Every year The Royal Mint mark the year’s memorable events and anniversaries that capture the nation by striking these stories onto circulating coins, and 2019 is no different.
Today, The Royal Mint have unveiled the new themes and designs for all the 2019 commemorative coins, and Change Checkers can look forward to some fascinating British anniversaries being commemorated.
50p: The 160th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
As the father of modern crime writing, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legacy lives on 160 years since his birth, thanks to his iconic creation – Britain’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes™.
The classic tales of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson are treasured reads which have led Doyle to become one of the most famous writers in the world.
Reverse designer: Stephen Raw
£2: The 260th anniversary of the formation of Wedgwood
The industrial revolution of the 18th century shaped Britain’s future and brought about great social changes and technological advancements. Josiah Wedgwood created his pottery empire using modern mass production methods, which we still use today.
Reverse designer: Wedgwood Design Team
£2: The 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings
On the 6th of June 1944, the D-Day landings turned the tide of the Second World War. Allied troops landed at five different beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword for the largest amphibious assault ever launched. This gave them a position from which they could advance into Germany and paved the way for victory on the Western Front and the liberation of Europe.
Reverse designer: Stephen Taylor
£2: The 350th anniversary of Samuel Pepy’s last diary entry
Samuel Pepy’s diary entries provide detailed and personal observations from some of Britain’s most significant moments in history, such as the Restoration, the Plague and the Great Fire of London. His diary has been essential for understanding these events and their impact on people at the time and give invaluable first-hand insights.
Reverse designer: Gary Breeze
£5: The 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria
At her birth in 1819, no one knew that Queen Victoria’s reign would span the rest of the century and make her one Britain’s most famous rulers. She came to the throne aged just 18 years old, at a time when Britain’s Empire was growing and becoming the world’s pre-eminent superpower in an era of unrivalled peace and prosperity.
Reverse designer: John Bergdahl
The announcement of the year’s coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.
And now we can now start looking forward to finding these new designs in our change throughout the year!
Own the 2019 Commemorative Coin Set
If you can’t wait to find these coins in your change, be one of the first to own the complete set!
Only weeks since it was confirmed that a new £2 coin featuring Britannia will be issued later this year, we have more exciting news that another £2 coin is just around the corner.
Prior to release, any new UK coin specification is always announced by Royal Proclamation in the London Gazette, and their latest update has confirmed the unexpected new arrival.
But this is not going to be any ordinary £2 coin…
In fact this coin is unprecedented.
Although it will be legal tender and have a conventional denomination, it will be 38.6mm in diameter and struck in fine silver. Crucially, it will also be the UK’s first coin to be struck with a weight of 1.5 ounces.
It will be a £2 coin which is far removed from the bi-metallic versions which we know so well.
But of course, a £2 coin with a crown-sized diameter and purity of .999 fine silver is nothing new to collectors. After all, the Silver Britannia has been issued every year since 1997 with exactly those specifications.
The key difference with this new coin is its unusual weight. A 1.5 oz coin with the diameter of a £5 coin means we can expect this new coin to be approximately 1.5 times thicker than a normal commemorative £5 coin.
A traditional design
As worded in the Gazette, the reverse design of this new Silver coin will feature;
“three Lions passant guardant, being that quartering of Our Royal Arms”
In other words, the section of the Royal Arms Shield which appears on standard issue UK £1 coins – pictured here.
So the question is – why is this new commemorative £2 coin being issued?
A brand new coin specification is normally reserved for only the most significant of occasions. The Royal Baby is due in April so could it be in anticipation of the latest addition to the Royal family?
We will find out in due course, but for now we can only speculate and your guess is as good as ours!
The Royal Mint has confirmed that they will be issuing a commemorative coin for the new Royal Baby, but it will have a £5 denomination.
So the mystery remains as to why and when this new 1.5 oz silver coin will be released…
Today at the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Mint unveiled the new definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II which will appear on our circulating coinage this year. It is only the fifth portrait to appear on our coins in the Queen’s 62-year reign, and as far as collectors are concerned, events don’t come much bigger than this.
The portrait, showing a side profile of the Queen wearing a crown and drop earrings, was created by designer Jody Clark and is the winning entry of a closed competition launched by the Royal Mint late last year. Aged 33 when his design was selected, he is the youngest of the five designers to have created a portrait for Queen Elizabeth II.
Clark’s new effigy marks a brand new chapter in the history of our circulating coinage, and as any collector will tell you, first issues hold a significance and a lasting degree of collectability for years into the future.
We will see the new coins in our change over the coming weeks and months as they begin filtering through the cash centres and banks to begin with. You can be sure that many of these will be going straight into collections as Change Checkers seek to grab them in their freshly struck condition.
What do you think of the new portrait?
Now you can collect all eight definitive coins featuring the Queen’s new effigy as soon as you spot them in your change.
Click here to order your New Portrait Collecting Pack