This year marks Her Majesty’s 95th birthday year. Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s longest reigning monarch, with an incredible 68 years on the throne.
The first Queen Elizabeth II coins were struck in 1953 and since then five different effigies have adorned our coins.
We asked you to vote for your favourite and portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the results are in…
1953 – 1967: Mary Gillick
The first coins of Queen Elizabeth’s reign bore Mary Gillick’s portrait of the young Queen, engraved especially for the new coins.
Her uncrowned portrait of the Queen is still used on the Maundy Money distributed each year by Her Majesty.
1968 – 1984: Arnold Machin RA
With the upcoming decimalisation, it was decided to refresh the Queen’s portrait with Arnold Machin’s new sculpture of the Queen. Commissioned in 1964, it first appeared in 1968 on the new 5p and 10p coins. A version of the design with tiara was also introduced on stamps in 1967 and remains to this day.
1985 – 1997: Raphael Maklouf
In creating his new effigy of Her Majesty, Raphael Maklouf aimed “to create a symbol, regal and ageless”.
His “couped” portrait depicts Queen Elizabeth II wearing the royal diadem favoured by her on the way to and from the State Opening of Parliament.
1998 – 2015: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
In 1997, a new portrait of Her Majesty was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Created to fill the full circle of the coin, its larger size was a deliberate response to the smaller 5p and 10p coins in circulation.
A noticeably more mature portrayal of Her Majesty, Rank-Broadley aimed to show the Queen with “poise and bearing”.
2015 – Present: Jody Clark
The new “heads” side of the coin was designed by Jody Clark who at 33 was the youngest person to design a monarch’s profile on the currency.
It was the first time her portrait had been modified in 17 years and has remained on our UK coinage ever since.
This was arguably the first UK coin to introduce elements of personality with a hint of a smile. Clark is the first Royal Mint employee in over 100 years to design a UK definitive coin portrait
As Queen Elizabeth II is now one of the top five longest-reigning monarchs in the world, it’s only fitting that five of her portraits appear on our UK coinage.
Your favourite portrait will be revealed next week, so stay tune to find out if your vote won!
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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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There is no doubt that the Beatrix Potter 50p’s have caused much excitement across the UK and we can see why they’re so popular.
Collectors all over the country are checking their change right now in an attempt to find the Peter Rabbit 50p coin and are sure to do the same when the other coins in the series are released into circulation.
But the more collectors hoard these coins, the less likely you are to find one in circulation – some are selling online for 40 times their face value!
What makes these 50p coins so special?
The unique theme of this collection has been the key to its undeniable success.
Struck by The Royal Mint, this series of Beatrix Potter 50p’s celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth. Designed by Emma Noble, these coins celebrate Beatrix Potter as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature as well as some of the animals from her children’s tales.
Will these 50p’s disappear from circulation completely?
As the rest of the collection unfolds we will welcome three more familiar faces, Jemima-Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, who will appear on UK coins later in the year to complete this five piece series.
As the coins are so popular, we predict it won’t be long until they completely disappear from circulation.
We think every coin in the Beatrix Potter fifty pence series will be snapped up and will stay safely tucked away in the collections of Change Checkers all over the UK.
So if you do find one, make sure you keep it safe – a 50p Collecting revolution could be about to start!