Cast your imagination back to the 19th century… Queen Victoria ruled 400 million people in an empire that covered almost a quarter of the world’s surface!
With a name and title famous across the globe, it may come as a surprise to you that Queen Victoria never actually stepped foot in many of the countries she ruled over.
India was held with such high regard in Victoria’s heart that it became known as the Jewel in the Empire’s crown. In 1876, India awarded her the title of ‘Empress of India’ in a gesture of appreciation.
Although having never stepped foot in the country and living 4,500 miles away, Victoria’s portrait was minted on to the currency of India (the rupee) from 1840, so people could recognise their empress!
The rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, so to feature a British monarch for the first time was an important moment in numismatic history.
The later portrait issued on rupees, similar to the Gothic Head effigy, can be considered one of the most beautiful coins of the empire.
A 22hr flight to Australia seems a long journey now but for Queen Victoria, a trip to this corner of the world would have taken her almost two months to get there!
So, there’s no surprises this was also a country that she never visited. However, the need for a British presence in the country was growing with the empire; as the empire grew, so did the need for coins. The Royal Mint opened branches in Australia and in 1855, a sovereign was minted outside of the UK for the first time – the Sydney sovereign.
It featured a portrait of Victoria that was based on the Young Head effigy, but with a sprig of banksia weaved through Victoria’s hair, giving the portrait a distinct Australian feel.
The Sydney sovereign became incredibly successful and a number of Royal Mint branches were opened throughout Australia as a result. To identify the Mint that sovereigns were produced in, mintmarks were added to the coins, with a small ‘P’ for Perth, and an ‘M’ for Melbourne.
The sovereign became legal tender in the majority of British colonies in the 1860s, and its importance in British trade, and worldwide circulation earned it the title “the King of Coins”. By the final years of the British Empire, the sovereign was minted in four continents across the globe.
India and Australia weren’t the only countries that saw Victoria’s portrait. Her image also reached as far as Hong Kong, Ceylon, East Africa and New Zealand. In 1870 the first Canadian dollar with Victoria’s portrait was issued, taking Victoria’s image to a new side of the world for people to see.
Despite never leaving Europe, Queen Victoria’s portrait and image stood strong on coins around the world. Whilst she never stepped foot in many of the countries that she ruled over, that didn’t stop people recognising her image around the world.
The coins that they used every day provided a link to the empire that they were a part of, despite the miles between them.
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2020 marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, and the official end of the Second World War.
Following the Allies’ acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on the 8th May 1945, the war in Europe had finally come to a close after a long five years of conflict.
Most UK collectors will be familiar with the United Kingdom 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day £2 coin issued earlier this year to commemorate the historic event.
However, Allied Nations across the globe have been commemorating 75 years since the end of the Second World War and this important anniversary has been marked with unique coin issues from some of the world’s most renowned Mints.
Coins issued by the Netherlands, Canada, France, and Belgium, in addition to the UK £2, have been brought together for the first time in the remarkable 75th Anniversary of VE Day Allied Nations Coin Pack.
75th Anniversary of VE Day Allied Nations Coin Pack
Featuring FIVE carefully chosen commemorative coins from world renowned Mints and including The Royal Mint’s 75th Anniversary of VE Day £2 coin as the centrepiece, this limited edition Commemorative Coin Pack has been released JUST for Change Checkers.
The coins included with this extraordinary set are:
United Kingdom £2
This brand new United Kingdom £2 coin by Royal Mint designer Dominique Evans features a woman holding a newspaper aloft in crowd of celebrating people, set against a backdrop of the word ‘VICTORY’. The edge inscription reads ‘JUST TRIUMPH AND PROUD SORROW’.
As a tribute to the fallen and a promise to never forget, Canada have issued a commemorative $2 coin marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. This coin re-creates the iconic Victory Nickel design on a brand new $2 coin.
Belgium 2.5 Euro
The Royal Mint of Belgium issued this 2.5 Euro coin designed by Luc Luycx to show Europe lit with fireworks in honor of this 75th anniversary. The reverse shows the newly liberated Brussels on 4th September 1944.
This coin is limited to a maximum circulation of 50,000 pieces worldwide.
Netherlands 5 Euro
Although part of the Netherlands had already been liberated in 1944, it wasn’t until the 5th May 1945 that the whole of the Netherlands was allowed to live in freedom. This 5 Euro is the official commemorative coin to mark such an important moment in history and has been designed by artist Marijke van Warmerdam.
Only 15,000 Silver-Plated pieces are available worldwide!
France 2 Euro
Renowned French army officer and statesman, Charles de Gaulle led the Free French Forces against Nazi Germany in World War II. This 2 Euro coin features two profiles of de Gaulle as both the revered army general during the war, and as President of France during his second term. A Lorraine cross also features on the design as the symbol of free France, chosen by General de Gaulle.
All of these incredible coins come presented in the Change Checker 75th Anniversary of VE Day Coin Pack. Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
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Due to the difficulty of sourcing these coins, we have only a limited number of these extraordinary packs available!
To ensure you don’t miss out on this special anniversary year, please secure your Change Checker 75th Anniversary of VE Day Allied Nations Coin Pack here >>
For the first time in 20 years, a brand new portrait of the Queen will be featured on Australia’s currency update.
Since her coronation in 1953, five effigies of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II have appeared on the obverse of Australian coins – creating a numismatic timeline which shows her changing profile over the years.
Previous effigies were designed by Mary Gillick (1953), Arnold Machin (1966), and Raphael Maklouf (1985), however since 1998, Australian coins have used the current effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley, except during 2000, when Royal Australian Mint designer Vladimir Gottwald’s effigy was used on the 50c Royal Visit coin.
The inclusion of an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse of Australia’s coinage is mandated by Regulation 4(c) of the Currency Regulations made under the Currency Act 1965.
This new effigy by Jody Clark marks the sixth update to the Queen’s portrait and is said to continue the story of her reign and lifetime, although you might notice something a little different about this updated design…
Whilst continuing to depict Her Majesty facing to the right and wearing the diamond diadem crown, unusually this new image will break from the traditional UK design by also including the Queen’s shoulders and the Victorian coronation necklace.
Mr Clark is responsible for the UK’s most recent portrait of Her Majesty, updated in 2015 and selected by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.
His designs have also featured on recent releases such as the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding £5 and the Queen’s Beasts £5 coins.
Chief Executive of the Royal Australian Mint, says: “The transition to a new effigy on all Australian coinage will begin in 2019 and continue into 2020. Coins carrying previous portraits of the Queen will remain in circulation.”
However there is some controversy surrounding this coinage update, as the Australian Republic Movement (ARM) continue their campaign to remove the Queen as head of state in Australia.
What are your thoughts on Australia’s new currency update and do you think the design is head and shoulders above the rest? Let us know in the comments below.
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