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British Royal Mint Reveals Plans For Fifth Portrait Of Queen Elizabeth II

British Royal Mint Reveals Plans For Fifth Portrait Of Queen Elizabeth II

“It was a queenly presence – tall, graceful, and intensely womanly.”

The Adventure of The Second Stain (SECO)

QEII UK Coinage Portraits

From the British Royal Mint’s November 6, 2014 press release:

The Royal Mint has today confirmed that it will be ‘all change’ for UK coinage next year when the definitive portrait of Her Majesty The Queen is to be updated for the first time since 1998.

The current coinage portrait of The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, which has been a constant presence on circulating and commemorative coins for 16 years, will be replaced by a new portrait.

It is only the fifth definitive coin portrait to have been created during The Queen’s 62 year reign, making it a rare and significant change for the coins we all use every day.

The new portrait will be chosen by a closed competition commissioned by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) where a number of specialist designers are invited to submit designs under anonymous cover, before a winner is selected by the RMAC.

The exciting news means that 2015 will be something of a vintage year for UK coins, and that the first 2015 dated coins to be released, such as the new 2015 Sovereign, will be the last ever coins to feature the current effigy that has become so familiar to us all.

Dating back to the 15th Century, The Sovereign was for many years the primary circulating gold coin not just in the UK but in many countries around the world, and was named The Sovereign because of the handsome portrait of the Monarch engraved on its obverse.

This 2015 Sovereign will be a particularly special issue, as the early editions will feature the current portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley, while those struck in 2015 will be amongst the very first to feature the new effigy.

Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, said, “This change of effigy will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and while it will be hugely exciting for us all to see the new design appear on the coins we use every day, we also believe it is right that The Sovereign, our most famous coin which gets its name from the fact that it carries an image of the monarch on its obverse, be among the first to carry both the current portrait on these new releases, and the new effigy when it is revealed.”

Mary_Gillick Mary Gillick sculpted the first portrait of Her Majesty, featuring the young Queen wearing a garland of olive leaves.  This design was used from 1953 until 1970, when the last of Britain’s pre-decimal coinage was struck.

Arnold MachinThe Queen’s second and iconic (at least to me) portrait by Arnold Machin was introduced in 1968 on the first decimal coins struck and was in use until 1985. The design would feature the Queen wearing Queen Mary’s tiara and a flowing drape around her shoulders.

Raphael MakloufThe third portrait of the Queen was designed by Raphael Maklouf and features a mature Queen wearing a diadem crown. This design was in use until 1998.

Ian Rank-BroadleyIan Rank-Broadley designed the fourth and current portrait of the Queen in use.  The portrait is quite detailed and has stronger facial features than the earlier designs.  In addition, the Queen is again wearing the tiara of Queen Mary, as she was on her second portrait.

To date, we have not seen any coins being spent on any of the first three seasons of BBC’s Sherlock. Is there a chance that one of the new portrait coins find there way into a scene when filming starts in 2015 for the eagerly anticipated season 4?

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