Royal Mint honors platinum wedding anniversary
- Published: Oct 20, 2017, 8 AM
The marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip may be the ultimately celebrity marriage, but it offers one thing many other famous unions do not — longevity.
In 2017 as the royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage, The Royal Mint is recognizing that personal milestone, a platinum wedding anniversary, with a range of 11 different coins struck for the occasion.
Designer abandoned original reverse design late in the process Also in our Oct. 30 issue, Mike Diamond presents an interesting question in his Collectors’ Clearinghouse column: How many errors can one coin have?
Nov. 20, 2017, is the anniversary date of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests. The service was broadcast live to 200 million radio listeners, a welcome occasion for celebration amid the post-war austerity of 1947. The Queen saved ration tokens to buy the material for her dress, and she applied her own makeup on the big day.
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rNow, 70 years later, as the first British royal couple to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary, a latest chapter in the story of the longest royal marriage in British history, their enduring partnership is an inspiration to all, and Britain celebrates the unique personal moment along with them.
Special designs for coins
Three original designs were created for the occasion, including two different portraits of the couple, as is traditional on special wedding anniversaries for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
The obverse of all the coins showcases the new joint effigy designed by Etienne Millner, head and shoulder busts of the royal couple. According to the Royal Mint, “The leading figurative sculptor’s combined portrait represents a sense of duty, with Prince Philip supporting The Queen in his role of royal consort.”
Millner is a fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and past president of the Society of Portrait Sculptors.
John Bergdahl created the two reverse designs used for the coins in the Platinum Anniversary release. He has worked on many commissions for the Royal Mint, marking both royal and historical events and anniversaries.
His reverse portraying the couple, each on horseback, captures the royal couple’s mutual passion for all things equestrian.
Bergdahl’s second reverse design for the series, pairing two shields, reflects the heraldic lineage of both families at the time of their union.
Metals, sizes, denominations
Bergdahl’s equestrian design is used for four different £5 coins and one £20 coin.
The equestrian reverse £5 coins are a Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel version, a Proof .925 fine silver edition, a Piedfort (double thick) silver coin, and a Proof .9167 fine gold £5 coin. The equestrian reverse is also used on a .999 fine silver £20 coin that will be sold at face value.
Bergdahl’s symbolic double shield design graces the reverse of six different coins:
??A Proof 5-ounce .9999 fine gold £10 coin.
??A Proof 5-ounce .9999 fine silver £10 coin.
??A Proof kilogram .999 fine silver £500 coin.
??A Proof kilogram .999 fine gold £1,000 coin.
??A Proof quarter-ounce .9995 platinum £25 coin.
??A Proof .9995 platinum piedfort £5 coin weighing almost 5 ounces.
Specifications, mintage limits and prices vary but are available at the Royal Mint website.
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