statesman Sir Winston Churchill is the subject of the Royal Mint’s
third silver “£20-for-£20” coin.
Royal Mint was scheduled to hold a special striking ceremony on Jan.
15, with Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill,
accompanied by his son, John Winston Churchill, visiting the Royal
Mint to strike the £20 coin.
Britain’s prime minister, and renowned the world over for his
unyielding leadership and formidable character, Churchill is regularly
voted as the “Greatest Briton” in public polls.
reverse of the Churchill £20 coin was designed by figurative sculptor
Etienne Millner, who took his inspiration from a celebrated photograph
of Churchill captured by Yousuf Karsh in 1941.
coin bears the current Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II
on its obverse.
coin marks 50 years since the death of Churchill in 1965, when the
Royal Mint first produced a commemorative coin in his honor. The new
2015 coin joins a circulating commemorative £5 coin already issued in 2015.
MORE: Coin World reports on other 2015 Churchill coins
first £20-for-£20 coin, bearing Pistrucci’s classic St. George and the
dragon design, sold out rapidly after its release in 2013. Its
successor was released in 2014 to mark the centenary of the outbreak
of World War I and remains available.
Bissett, the Royal Mint’s director of Commemorative Coin, Bullion and
Medals said, in a press release: “Sir Winston Churchill holds a
significant place in Britain’s history as a great leader, soldier,
artist and writer, not only acting as Prime Minister on two occasions
but also leading the country twice through the dark days of war. His
image, reputation and legacy are instantly recognisable all over the
world, therefore it is only fitting that he takes pride of place on
The Royal Mint’s third £20 for £20 coin.”
Millner is a
leading figurative sculptor, creating works in clay and plaster that
are later cast in bronze. A fellow of the Royal British Society of
Sculptors and vice president of the Society of Portrait Sculptors,
much of his work is portraiture, often life-sized or larger. Etienne’s
subjects include politicians, artists, writers and many personal
commissions. Millner’s latest work includes a queen’s Diamond Jubilee
life size sculpture commissioned by the Leathersellers’ Company.
is his first commission for the Royal Mint and it provided an
enjoyable challenge, he said, in a press release.
work is normally very free, and while I achieve a good likeness to the
subject my portraits are not entirely literal. Working within the
confines of a coin’s size and relief took some practice and for
Churchill I could only work with photographs instead of a sitting. I
turned to the famous portrait taken by Yousuf Karsh in 1941, however,
the picture is dark and I had to turn to other lighter prints for some
of the fine details. Working with the coin’s relief forced me to
simplify and emphasise the strongest features, all helping to achieve
the likeness of such a familiar figure.”
Brilliant Uncirculated .999 fine silver £20 coin weighs 15.71 grams
and measures 27 millimeters in diameter.
coin has a mintage limit of 200,000 pieces, which differs from the
limits for the two earlier £20 coins in the series. The first coin had
a mintage of 250,000 pieces, and the second coin was limited to
Coin World's earlier story about £20-for-£20 coins
more information about the new Churchill silver £20 coin, visit the
Royal Mint website.