diana’s wedding dress which was one of the best kept secrets of the fashion industry at the time.
Were you one of the 750 million to watch?
The wedding broke royal protocols and created traditions that we still see during Royal Weddings today. Diana was the first Royal bride to omit the words “obey” from her vows and after forgetting to kiss after their vows, the couple shared a romantic kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Today, the ‘balcony kiss’ is one of the most iconic moments to take place during a Royal wedding.
The Raising of the Mary Rose
The Mary Rose was lost for over 400 years. She was one of Henry VIII’s warships and a huge team of divers, archaeologists and scientists were involved in her recovery and raising.
The search for the Mary Rose began in 1965, when Alexander McKee began investigating wrecks in the Solent and discovered a strange shape underneath the seabed via sonar scans. Teams of amateur and professional divers explored the area and on 5th May 1971, Percy Ackland found three of the port frames of the Mary Rose.
Nearly 11 years of excavation and careful planning followed and finally, on 11th October 1982, the world watched the raising of the historic Mary Rose…
If you’re interested…
The Land of Hope and Glory Collection celebrates Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And today, you can start the Collection of a Lifetime. Click here to secure the Coronation Medal for FREE >>
Revisit the historic moments that have shaped Britain through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with our Land of Hope and Glory blog series: