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Platinum Jubilee: a history of Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee coins

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This year Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years of reigning the monarch - a royal family first!

The Queen officially made history with this exceptional achievement on 6 February and to celebrate there are many events, public ceremonies, street parties, a four day weekend (thank you, Your Majesty!), a Platinum Jubilee medal awarded to public service workers, and a new commemoration coin!

A tradition that started when the Queen acceded the throne in her Coronation, the Royal Mint issued a commemoration coin and has now become an ongoing element to the Queen’s impressive Jubilees.

We’re stepping back in history to look at the previous commemorative coins issued, from coronation to this year’s Platinum Jubilee.

1953 - Queen Elizabeth II 5 Shilling, Commemorative Crown

This is the first commerative coin to celebrate the Queen and was released to mark her Coronation in 1953 and paved the way for future jubilee coin designs.

The coin was issued by Royal Mint and the coin’s value was five shillings! The edge of the coin had a quote from the coronation oath reading, ‘Faith and Truth I will Bear unto You’. A portrait was engraved on the coin of the Queen mounted on her horse, Winston, and was designed by the sculptor and engraver Gilbert Ledward RA.

1977 - Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Silver Proof Crown

The Silver Jubilee was to celebrate 25 years of the Queen’s reign. This coin featured a portrait of the Queen by sculptor and designer of the Queen’s UK stamps, Arnold Machin.

Similarly to the coronation coin, the obverse of the Silver Jubilee crown features a portrait of the Queen riding horseback. The reverse of the coin shows elements of the Coronation ceremony with the crown, the ampulla and the anointing spoon all surrounded by a floral garland, this particular crown is the only one in British history that doesn’t feature an inscription or date!

2002 - Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Silver Proof Crown

In 2002, the Queen had a crown issued with the value of £5 to mark her 50th year on the throne.

This coin was designed and sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley, who created the fourth portrait of the Queen that is featured on the obverse of coins circulating the UK. This portrait of the Queen was different as it was a bust of Her Majesty looking over her shoulder. On the opposite side of the coin the portrait tips its hat to the previous Silver Jubilee crown of Queen Elizabeth equestrian.

2012 - Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee UK Crown

Six decades years on the throne was only ever reached at this point by one other monarch, Queen Victoria in 1897.

This was a momentous occasion and to mark its significance the Royal Mint issued a special £5 coin, the first ever Diamond Jubilee coin (one was never made for Queen Victoria). Commissioned again by Ian Rank-Broadley, the obverse of the coin was inspired by the sculpture at the entrance of the Supreme Court building in Parliament Square. The Queen is wearing robes of the Order of the Garter and her crown, of course! This portrait of the Queen was taken as she was in 2012. The reverse design shows a portrait of a younger Queen Elizabeth inspired by Mary Gillick’s first portrait that featured on the obverse of the UK coins in 1953.

2017 - Queen Elizabeth II Sapphire Jubilee £5 coin

To celebrate 65 years on the throne in 2017, marking history as the first British Monarch to reign this length of time, a £5 coin was issued.

This design was fully approved by the Queen herself and was issued to celebrate 65 years of ‘loyalty and affection’. The commemorative piece was designed by Michael Guilfoyle and to shine a light on the Queen’s Coronation it features the sovereign’s cross sceptres with the number ‘65’ and an inset of a crystal to represent a blue sapphire. The inscription engraved around the edge is taken from Her Majesty’s Coronation speech and reads ‘shine through the ages’. Only 8,000 of these coins were distributed.

2022 - Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 50p coin

Finally in our history lesson on Jubilee coins we have reached the commerative coin for the talk of Monarch history. To celebrate an impressive, historic and significant moment in British history, the first monarch on the throne for 70 years!

For this year’s significant celebration, 1.3 million of the Platinum Jubilee 50p coins were distributed via the Post Office on the 7 February 2022, a coin that has been approved personally by the Queen. This is the first commemorative coin to be issued on a 50p coin and it is said among coin collectors that 50p coins are the most popularly collected.

The platinum design was commissioned by Osborne Ross, which has the number ‘70’ and featuring inside of the zero the Royal Cypher and the dates of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The opposite side of the coin is a portrait of Her Majesty by Jody Clark, the fifth definitive portrait of the Queen which is on all UK coins.

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