In fact, the Lion of England design was first revealed in 2016 but appeared to be released solely for use with gold and silver bullion coins. However, the design by Jody Clark (the man behind the current Queen’s effigy) met such popular acclaim that the Royal Mint has now confirmed its release in brilliant uncirculated base-metal.
Unprecedented in the modern era
The use of a bullion coin design on a base-metal coin is unprecedented in the modern era, often meaning that some of the UK’s very best coin designs, used on Britannia and Sovereign coins, have simply been too expensive for change collectors to own.
In fact, it is only Pistrucci’s St. George and the Dragon that has ever appeared on a base metal coin, under George VI in 1951, notably at a time when the Sovereign was not even being issued as a bullion coin.
More base metal issues to look forward to
So does this mean that we can expect to see Pistrucci’s St. George and the Dragon and the latest Gold and Silver Britannia Coin designs available in base metal?
Sadly, I think not. But there is some good news for collectors who love Jody Clark’s Lion design.
The Royal Mint has also revealed an accompanying Unicorn of Scotland £5 coin, enabling collectors to own both “supporters” of the Royal Coat of Arms.
Will there be eight more coins to collect?
Whilst the Unicorn of Scotland coin is yet to be released in Silver and Gold it is ear-marked to be part of a continued series of Silver, Gold and Platinum Bullion coins to be issued over 5 years. The set is inspired by the Queen’s Coronation Beasts that lined the entrance to Westminster Abbey for her coronation in 1953.
Currently there is no final confirmation from the Mint, but it seems likely the remaining eight coins will follow in brilliant uncirculated base-metal over the coming 4 years- a definite highlight for base metal collectors. And if the popularity of the precious metal coins is anything to go by, this latest release will be a guaranteed winner with base metal collectors too.
The new Lion of England and Unicorn of Scotland £5 Coins are available to order today in certified Brilliant Uncirculated Condition- CLICK HERE
What coin is changing, and when?
The Royal Mint is issuing a 12-sided £1 coin resembling the old three-penny bit which will enter circulation in March, 2017.
At the moment there are no other plans to change any other circulating coins but Her Majesty’s Treasury and The Royal Mint keep the specifications and denominational mix of UK circulating coins under continual review.
How will the new coin change?
The new £1 coin will feature 12 sides and is billed to become the most secure circulating coin in the world.
They will feature added security features including:
- 12 sides – A non-round design makes it harder to copy, and is already used in our 50p and 20p coins, as well as in coins abroad.
- Two metals – The outside will be nickel-brass, and the inside nickel-plated solid alloy. The Government believes this combination of two metals PLUS 12 sides will be the killer security feature.
- Hidden messages – The nickel plating is especially designed to be hard for forgers to remove and iSIS plated coins can include secret electromagnetic signatures.
- A bigger diameter – The new £1 will be just slightly bigger, at 23.43mm from point to point. The 12 sides means its diameter will also be uneven.
- Milled edges – The new £1 coin will have milled edges – grooves in the side of the coin as well as an edge inscription.
- Secret Images – Known as latent images, these are pictures etched into the metal that only become visible when tipped in the light.
What size will the new pound coin be?
The current round £1 coin is 22.5mm in diameter. The new 12-sided £1 coin will be just slightly bigger, at 23.43mm from point to point. The 12 sides means its diameter will also be uneven.
What design will appear on the new coin?
The 12-sided £1 coin will feature a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from a royal coronet.
The coin has been designed by schoolboy David Pearce which was picked after a public competition and has been adapted by professional artist David Lawrence.
What will happen to my old £1 coin?
The round pound coins will start to be withdrawn from circulation as the 12-sided coins are introduced. Following the six-month co-circulation period, legal tender status of the existing £1 will be withdrawn.
What happens if I still have old pound coins after legal tender status has been withdrawn?
After the six month co-circulation period, round £1 coins will no longer be able to be used as payment and will cease to be legal tender.
Will I be able to use the coin in the same way?
Yes. The 12-sided pound coins can be used in the same way as the current pounds. For example, they will be available from banks and can be used in self-service checkout tills and parking payment machines. Rigorous rolling tests have been carried out to ensure they will work in vending machines.
Why bother changing it?
One Pound coins were first issued in 1983, but one in every thirty £1 coins is now a fake. These forgeries cost the Government £2million every year.
The new 12-sided £1 coin will be an ultra-secure replacement which will be harder for forgers to copy. They will also last 5 years longer than the current round pound coins.
Will they be collectable?
Like any new issues, collectors will be keen to own the very first design of any new coin. Pound coins with the 2017 date are likely to be more sought after – especially in good condition or uncirculated.
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.
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.
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.
You can reserve one of these new £5 coins today – simply click here to secure your UK Longest Reigning Monarch £5 now.