One of the only kings in British history to have been given the title of ‘Great’, Anglo-Saxon King Alfred, was famous for his laws in education and fair governance.
In the 1,150th anniversary year of his coronation, The Royal Mint has commemorated his reign with a brand new £5 coin, with a design dedicated to the Alfredian educational reforms.
Alfred took over as King of Wessex in 871 in the middle of a year of nine major battles between the West Saxons and Vikings. He was also tested in 878 when he was forced to retreat to the marshes of Athelney (Somerset), the scene of some of the legendary stories about him, including the well-known ‘burning of the cakes’.
However, Alfred came back to win a decisive victory in the same year over his Viking opponent Guthrum at Edington (Wiltshire).
John Bergdahl’s design of this brand new coin is based on the Alfred Jewel, one of the most celebrated historical artefacts surviving from Anglo-Saxon England.
It was thought to have been once attached to a handle and used as a pointer stick for reading. Made of enamel and quartz, and enclosed in gold, the Alfred Jewel is inscribed “aelfred mec heht gewyrcan” meaning “Alfred ordered me made”.
This exceptional and unusual example of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship now features on this new UK £5 in a fitting tribute to Alfred the Great, who had a reputation as a learned man who encouraged education.
In Alfred’s mind, learning was essential to his kingdom but most of his people were illiterate, even in their native tongue. To combat this, Alfred established a school at court, where freedmen of adequate means could learn to read, he had books translated from Latin to English, and told monks to begin writing the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, which would later act as the primary source for the early history of England
There have been some incredible UK coins that have celebrated our Kings of England. Scroll down to discover more…
2020 King George III £5
The 2020 George III £5 was issued as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set to celebrate Britain’s longest reigning King, 200 years after his death.
King George III was the first king of the United Kingdom (which was officially formed in 1800) and to this day remains the longest reigning king in British History, reigning for an astonishing 59 years.
Throughout his reign, Britain fought in wars against France and America and from these wars the country emerged as a world power.
Designed by renowned Royal Mint designer, Dominique Evans, the famous portrait of George III has Windsor Palace to the left and the King’s Observatory to the right.
2017 King Canute £5
To celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the coronation of King Canute, a £5 coin was issued by The Royal Mint.
Recognised as one of the most prominent kings of the Anglo-Saxon era, Canute is widely remembered for conquering kingdoms across northern Europe including England, Denmark, Norway, and areas of Sweden.
King Canute’s achievements and influence paved the way for the nation we recognise today. He strengthened the currency, initiating a series of coins of equal weight to those being used in Denmark, so it’s only fitting that the design of this £5 coin was inspired by the original currency of King Canute.
2009 Henry VIII £5
Henry VIII had an eventful reign over four decades from 1509 – 1547, overseeing the union of England and Wales in 1535 and founding the Royal Navy.
However he is most well-known for having six wives, two of whom were executed under the charge of treason. In later life, Henry became grossly overweight as a consequence of not being able to exercise after a jousting incident, which hastened his death in 1547.
This £5 coin was issued by the Royal Mint in 2009 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII to the throne. The reverse design by John Bergdahl features a recreation of the famous standing portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein.
2018 Prince Charles £5
In a blog dedicated to our Kings of England, it’s only fitting we pay tribute to our future King, Prince Charles.
On the 14th November 2018, HRH The Prince of Wales celebrated his landmark 70th birthday.
To mark this milestone and to honour his lifetime of dedication to the British people, an official commemorative UK £5 coin was issued by The Royal Mint.
The reverse features a new portrait of the prince by widely respected engraver Robert Elderton, who was once an apprentice engraver at The Royal Mint at its previous home in Tower hill more than 50 years ago.
There have been some incredible UK coins celebrating British Kings, with the brand new 2021 UK Alfred the Great £5 being no exception.
Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
Secure the brand new 2021 UK Alfred the Great £5 for your collection!
Your coin will come in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality presented in official Change Checker packaging.
2021 marks an incredible 150 years since Prince Albert’s vision to create a Hall for the nation was brought to fruition.
The Royal Albert Hall has since become one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings and is one of the most famous music and concert venues in the world.
In this very special anniversary year, The Royal Mint has issued a BRAND NEW UK £5 coin in celebration.
Designed by Anne Desmet, this brand new coin features an instantly recognisable design in an ode to the distinctive building.
First opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, the Hall has played host to some of the world’s leading artists and performances.
And, excitingly for collectors, The Royal Albert Hall now features on a UK coin for the first time!
Excitingly, this brand new coin isn’t the first UK coin to commemorate British landmarks…
2018 Royal Academy of Arts £5
In 2018, to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of The Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Academy (RA) and The Royal Mint collaborated to issue a £5 coin.
The reverse of this £5 was designed by celebrated architect Sir David Chipperfield RA, and features the historical facade of Burlington House, home to the Royal Academy since 1867.
There is a strong historical link between The Royal Mint and The Royal Academy of Arts, as Richard Yeo, who was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy, was also the chief engraver at The Royal Mint.
This version, struck to base metal specifications, was initially made exclusively available to Change Checkers!
2014 Trinity House £2
Since being granted a Royal Charter by King Henry VIII in 1514, Trinity House has provided maritime safety on the UK’s waterways and coastal areas by providing nearly 600 Aids to Navigation ranging from lighthouses, buoys and beacons to satellite navigation technology.
The reverse of the 2014 £2 coin commemorates the 500th anniversary of the organisation and depicts a lighthouse lens – an enduring symbol of the seas and the safety which Trinity House continues to provide.
3,705,000 of these coins entered circulation – let us know if you’ve found one in your change!
2018/2019 Houses of Parliament 10p
The Royal Mint sparked great excitement with the surprising announcement of the release of 26 BRAND NEW 10p coins into circulation in 2018. Their theme is the A-Z of Great Britain and these were the first ever commemorative UK 10p coins.
This 10p features the letter ‘H’, which sits above the official logo for the Houses of Parliament. The House of Parliament is the meeting place for the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of Great Britain.
220,000 of these coins were issued into circulation in 2018 and 84,000 were issued in 2019, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve found one in your change!
Paddington’s Adventures of London 50p Coins
In 2018, for the first time ever, Paddington Bear made an appearance on a series of UK 50p coins!
These coins were issued to mark the 60th anniversary of Paddington’s first appearance in Michael Bond’s classic childhood tale and they quickly became a collector favourite!
Two designs were issued for circulation in 2018 and they saw Paddington visit Paddington Station and Buckingham Palace. Excitingly, Paddington’s tour of London continued in 2019, as he visited a further two landmarks – the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral!
Do you have a favourite Paddington 50p? Let us know in the comments below!
Tower of London £5 Coins
Built during the Norman Conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.
In tribute to the Tower, The Royal Mint issued a four coin series throughout 2019 celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions. The series included coins depicting the following:
- The Legend of the Ravens
- The Yeoman Warders
- The Ceremony of the Keys
- The Crown Jewels
The collection continued into 2020 with four new £5 coins featuring original designs, each exploring a different element of the Tower of London’s history. This series included designs of the following:
- The Infamous Prison
- The Royal Mint
- The Royal Menagerie
- The White Tower
You can find out more about these coins here.
2009 Kew Gardens 50p
The Kew Gardens 50p hit the headlines in February 2014 when it was revealed as the rarest 50p in circulation, with just 210,000 issued. It’s since been unbeaten at the top of our Scarcity Indexes as the UK’s most sought-after 50p.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boast 4.5 acres of gardens under glass as well as a soaring treetop walkway. One of the garden buildings is a Chinese Pagoda built in 1761 which features on the design of this scarce commemorative 50p.
This coin was re-issued in 2019 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p Celebrations. The 2019 version of this coin was a commemorative-only issue and did not enter general circulation.
Are you lucky enough to have one in your collection? Comment below!
2005 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII £2
On 8th May 1945, Winston Churchill announced VE Day – Victory in Europe, which marked the end of World War Two and followed Germany’s surrender about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide.
The reverse design of this £2 features a depiction of St. Paul’s Cathedral which survived the Blitz to become a great symbol of hope to a war-torn nation.
The edge inscription reads – IN VICTORY: MAGNANIMITY, IN PEACE: GOODWILL – part of the famous maxim that prefaces Churchill’s history of the Second World War.
We’re thrilled to see The Royal Albert hall join an incredible series of UK coins celebrating famous British landmarks.
Will you be securing one for your collection? Let us know in the comments below!
Secure the brand new 2021 UK Royal Albert Hall £5 for your collection!
Your coin will come in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality presented in official Change Checker packaging.
For 50 years, the Mr. Men and Little Misses have been delighting children and adults alike for generations with their charming, cheeky and, clever antics.
But now, in 2021 we see them delighting the coin collecting world as well, as The Royal Mint has revealed a new £5 coin series celebrating the inhabitants of Dillydale.
2021 UK Little Miss Sunshine £5
Adam Hargreaves’ design of the Little Miss Sunshine £5 features the cheerful character in the forefront, with the charming meadows of the dale behind.
This coin is available in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99 (+p&p) in official Change Checker packaging when you click here >>
What’s more, you can also secure the other coins in the Mr. Men™ and Little Miss™ collection below:
- To secure the 2021 UK Mr Happy £5 for your collection, simply click here >>
- To secure the 2021 UK Mr Strong and Little Miss Giggles £5 for your collection, simply click here >>
2021 UK Mr. Strong and Little Miss Giggles £5
Adam Hargreaves’ design of the Mr Strong and Little Miss Giggles™ £5 features these famous characters set against the meadows of Dillydale.
Excitingly, this is only coin in the Mr. Men and Little Miss series to feature more than one character on its design!
This coin is available to order in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99 (+p&p) when you click here >>
2021 UK Mr. Happy™ £5
The very first coin in this series features none other than Mr. Happy himself!
Adam Hargreaves’ design of this £5 coin features the instantly recognisable and much-loved Mr Happy at the centre.
Excitingly for collectors, this is the first time Mr. Happy has featured on a UK coin and we think he’s made a very grand entrance!
This coin is available to order in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99 (+p&p). Simply click here >>
50 Years of Fun
Charles Roger Hargreaves was an english author and illustrator, best known for his creation of the world-famous Mr. Men and Little Miss stories.
The Mr. Men and Little Miss books first originated with Mr Tickle. Hargreaves son asked him what a tickle looked like, so he drew a round orange man with long arms that could reach anywhere!
Mr Tickle was such a success with his son and the general public, that Hargreaves went on to create a whole world of Mr Men and Little Miss characters.
As of 2015, there have been 30 books, with over 85 Mr. Men and Little Miss characters featuring and now, they feature on a UK coin series for the very first time.
Following the popularity of previous children’s literature themed coins, we’re expecting these coins to be a huge hit with collectors!
Let’s take a closer look at previous UK coins that have celebrated children’s literature…
Beatrix Potter 50p Series
In 2016 a new series of 50p coins were confirmed celebrating renowned children’s author Beatrix Potter.
From Peter Rabbit, to the Tailor of Gloucester we’ve seen some of Potter’s most-loved characters feature on our 50p coin. These coins truly did spark a whole new interest in collecting, that spanned across generations.
In fact, these coins were so popular that we saw the main man himself, Peter Rabbit, feature in the series FIVE times – a testament to the nation’s love of this cheeky little bunny.
Whilst some of these coins are no longer available from The Royal Mint, you can still get your hands on some of them from Change Checker. Simply click here to find out more >>
Paddington 50p Coins
In 2018, a brand new series of 50p coins were issued to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington’s first appearance in Michael Bond’s story, ‘A Bear Called Paddington’.
The first two coins in the series featured Paddington at the Station and Paddington at the Palace. Later, in 2019, Paddington returned this time at the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
These coins have proved so popular with collectors since their initial release and have been the talking point of recent years. Change Checker has a range of collecting packs and products for you to store your coins in when you find them in your change! Find out more here >>
The Gruffalo 50p Coins
In 2019, two Gruffalo 50p coins were issued to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Julia Donalson’s much-loved children’s tale.
The first coin to be released, featuring an image of the Gruffalo, with his famous horns and teeth at the centre, was so popular that the silver-proof version sold out in less than 12 hours!
Later in the year, The Gruffalo returned, this time with his adorable companion from the tale, Mouse.
If you want to find out more about these incredible 50p coins, you can do so by clicking here >>
We love these brand new Mr. Men and Little Miss £5 coins! Will you be securing them for your collection? Let us know in the comments below!
Own the Complete 2021 UK Mr. Men™ and Little Miss™ £5 Collection today!
Each coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated finish and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve them for generations to come.
To order your complete 2021 UK Mr. Men™ and Little Miss™ £5 Collection, for just £32.50 (+p&p), click here >>