Does the UK now have a new Five Guinea coin?

UK Longest Reigning Monarch £5 Coin

The new UK Longest Reigning Monarch £5 coin – not the wording ‘One Crown’ on the reverse

Does the UK now have a new Five Guinea Coin? That’s the question collectors have been asking since the Royal Mint’s revelation this morning of a brand new and very unusual £5 coin to commemorate the Queen’s historic milestone as Britain’s longest ever reigning monarch.

Both sides of the coin feature new commemorative designs, with a new effigy of Her Majesty on the obverse and the Coronation Crown she wore in 1953 as the principal focus of the reverse.

Double commemorative designs like this are not unusual for the £5 coin – for example, the recent 2012 Diamond Jubilee £5 Coin.

But what has surprised and confused collectors is an apparent double denomination which is unprecedented on a British coin.

Longest Reigning Monarch Fiver Pounds detail

Detail of the apparent double denomination – ‘One Crown’

The usual denomination ‘Five Pounds’ appears alongside the Queen’s portrait as it has done since the very first £5 coin in 1990. The unexpected addition is the wording ‘One Crown’ on the reverse.

Return of the Crown

The Crown denomination was first introduced in the 16th century during the reign of Henry VIII, and had a value of Five Shillings. It retained that value right up until decimalisation in 1971 when it was re-tariffed to its new decimal equivalent of 25 pence.

A total of four ’25 pence’ coins were issued between 1972 and 1981 although interestingly the new decimal denomination was never actually used on the coins and they have always been known as ‘Crowns’ owing to their identical size.

In fact historically, the denomination ‘Crown’ has very rarely appeared on the coin itself, and the words ‘One Crown’ never have, which adds even more confusion over its inclusion in the Royal Mint’s latest issue.

The Guinea was last struck in 1813, although it's denomination of £1 and 5 shillings is still recognised today in farmers markets and at the races.

The Guinea was last struck in 1813 but its denomination of £1 and 5 pence is still recognised today in livestock markets and at the races.

Whilst the new coin has an official face value of £5, the extra “One Crown” wording suggests a total face value of £5.25 – the equivalent of 5 Guineas.  So perhaps the new Longest Reigning Monarch Coin will become known to collectors as Britain’s New 5 Guinea Coin?

At the moment, all we can be sure of is that the unusual nature of this coin means it will be a numismatic curiosity for many years to come.


UK Longest Reigning Monarch £5 Coin packIf you’re interested…

You can reserve one of these new £5 coins today – simply click here to secure your UK Longest Reigning Monarch £5 now.

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7 Responses to Does the UK now have a new Five Guinea coin?

  1. David says:

    This isn’t the first British coin to have two values on it! 1804 Bank of England dollar also had five shillings on it!

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  2. Dave Crane says:

    I trust there’ll also be a £5 for £5 offer on these? although usually Changechecker tends to keep these secret from existing customers and only advertises them in magazines and newspapers … which I find very underhand, as all Changechecker offers me in their e-mails are the other more expensive versions of the same thing.

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  3. Dave Crane says:

    More likely that the Royal Mint has decided to allocate the “One Crown” denomination to the £5 coin.
    Certainly the earlier 25p coins were always called Crowns, and when they stopped being made, they were directly replaced by the £5 coins, which are often called crowns by people selling them due to the similar size and weight.

    I doubt very much if the Royal Mint intends them to be of a 5 Guinea denomination – it’s just a re-use of the name Crown – now meaning £5.

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  4. Eric Smith says:

    Surely the ‘one crown’ means there has only been one monarch during that period?

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    • Robin Parkes says:

      Not sure – the Queen has worn a lot of different crowns during her reign! I’ve had a search and can’t find any mention of ‘one crown’ as a unifying theme in any of her speeches. But you may well be right! Thanks, Robin.

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