The six-sided Diamond Jubilee coin that never was…
Did you know that a special six-sided coin was very nearly released to commemorate one of the most significant celebrations in British history – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?
In fact, the coin was so close to being produced that the design was nearly sent off for Royal approval before the proposal was eventually rejected by senior staff at the Royal Mint.
But what could this coin have looked like? Stay tuned as we explore more in this blog…
What the UK’s first 60p could have looked like
A document from Kevin Clancy, secretary to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, and addressed to the Master of the Mint at the time – Chancellor George Osborne, stated “The proposed coin would be a six-sided bi-colour coin with round of nickel-brass and a shaped outer of cupro-nickel.”
The document also stated: “It is recommended that an entirely new denomination coin – a 60p piece – should be produced to commemorate the 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign”.
Whilst the coin was proposed to be a commemorative-only issue and wouldn’t enter circulation, the idea for the coin was abandoned all together, as papers from the Royal Mint Advisory Committee revealed the commemorative coin programme was already ‘sufficiently comprehensive’.
This programme in question of course ended up bringing us the stunning 2012 Diamond Jubilee £5 Coin.
2012 Diamond Jubilee £5 Coin
This was the first coin ever to be struck to commemorate a Diamond Jubilee – there were no special coins for Queen Victoria’s in 1897!
The obverse featured a new portrait of Her Majesty crowned and wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, created especially for the Diamond Jubilee by Ian Rank-Broadley.
Also designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, the obverse features a portrait of the young Queen Elizabeth just as she appeared in her first portrait with the Latin words DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS (May God Guide My Steps).
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This £5 isn’t the only remarkable issue we’ve seen commemorating Her Majesty’s Jubilees…
1993 Coronation 40th Anniversary £5
This £5 coin was issued to mark 40 years since the Queen’s coronation in 1953 – her Ruby Jubilee.
The obverse features the original portrait by Mary Gillick placed in a circle surrounded by eight mounted trumpeters of the Household Cavalry separated by swords and sceptres.
The reverse features the Crown of St Edward which was used at the Coronation, set within 40 radiating trumpets.
The words FAITH AND TRUTH I WILL BEAR UNTO YOU, from the Coronation oath, are inscribed at the top, with the double dates 1953 and 1993 appearing at the foot.
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2002 Golden Jubilee £5
In 2002, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Royal Mint produced this £5 coin.
On one side appears an unusual bust portrait of the Queen wearing the robes of state. The dramatic impact of this motif are heightened by the absence of any inscription other than the value in small lettering around the foot.
The reverse design, as with the original Coronation crown of 1953 features the Queen on horseback. The Latin motto AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG(inae) meaning ‘The love of the people is the Queen’s protection’ was last used on the coinage of Charles I.
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The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022
In 2022, Her Majesty will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, after a magnificent 70 years of service to the throne.
According to the Government website, plans are already in place to mark this anniversary, including collaborations with “some of the UK’s leading creative minds, event organisers and world class digital design companies”.
In keeping with tradition, a Platinum Jubilee medal is said to be awarded to people “who work in public service including representatives of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and the prison services.
This tradition stretches back to the reign of Queen Victoria when an official medal was designed to mark her 50th anniversary on the throne”.
Whilst there has been no official confirmation of a Platinum Jubilee commemorative coin in the works, we’re certainly going to keep our fingers crossed that this magnificent anniversary will be celebrated on our UK coinage.
Would you have liked to have seen a six-sided 60p issued to commemorate Her Majesty’s Jubilee anniversary? Let us know in the comments!
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My own personal view is that any coin that does not enter circulation does not exist. If this coin was to enter circulation i can’t think of anything more useless than a 60p coin and it appears the mint agreed with me.