Are you a collector of UK Royal coins?

From celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday, to marking Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837, Royal anniversaries, birthdays and achievements have been commemorated on UK coinage for centuries.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what we believe to be the Top 10 UK Royal Coins of all time.


1. 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch £5

The Westminster Collection

As of 2020, HM Queen Elizabeth II became the world’s 5th longest reigning monarch! But in 2015, she became Britain’s, after 63 incredible years on the throne.

To celebrate this momentous occasion The Royal Mint issued a series of commemorative coins, including this 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch £5.

When news of the coin broke, it proved to be popular amongst coin collectors and fans of the Royal Family alike, with The Royal Mint’s website experiencing “overwhelming levels of traffic”. (The Royal Mint Blog)

Unusual in modern times, James Butler has designed both the reverse and the obverse of the coin. His new commemorative portrait of HM The Queen features on the obverse.

2. 2020 UK King George III £5

The Westminster Collection

Next up is the King George III £5 which was initially issued as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set in January to celebrate the life and reign of Britain’s longest reigning King.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary since his death, this is the first time that King George III has been celebrated on modern UK coinage – the last time he featured on a coin was 1820!

Included in the reverse design is the royal residence and his place of death, Windsor Palace as well as the King’s Observatory, which was founded by the King himself in 1769!

3. 2016 Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday £5

The Westminster Collection

As a nation, we’ve celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s landmark birthdays, jubilees and wedding anniversaries during her long and eventful reign.

When Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to celebrate their 90th Birthday, the release of this £5 coin in 2016 was particularly special and hugely significant for collectors around the world.

This is the only official UK £5 coin to mark this special occasion and it features a design that was approved by The Queen herself! The 9 roses on the reverse, designed by Christopher Hobbs, each represent a decade of Her Majesty’s life.

4. 1838 The Young Head Sovereign

At just 18 years old, Alexandra Victoria acceded to the throne and ruled Britain for an incredible 63 years, making her Britain’s longest reigning monarch at the time of her death in 1901!

This was the very first Sovereign to be issued under Queen Victoria’s rule, issued in 1832, featuring the popular ‘Young Head’ portrait by William Wyon. This portrait was favoured by Victoria and contributed to the coin’s popularity through her reign.

To this day, it is the longest a portrait has featured on Britain’s circulating coinage having been issued on bronze coins up until 1895!

5. 1902 Edward VII Silver Crown

The Westminster Collection

The Edward VII 1902 Silver Crown was issued for one-year-only to celebrate Edward’s coronation – only 256,020 were ever struck. It was the last British crown struck for circulation!

This coin reflects a crucial period in British History, and celebrates the might and confidence of one of the most powerful leaders on earth.

6. 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5

Numista

Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne on 17th November 1558 – a moment of triumph for the underestimated daughter of Henry VIII…

Under her rule, England went from an impoverished country torn apart by religious and political turbulence to the world’s dominant power with victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The Elizabethan era is often considered the golden age of English history with music, art and literature flourishing.

To commemorate 450 years since Elizabeth II’s accession, The Royal Mint issued this £5 in 2008 featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I within a mandorla created by four decorative arches and Tudor roses.

7. 2018 Four Generations of Royalty

The Westminster Collection

This Four Generations of Royalty £5 coin was highly anticipated since the moment HRH Prince George of Cambridge was born on 22nd July 2013.

This was the first time in modern years that The Royal Mint issued a coin that celebrated all four generations of royalty in line to the throne on a single coin. The last time that four generations of royalty were celebrated together was in 1894 under Queen Victoria’s reign!

The reverse design, by Timothy Noad, ornately shows the initials of the current four generations, E, C, W & G and represents the heritage of the House of Windsor.

8. 2000 Queen Mother Centenary £5

Change Checker

Anticipation of the imminent 100th birthday of HM the Queen Mother meant several countries released centenary coins as soon as she entered her 100th year rather than wait for her actual birthday on 4th August 2000.

The Royal Mint struck a £5 coin wholly designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, which included a reverse design of a left-facing profile of the Queen Mother wearing a diamond tiara with her signature underneath; this was the first time this had happened on a British coin!

9. 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5

The Westminster Collection

On 20th November 2017 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip celebrated their Platinum wedding anniversary, celebrating an unprecedented 70 years together!

To mark the longest marriage in Royal history, The Royal Mint issued a celebratory £5 coin in 2017. It features specially commissioned double portrait of the couple on the obverse, and an engraving of the two riding their much loved horses together on the reverse.

It is estimated just 60 people in the UK celebrated their Platinum Wedding Anniversary in the same year – meaning Her Majesty and HRH Prince Philip are literally one in a million!

10. 2018 Prince Charles 70th Birthday £5

The Westminster Collection

On the 14th November 2018 Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday.

To mark this special occasion and to celebrate the longest serving heir apparent, who has shown unwavering dedication to the British people, The Royal Mint issued this £5 coin.

The reverse features a new portrait of the prince, specially designed by Robert Elderton. It is the only official UK coin to have marked The Prince of Wales’ birthday!


Of course there have been so many other incredible UK Royal coins and narrowing it down to just 10 was a tough job, but we certainly feel these coins have got to be highlights!

Let us know which coins UK Royal coins would make it into your Top 10 in the comments below!


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4 Comments

  1. Chin Pandit on January 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I am wondering how you shortlisted these 10 as the top ones

    • Alexandra Siddons on January 30, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Chin! These are just the top 10 coins we think are the most interesting in design or theme of commemoration 🙂 We’d love to hear if you think a different coin deserves a top 10 spot!

  2. Neil on January 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Cannot believe you missed out the 1847 Victoria Gothic Crown – surely one of the finest British coins of all time!

    • Alexandra Siddons on January 30, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      That is a very interesting coin Neil!

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