Not only is our Queen now the longest reigning monarch in British history, but today she is celebrating her 90th Birthday – the only British sovereign to reach this milestone.
As you can imagine this is a significant event for collectors so we’ve put together a timeline of the most significant moments in history while looking through some of the coins that have adorned Her Majesty’s portraits through the years.
Elizabeth immediately became Queen after her father King George VI passed away. Her Coronation was delayed for 16 months because of a traditional period of mourning that follows the death of a Monarch. The first commemorative crown of her reign was designed by Gilbert Ledward and captured the hearts of the nation.
The first coins of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign featured the first portrait of Her Majesty by Mary Gillick. The portrait is remembered for reflecting the optimistic mood of the nation and was also used on coinage in many of the commonwealth countries.
In 1965, a crown was released by the Royal Mint which changed everything. This particular Crown is famous for being the first British coin to feature anyone outside the Royal Family – Sir Winston Churchill. Buy the 1965 Churchill Crown here >>
On Decimal Day, the UK and Ireland decimalised their currencies. The new currency system meant that the pound would be divided into units of ten, including half, one, two, five and 50 pence. Add Britain’s ‘First Decimal Coins’ Pack to your collection >>
The marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip Mountbatten took place on the 20th November 1947 and in 1972, the couple celebrated 25 years together. The Royal Mint issued the first British coin to have a face value of 25p to mark their 25th Wedding Anniversary.
The thirteenth Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986 which saw the striking of the very first commemorative £2 coin. Not only that, it was the first coin to commemorate a sport.
The very first bi-metallic coin was issued in 1997 – one year prior to the portrait change. This coin is the one and only year that Raphael Maklouf’s portrait appears on the bi-metallic £2 coin. His portrait features Queen Elizabeth II wearing a necklace, which earned the coin its unique status and nickname in the collecting world, the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2.
2011 saw the introduction of a new design for the 1oz Silver Britannia who has a long standing history with British coinage. The coin features the 4th portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley which is regarded as being a realistic and mature representation of the Queen.
In 2015, British History was made as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated an incredible Royal milestone, becoming our longest reigning monarch. This remarkable £20 coin was issued in celebration and features all 5 portraits of Her Majesty. The obverse features the fifth portrait of Her Majesty as 2015 was the first year that the Jody Clark portrait was used on UK coinage.
To celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II a selection of brand new commemorative coins has been issued. Designed by Christopher Hobbs, the coin depicts nine roses – one for each decade of her life as well as the controversial ’90’ in the centre.
2016 is already proving to be a significant year for collectors and the 90th Birthday celebrations are no exception. The coins that have appeared throughout Her Majesty’s reign have proved to be very popular over the years and we’re sure the 90th Birthday commemorative coins will be favourites among collectors in years to come.
You can now own your own piece of numismatic history
Today you can reserve the brand new United Kingdom 90th Birthday Brilliant Uncirculated £5 alongside a set of the 2016 Brilliant Uncirculated Royal shield of Arms coins, brought together and officially postmarked by Royal Mail with Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday date – 21st April 2016.
This set will forever mark the exact date that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reached another remarkable milestone and turned 90. Reserve the ’90 Glorious Years’ DateStamp™ Set now >>