The Royal Mint has today released a brand new UK £5 coin that celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts.
The coin is available as a Silver Proof UK coin as standard, but The Royal Mint have also made another version. This version has been struck to base metal specifications and has initially been made exclusive to Change Checkers.
The reverse of this £5 has been designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield RA, and features the mid-19th century frontage of the famous Burlington House of the Royal Academy, with ornate sculptures on the roof.
What’s more, a mintage of just 12,000 has been set, making this the rarest base metal UK £5 coin ever!
The other £5 coins that make up the top 3 are The Queen Anne £5 coin that commemorates the 300th Anniversary of the death of Queen Anne – the first queen of Great Britain who left behind political stability and prosperity. Just 12,181 of these coins were struck in Brilliant Uncirculated presentation packs which made it the rarest UK £5 coin ever…until now!
The Prince Philip £5 coin, the third rarest with a mintage of 18,730, is extremely sought after by collectors and is virtually impossible to get hold of on the secondary market. In fact, sold listings on eBay show that the Prince Philip £5 coin regularly fetches in excess of £50!
Remember, when it comes to collecting, there is one fact which is always inevitable –the rarest coins are always in highest demand.
The Royal Academy of Arts
Founded through a personal act of King George III on 10 December 1768, The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in London.
It has a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects; its purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.
The Royal Academy does not receive financial support from the state or the Crown. Its income is from exhibitions, trust and endowment funds, receipts from its trading activities, and from the subscriptions of its Friends and corporate members.
It also gains funds by sponsorship from commercial and industrial companies, in which the Academy was one of the pioneers.
2018 UK Royal Academy of Arts BU £5
This brand new £5 has been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality and has initially been made exclusively available to Change Checkers.
What’s more, an edition limit of just 12,000 has been set, making this the rarest base metal UK £5 coin ever!
Every year The Royal Mint mark the year’s memorable events and anniversaries that capture the nation’s striking stories on circulating coins, and 2018 is no different.
Today The Royal Mint have unveiled the new themes and designs for all the 2018 commemorative coins, and Change Checkers can look forward to some very significant British anniversaries being commemorated.
£5: The Fifth Birthday of HRH Prince George of Cambridge
This £5 coin marks the His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge’s 5th birthday
£2: The 200th Anniversary of the Publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
This £2 coin pays tribute to author Mary Shelley, who, 200 years ago, created an enduring nightmare through her novel Frankenstein, hailed as the first science fiction novel.
£2: The 100th Anniversary of the First World War Armistice
The Armistice of 1918, the first step towards ending the horrors of the First World War, is marked by this £2 coin.
£2: The 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force
This £2 coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force and its inspirational role in protecting the skies above Britain.
50p: The 100th Anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918
This 50p coin celebrates 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, hailed as a landmark for democracy.
The announcement of the year’s coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.
And now we can now start looking forward to finding these new designs in our change throughout the year!
The 2018 Change Checker Commemorative Coin Set
This year The Royal Mint revealed a series of brand new base metal UK £5 coins featuring an intriguing range of creatures called the ‘Queen’s Beasts’.
The release soon captured collector’s attention as the use of a bullion coin design on a base metal coin was unprecedented.
However, the choice of designs is equally fascinating and I decided to explore the history of these beasts and find out exactly why they were chosen to feature on our new £5 coins.
Why “The Queen’s Beasts”?
Over 400 years ago Henry VIII commissioned the sculpting of 10 heraldic animal statues. They were produced to represent the ancestry of King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. These became known as “The King’s Beasts” and can still be seen to this day, guarding the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace.
In 1952, in preparation for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, sculptor Sir James Woodford was tasked to create ten new statues, similar to “The King’s Beasts” but more suited to the Queen. Woodford was instructed not to produce exact replicas to those at Hampton Court Palace as some of them would have had little connection with Her Majesty’s own family or ancestry.
As the Queen arrived for her coronation at Westminster Abbey, she was greeted by 10 six-foot tall beasts each representing a different part of her genealogy and thus “The Queen’s Beasts” were born.
The 10 beasts were made up of ‘The Lion of England’, ‘The White Greyhound of Richmond’, ‘The Yale of Beaufort’, ‘The Red Dragon of Wales’, ‘The White Horse of Hanover’, ‘The White Lion of Mortimer’, ‘The Unicorn of Scotland’, ‘The Griffin of Edward III’, ‘The Black Bull of Clarence’ and ‘The Falcon of the Plantagenets’.
After the coronation, the beasts were offered to Canada as a gift. The Canadian government accepted and the beasts can still be seen today on display in the Canadian Museum of History.
The Queen’s Beasts in modern culture
Still to this day, the Queen’s Beasts play a hugely important part in British culture, in particular The Lion of England and The Unicorn of Scotland.
For example, they feature in the logos of some of our country’s most famous and important institutions, most notably The Royal Arms, 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
Now that you know about the history of these heraldic creatures, take a look around and you’ll be surprised how often you see them being used in everyday life.
2018 Red Dragon of Wales CERTIFIED BU £5 coin
The 2018 Red Dragon of Wales £5 coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated condition, ensuring it is perfect for you to add to your collection. It will also come protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve for generations to come.