The Royal Mint has issued a new £1 coin for 2015 portraying Timothy
Noad’s contemporary reworking of the Royal Arms, in a heraldic
celebration of the United Kingdom.
Featuring Jody Clark’s new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the
obverse, the Royal Arms 2015 United Kingdom £1 coin is currently being
issued in Brilliant Uncirculated, Proof silver, Proof silver Piedfort
and Proof gold editions, while circulating versions will begin popping
up later in 2015.
The Royal Arms has featured on the coinage of the United Kingdom for
centuries, and is an emblem that is trusted and respected all over the
world. Once displayed on the medieval battlefield on shields, banners
and dress, the Royal Coat of Arms has always been — and remains to
this day — a national symbol.
Signifying authority, approval and allegiance, it identifies the
queen in her capacity as head of state and is a well-known motif
displayed in government buildings, in churches and on official documents.
The public can expect to see the new design in their change
beginning in November.
It will be the first new commemorative design on the current £1
circulating coin to feature the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth by the Royal Mint designer Jody Clark.
RELATED: Queen Elizabeth II and the evolution of her coin portraits
It is also significant in that it will be one of the last designs to
appear on the current £1 coin, as a new, highly secure £1 coin will be
released into circulation in 2017.
The Royal Arms explained
The Royal Arms is an ornate emblem with a quartered shield at its
centre, supported on the one side by a crowned English lion and on the
other a Scottish unicorn. Just below sit the rose, thistle and
shamrock representing England, Scotland and Ireland respectively. The
older union with Wales is not usually symbolized here, although more
modern designs add the leek to restore the balance of the home nations.
Beneath the lion and unicorn is the motto of English monarchs – Dieu
et mon droit (which translates to “God and my right”), while around
the shield the insignia of the Order of the Garter display the Order’s
own motto – ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (shame upon him who thinks
evil upon it).
Coin’s design and designer
The reverse of this commemorative £1 coin for 2015 was created by
Timothy Noad, whose floral designs also graced the £1 coins of 2013
The artist has a background in calligraphy, heraldry and
illumination and specializes in working with age-old traditions and
materials. As an Herald Painter (heraldic artist) at Her Majesty’s
College of Arms, and Scribe and Illuminator to Her Majesty’s Crown
Office at the House of Lords, Noad receives multiple commissions each
year which incorporate the Royal Arms device in its traditional form.
This design is especially important and meaningful to the artist he
had always harbored an ambition to create his own interpretation of
the Royal Arms.
Seizing his chance, he looked to the Hanoverian and Victorian
periods for inspiration, and it was on a visit to the Royal Maritime
Museum in Greenwich that he spotted an unusual variant on the Royal
Coat of Arms on the side of a naval drum, dating from Nelson’s time,
giving the supporters (the lion and unicorn) much more prominence than
usual – a design he thought would work well on something as small as a coin.
All of the coins measure 22.5 millimeters in diameter, the same size
as the version placed into circulation.
The BU nickel-brass £1 coin weighs 9.5 grams and has an unlimited mintage.
It comes presented in a colorful folder for £10 each.
The Proof .925 fine silver £1 coin weighs 9.5 grams. A limit of
3,500 pieces are available presented in a black presentation, for
The Piedfort £1 coin weighs 19 grams. A total of 2,000 examples are
available in a black presentation, for £100 each.
The Proof .9167 fine gold £1 coin weighs 19.619 grams. A limit of
500 pieces are available in a black presentation, for £850 each.
To order the coins, visit the Royal Mint website.
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