Today marks the day that the Royal Mint uncover the fifth coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, which will soon take pride of place on United Kingdom coins. Since the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, there have been a very small number of portraits appearing on the circulating coins, making this an extremely rare event. This coin is designed by Jody Clark, the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a definitive royal coinage portrait in over 100 years. Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, said: “This change of royal portrait will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and it will be hugely exciting for us all to see the new design appear on the coins we use every day.”
“Jody’s achievement is something that we can celebrate as a proud moment for The Royal Mint. Capturing a portrait on the surface of a coin demands the utmost skill, and is one of the most challenging disciplines of the coin designer’s art. The last Royal Mint Engraver to be commissioned to undertake a royal portrait was George William de Saulles, who engraved the portrait of Edward VII which first appeared on the coinage in 1902”
Jody’s elegant portrayal of The Queen, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation, was selected in a closed competition organised by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC), a consultative panel to Her Majesty’s Treasury comprising experts from such fields as history, sculpture, architecture, art and design. A number of specialist designers from across Britain were invited to submit their own interpretations of the Queen’s portrait under anonymous cover, and each one was judged on its merits and suitability before the winning artwork was recommended to the Chancellor and, ultimately, The Queen for approval.
Coins featuring the new effigy go into production as of today, and the public are being urged to keep a watchful eye on their coins later this year when it will start to appear in pockets, purses and piggy banks across the land.