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 >>
The details of the new UK £5 Coin to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday next year have been revealed.
The Royal Mint has now unveiled next year’s £5 coin, but in fact the official Royal Proclamation published in the London Gazette in October also provided collectors with clear design details.
“Full of honour and years”
The new coin will feature a crowned Royal Cypher above the number 90, surrounded by roses.
The precious metal versions of the coin (which will apparently be available in Gold, Silver and Platinum) will also feature the edge lettering “FULL OF HONOUR AND YEARS”.
There is a precedent for celebrating the Queen’s birthday milestones, with £5 coins issued in both 1996 and 2006 to mark her 70th and 80th birthdays.
The new 2016 90th birthday £5 coin is the next in this special series, and will be eagerly anticipated by UK coin collectors.
Sadly though, it seems unlikely that the Royal Mint will mark the Queen’s Birthday with a return to making the £5 coin available to collectors for face value.
This 2015 First World War Anniversary Coin has been officially postmarked by Royal Mail on Remembrance Day; 11/11/2015 and has an edition limit of just 500.
Click here for more details
On 9th September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II will officially become Britain’s longest ever reigning monarch as she passes the current record of 23,226 days held by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. Over the years, there have been a number of coins to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II and the various milestones she has celebrated on the throne.
But which of these designs is your favourite?
Have your say in our poll at the bottom of the page…
A) 1953 Coronation Crown
The 1953 Coronation Crown was the very first commemorative coin of the Queen’s reign. It features an unorthodox obverse portrait of the Queen riding on horseback and her crowned monogram on either side. The Queen’s name and titles are recited in full, and the edge inscription reads ‘Faith and Truth I will Bear Unto You’ which is taken from the Coronation Oath.
B) 1993 Coronation 40th Anniversary £5
This £5 was issued in 1993 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. The reverse of the coin features the St Edward’s Crown worn during the ceremony in 1953 at the heart of the design. Circulating the crown are 40 trumpets in recognition of the 40th anniversary year, and the same excerpt taken from the Coronation Oath; Faith and Truth I Will Bear Unto You.
C) 2003 Coronation 50th Anniversary £5
The £5 coin issued in 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coronation is one of the most unconventional designs ever issued. The central motif on the reverse of the coin was designed by Tom Phillips and reads “God Save the Queen”. His choice of contemporary style lettering is unusual for a UK coin, and covers the entire reverse – making it instantly recognisable.
D) 2013 Coronation 60th Anniversary £5
The most recent Queen Elizabeth II commemorative £5 coin was issued in 2013 to mark the Coronation Diamond Jubilee. The reverse design by Emma Noble is a simple one, with the Imperial State Crown worn by Her Majesty after the coronation ceremony featuring prominently in superb detail. It is accompanied by the words “To Reign and Serve; A Vow Made Good”.