Will there be a new obverse designer?
In the last century, there have been 7 different designers who have created effigies of monarchs to feature on UK and Commonwealth coin obverses.
We can speculate whether current designer Jody Clark will be commissioned to create the portrait of His Majesty.
Let’s look back in history at how often obverse designers have changed…
Sir Bertram MacKennal
Sir Bertram MacKennal was an Australian designer who created the effigy of King George V. He was the first Australian artists to be knighted.
(Thomas) Humphrey Paget
Humphrey Paget designed the effigy for King Edward VIII, however due to his short reign and abdication, Paget’s designs never reached the minting stage. Some trial pieces did find their way out of the mint for testing purposes, and these are thought to be some of the most rare and collectible pieces of all sterling coinage.
Mary Gillick was the first artist to design a Queen Elizabeth II portrait. Her portrait shows the Queen uncrowned and was the last to be used on pre-decimal coinage.
As well as designing UK coinage, Arnold Machin’s designs were also used on coins in Rhodesia in 1964, Canada between 1965-1889, Australia between 1966-1984 and New Zealand in 1967-1985.
Maklouf created the ‘Third Portrait’ of Queen Elizabeth II after Arnold Machin’s design became outdated.
Ian Rank-Broadley won The Royal Mint competition to design a new Queen Elizabeth II effigy in 1997, making him the designer of the ‘Forth Portrait’.
In 2015, Jody Clark’s submission to a design competition was chosen to become the fifth coin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
At 33 years old, he was the youngest designer to have designed a portrait for British coinage.
He was also the first designer to use computer-aided design software when creating his portrait.
But will the first portrait of King Charles III be designed by Jody Clark, or will we see a new designer step into the spotlight? Only time will tell…
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