In commemoration of the life and achievements of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a UK £5 coin has just been issued.
Issued shortly after what would have been his 100th birthday and within just three months of his passing, this special tribute to Prince Philip features a portrait created by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS that was personally approved by The Duke of Edinburgh himself.
As Britain’s longest serving Consort – the Queen’s “strength and stay” – and as former President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, it is only fitting that a new UK coin should be issued in his honour.
This new release become the sixth UK coin to feature HRH Prince Philip and in this blog we’ll take a look back at his life as celebrated on £5 coins, as well as the role the Duke played in shaping UK currency.
Prince Philip in Coins
The 1972 Crown issued to mark his Silver Wedding Anniversary was an understated affair. However, in 1997, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Prince Philip featured on a UK coin for the very first time as part of a conjoined effigy on the obverse of the commemorative £5 coin. 2007 saw a similar conjoined portrait before the recent 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary design, which featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on horseback in what can only been seen as a nod to the original 1953 Coronation Crown as well as a third conjoined portrait.
Yet it was in 2011 that Prince Philip was finally granted the greatest privilege – his own £5 Coin to celebrate his 90th Birthday – a splendid close up portrait of the Duke by Mark Richards FRBS. This was followed in 2017, with a design of the young Prince Philip by Humphrey Paget to mark Prince Philip stepping down from public duties after 70 years of service.
First Job – new coin designs
Not only does the Duke feature on a number of UK coins, he also had a hand in the creation of new coins too!
On 21 March 1952, just weeks after the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Philip attended his first meeting as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, medals, seals and decorations (RMAC); a role that he would hold for the next 47 years, until his retirement in 1999.
A keen artist himself, the Prince’s first job was to oversee the selection of the Queen’s portrait to ordain her new coins. An uncrowned Queen was chosen from a field of seventeen designs, giving Nottingham born sculptor, Mary Gillick, the honour of creating the most seen portrait of the new Queen.
Equally importantly, the young Prince oversaw the design of the most important coin of the moment – the Coronation Crown, featuring Gilbert Ledward’s Queen on horseback on the obverse and Edgar Fuller’s reverse design containing the Coats of Arms of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The UK’s biggest ever currency change
Gillick’s design remained on pre-decimal coinage until 1970, when Prince Philip was involved in another huge coinage milestone – the introduction of decimalisation.
The process required a complete redesign of Britain’s coinage as well as an updated effigy of Her Majesty, designed to help the new denominations stand out.
The RMAC selected Royal Academician Arnold Machin to sculpt the Queen, this time wearing a tiara. However, it was the reverse coin designs that were perhaps more significant.
A “monstrous piece of metal”
Under Prince Philip’s presidency, the RMAC started to work in top secret on designs as early as 1962, before there was any official government announcement confirming decimalisation.
The final designs were created by Christopher Ironside and featured heraldic elements of the United Kingdom. But it was the new 50p coin – introduced to replace the 10/- note – that caused the greatest stir, with its unique heptagonal (7-sided) shape.
Now Britain’s most popular coin with collectors, that was certainly not the case on its launch with one newspaper calling it a “monstrous piece of metal” and a retired colonel even starting Anti-Heptagonist movement.
In the 28 years that followed Decimalisation, Prince Philip guided the RMAC through two more effigies, Raphael Maklouf (1985 – 1997) and Ian Rank-Broadly (1998 – 2015), as well as the launch of 20p, £1 and £2 coins into circulation and numerous commemorative issues.
Prince Philip will be remembered for many things – and among them we will remember him as the man who has had more influence over the nation’s coins than any other.
With the release of the new Prince Philip £5, his legacy continues to live on as we celebrate his incredible life and achievements.
Secure your Prince Philip £5 Set today!
Today, you have the opportunity to secure the brand new 2021 UK Prince Philip £5 in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, alongside the 2017 Prince Philip £5 and the 2017 Platinum Wedding £5 coins to make the perfect Prince Philip £5 Set.
Your coins have been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated finish and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve for generations to come.
A real collector’s set, these coins pay a special tribute to the Prince who will forever be remembered as a treasured member of British royal history.
This year, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 95th birthday – making her the first ruling monarch in British history to reach this milestone!
In celebration of this incredible royal event, a UK £5 coin has been issued!
Designed by heraldic artist, Timothy Noad, the coin features the Royal Cypher ‘EIIR’ and the quote, “MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” a nod to part of her 1957 Christmas broadcast, which was the first to be televised.
We also see the date of Her Majesty’s birth and the year 2021, highlighting the remarkable 95th anniversary year.
This coin was first issued as part of the 2021 Annual Coin Set and has already been proving incredibly popular with collectors.
And when you consider the popularity of previous coins celebrating Her Majesty, we’re expecting demand for this coin to be high…
2016 UK Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday £5
To celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II The Royal Mint issued a new commemorative £5 coin.
This coin features a design by Christopher Hobbs, depicting nine roses, inspired by Her Majesty’s love of flowers – one for each decade of Her Majesty’s life.
You’ll notice the flowers in the wreath are each different to the next one. As this was such a personal occasion, Hobbs chose to move away from heraldic flowers and to use a more natural floral image instead.
The obverse features the fifth portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, designed by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark.
Excitingly for collectors, Change Checker has a limited number of Official 2016 UK Queen’s 90th Birthday £5 BU packs remaining. To secure yours for JUST £30.00 (+p&p) click here >>
2006 UK Queen Elizabeth II 80th Birthday £5
This coin was issued in 2006 to commemorate Her Majesty’s 80th birthday. The reverse design by Danuta Solowiej-Wedderburn features three trumpeters with trumpet banners accompanied by the inscription Vivat Regina (long live the Queen) and the anniversary dates.
This £5 coin is the fourth rarest £5 (as of the latest mintage update in 2013) and it is incredibly popular with collectors!
Change Checker has very limited stock remaining of this coin. To secure one for your collection, click here >>
2012 UK Diamond Jubilee £5
In 2012, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee having reached 50 years on the throne.
This is the first coin ever struck to commemorate a Diamond Jubilee – there were no special coins for Queen Victoria’s in 1897. The obverse features 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).
If you don’t have this coin in your collection yet, Change Checker has strictly limited stock remaining. Secure yours here >>
2002 UK 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.
1993 UK 40th Anniversary of the Coronation £5
This £5 coin was issued to mark 40 years since the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
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.
Change Checker has limited stock remaining of this coin. Secure one for your collection here >>
Vote for your favourite!
In celebration of the release of the brand new 2021 UK Queen Elizabeth II 95th Birthday £5, we want you to vote for your favourite coin commemorating Her Majesty.
Have your say:
Results will be revealed next Monday!
Secure the 2021 UK Queen Elizabeth II 95th Birthday £5
Your coin will come in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality presented in official Change Checker packaging.
It’s common knowledge among Change Checkers that The Royal Mint strikes all the coins in the United Kingdom – and has done for centuries.
But what may come as a surprise to many collectors is The Royal Mint has historically struck coins for a variety of countries around the world!
Currently, outside of the UK, The Royal Mint provides services for over 60 different countries, including New Zealand and many Caribbean nations.
In the past, The Royal Mint has struck coins for North and South America, Africa and the Middle East!
In this blog, we take a look at our Top Five most interesting world coins struck by our very own UK Royal Mint and the stories behind them.
“From Norway to New Zealand, from Bermuda to Brunei, coins have been struck at The Royal Mint for countries all over the world.”
– The Royal Mint Museum
New Brunswick 1861 Half-Cent
Across the 18th and 19th centuries The Royal Mint, which was then based in London, minted several coins for North American states and the Caribbean.
Interestingly, in 1861 a half-cent coin, made of bronze, was minted for New Brunswick. More than 200,000 of these half-cent coins were struck, even though the denomination wasn’t actually needed.
It is said these coins were struck as a misunderstanding at The Royal Mint (that’s quite a misunderstanding!) and the majority of these were melted down. However, there has been reports that a lucky few coins have survived!
Norway 1942 25 Aurar
Many Change Checkers might be familiar with some of the coins struck by the UK Royal Mint throughout the Second World after reading our blog featuring coins struck in the UK for Iceland.
In addition to this a coinage was undertaken in the Second World War for the Norwegian government in anticipation of the country’s liberation from occupying forces.
Made out of Nickel-Brass and shipped to Norway ready for their liberation, this could have been one of the most exciting Norwegian coins in circulation.
However, the coin was never issued and the large majority of these were returned to The Royal Mint a few years later and melted down.
Nigeria 1959 Shilling
This Nigerian Shilling was made out of Cupro-Nickel, the same composition we are familiar with on modern United Kingdom 50 pence coins.
With an order of more than 1,000 million pieces for this new, distinctive Nigerian coinage, this is by far the largest international coin order The Royal Mint had ever received – quite the honour!
Hong Kong 1863 Mil
Introduced in 1863, the Hong Kong Mils were the first-ever perforated coins to be produced at The Royal Mint.
Perforated coins usually refer to coins which have a hole punched through the middle.
To date, although The Royal Mint have produced this style of coins for several other nations including East Africa, the United Kingdom has never had a perforated coin in their tender.
Australia 1951 Penny
Demand for Australian coinage in 1951 exceeded the capacity of the Brand Mints in Melbourne and Perth, and so the UK Royal Mint was approached for assistance.
Interestingly, the Australian coinage pieces struck in London are distinguishable by the addition of the tiny letters ‘PL’ which recalls a mintmark used by the UK Mint in Roman times.
So, there we have it! Our Top Five most interesting coins struck by the UK Royal Mint for countries around the world!
These coins tell quite the story of The Royal Mint’s long and important history in world coinage.
If you have any exciting coins from around the world or stories you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below!
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app