The Royal Mint’s newest bullion coin is a real beast.
The Royal Mint on March 29 unveiled a new series of gold and silver bullion coins depicting “The Queen’s Beasts,” a series of 10 creatures that appear on statues and that have featured in British royal heraldry throughout hundreds of years. The series will be introduced one “beast” at a time, starting with the gallant Lion of England, by British coin designer Jody Clark. The coin also bears Queen Elizabeth II’s fifth portrait, also by Clark.
Head of bullion sales for the Royal Mint, Nick Bowkett, said, in a press release: “The introduction of The Queen’s Beasts series brings an exciting new series of bullion coins to investors around the globe.”
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The program offers the designs in three versions, quarter-ounce and 1-ounce gold coins, and, for the first time ever, a 2-ounce .9999 fine silver coin.
The new coins take their place in the Royal Mint’s bullion range alongside the flagship gold sovereign and gold and silver Britannia bullion coins, as well as the Royal Mint Refinery range of gold and silver bars.
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The silver coin is denominated £5, the quarter-ounce gold coin is denominated £25, and the 1-ounce gold coin bears a £100 denomination. All are .9999 fine and sport a bullion finish.
About the designs
Inspiration for this series has been taken from The Queen’s Beasts sculptures, each standing at about two meters (6 feet, 7 inches) tall, originally created by James Woodford for the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II, held in Westminster Abbey in 1953.
The heraldic creatures symbolized the various strands of royal ancestry brought together in a young woman about to be crowned queen. Each beast, used as a heraldic badge by generations that went before her, was inspired by the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII that still line the bridge over the moat at his Hampton Court Palace. Today, The Queen’s Beasts can be found at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, while Portland stone replicas, also carved by Woodford, watch over Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom.
The Lion of England
The Lion of England is the first of the beasts to be introduced for this new bullion coin series.