British coronation coins from Royal Mint prove popular
- Published: May 5, 2023, 4 PM
All eyes turn to London for the coronation of King Charles III on May 6, and the Royal Mint is marking the occasion with a suite of coins.
The array of coinage includes three different new reverse designs, chosen for specific ranges of denominations, metals and sizes.
Coins went on sale April 24, and many sold out rapidly, though base metal versions of several designs remain available as of May 2.
Martin Jennings designed the first official crowned coinage portrait of King Charles III, which appears across all of these new coins marking the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
The effigy of King Charles III for noncommemorative coins was unveiled following his accession late last year and in line with tradition, the king is shown not wearing regalia.
The crowned effigy is reserved specifically for commemorative coins and will be reserved for very special collections moving forwards.
The portrait features the Tudor crown, which was personally selected by the king for the portrait. Although the Tudor crown was destroyed in the 1640s, it is still used heraldically and has been used on previous crowned portraits of kings from the 20th century.
The Tudor crown also features in the king’s cypher.
Jennings also designed the uncrowned portrait that debuted last fall.
His work on this new crowned effigy was a delight, he said: “Each detail of the crown has to be scrupulously correct so it has taken considerable work to get it right.”
The first group of coins using Jennings’s obverse design are 50-penny coins featuring on the reverse an image of architectural details from iconic Westminster Abbey, where the coronation is held.
Royal Mint product designer Natasha Jenkins created this design, her third design chosen for UK coinage since joining the Royal Mint nearly seven years ago.
“I was inspired to feature Westminster Abbey as it plays such an iconic role in the coronation, so I chose to opt for a stylised line drawing of Westminster Abbey that is instantly recognisable with Britain, along with King Charles’ cypher and crown to mark him being crowned as King,” Jenkins said. “I am always aware of finishing touches during the design stage. This is why I chose a linear design, as I knew the negative areas of the design would be polished, and the relief areas would be frosted. This will give the coin a lot of opportunity for light play.”
Five million examples of the 50-penny coin with Jennings’ uncrowned obverse paired with Jenkins’ reverse are set to enter circulation later in 2023.
Four coin options feature this design pairing, and all four measure 27.3 millimeters in diameter.
A Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel version weighs 15.5 grams. It has an unlimited “limited edition presentation” and retails for £11.
The Proof .925 fine silver example weighs 8 grams. Its Limited Edition Presentation of 12,500 pieces sold out at £59.50 each.
The Proof .925 fine silver piedfort version weighs 16 grams. It sold out its Limited Edition Presentation of 3,250 pieces at £110 each.
The Proof .9167 fine gold version weighs 8 grams. It has a Limited Edition Presentation of 500 pieces at £1,220 each, and sold out.
A crown returns on the next group of coins, the £5 piece.
The £5 coin is also known as a crown, as a holdover from the pre-decimal denomination, and it’s only natural that a real crown appears on a crown coin.
Timothy Noad’s design features the regalia, which includes the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove and the St. Edward’s Crown.
This design appears on the reverse of several crown coin options, all of which measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter.
A Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel version weighs 28.28 grams. It has an unlimited “limited edition presentation” and retails for £14.50.
A Proof .925 fine silver version weighs 28.28 grams. It sold out its Limited Edition Presentation of 12,500 pieces at £95 each.
The Proof .925 fine silver piedfort version weighs 56.56 grams. It sold out its Limited Edition Presentation of 3,250 pieces at £180 each.
The Proof .9167 fine gold version weighs 39.94 grams. It has a Limited Edition Presentation of 500 pieces at £2,995 each, and sold out.
The three precious metal versions all feature an edge inscription of • GOD SAVE OUR GRACIOUS KING.
Each of the following coins features the crowned coinage portrait of the king on the obverse and a design by John Bergdahl on the reverse featuring the royal arms.
A Proof 1-ounce .925 fine silver version has a Limited Edition Presentation of 17,500 pieces offered at £99.50 each and remains available at press time May 2.
A Proof 2-ounce version has sold out all 1,000 examples for £190 each.
The Proof 5-ounce silver version sold out 1,530 examples at £480 each.
The Proof 40th-ounce .9999 fine gold version sold out its limited edition presentation of 2,023 pieces at £85 each.
The Proof kilogram .999 fine silver version sold out its allotment of 200 pieces at £2,390 each.
The quarter-ounce .9999 fine gold version sold out its offering of 1,250 pieces at £750 each.
The Proof 1-ounce gold version sold out its limited edition presentation of 500 pieces for £2,770 each.
The Royal Mint sold out 300 examples of the Proof .9999 fine gold version at £5,305 each.
The Proof 5-ounce .9999 fine gold version sold its entire mintage of 100 pieces at £12,725 each.
One gold coin that does remain available for purchase is the Proof kilogram .999 fine gold version, which has a mintage of 15 pieces, each retailing for £77,565.
The Royal Mint offered a special .9167 fine gold sovereign coin, to be struck on the day of the coronation.
The complete mintage of 1,250 pieces pre-sold for £850 each and they sold out quickly.
The “Strike on the day Sovereign” obverse will feature the crowned portrait by Jennings.
This celebration sovereign’s reverse will bear the renowned St. George and the dragon design produced by Benedetto Pistrucci — a design synonymous with the sovereign.
Both sides of the “Strike on the Day Sovereign” will feature a fully frosted finish, adding a Matte Finish to the iconic St. George and the dragon design as well as the king’s official crowned portrait. This sovereign will also have a plain edge rather than the milled edge with which collectors are familiar.
Each sovereign struck on King Charles III’s coronation day will be housed in bespoke packaging as well as accompanied by a certificate of authentication confirming its strike date.
The full sovereign collection celebrating King Charles III’s coronation will be released later this year.
Sovereigns weigh 7.988 grams and measures 22.05 millimeters in diameter.
For more information about the coronation coins, or to order them, visit a special page at the Royal Mint website, www.royalmint.com.
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