This year a brand new £5 coin has been issued to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, and it features a never-seen-before effigy of the great man.
Designed by renowned sculptor and artist David Cornell FRSA, the new portrait shows a defiant Churchill in military uniform.
I’ve been given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the portrait, and had a quick chat with the artist himself.
David Cornell is perhaps more famous for sculpting members of the Royal family, (he was even commissioned to paint a birthday portrait of the Queen) so I thought I’d ask him about his inspiration behind the new design:
“Winston Churchill was a major part of my childhood growing up in London during the War, hearing his speeches and seeing photos on posters, which left an indelible impression on me.
“I realised later what a great man he was and his contribution to the War effort, inspiring the people of Great Britain.
“As a portrait artist, it has been a great honour for me to be able to portray him in this tribute to honour his legacy.”
First of all Cornell worked on a plaster engraving of the portrait, making sure it fits the very particular dimensions of a coin. You can see the fine detail in the picture above, and also the large size of the plaster, which has to be reduced when the die is created to strike the coin.
The finished £5 coin also features an inscription of one of Churchill’s famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ Although spoken in reference to the heroes of the Battle of Britain, the quotation was chosen as it represents Churchill’s indomitable spirit during the war.
The coin has been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and is available now in a range of metals – from an impressive 5oz 22 carat gold version measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, to a highly collectable cupro-nickel version available to all. I’m sure you’ll agree, it will make a fitting tribute in any collection to our greatest ever Prime Minister.
If you are interested…
The new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version. Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.
In my mind there is one mint in the world that has more artistic excellence, minting quality and a general je ne sais quoi than any other. It is the French Mint – or to give it its proper title La Monnaie de Paris.
Founded by Charles the Bald in 864, this year marks La Monnaie de Paris 1150th year of minting coins.
Over the years they have created some of the most exceptional coins and medals that I have ever seen. And they have worked with many of the very finest names in designer excellence. Names like Cartier and Baccarat.
Their pieces are exquisite. They are more than coins and medals – they are true pieces of art.
With their age-old expertise, Monnaie de Paris is responsible for the striking of circulating coins, collector coins, medals, official decorations, casts and works of art. But they only entrust the conception of their products to the greatest artists.
Of course, as a work of art you should only consider owning a piece if you love it.
Secure your own artistic masterpiece…
The Westminster Collection has managed to secure a 50 piece initial reservation for La Monnaie de Paris’ tribute to the soldiers of the First World War.
What makes this commemorative medal such an artistic masterpiece is the quality with which it has been struck from 13oz of solid bronze to its unparalleled antique finish.
The overall depth of engraving and striking creates a truly 3-dimensional piece, unlike any normal proof coin you will have seen.
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.