Royal Mint issues Edward VII coins in Monarchs series
- Published: Oct 30, 2022, 10 AM
The Royal Mint has revealed the fourth issue in its British Monarchs coin series, the latest coins featuring the portrait of Edward VII.
On their reverse side, the traditional Edward VII portrait was remastered with more definition using the latest technology and minting techniques, while the obverse side features the late Queen Elizabeth II; the coins were struck prior to her death.
The four silver coins and three gold coins with the remastered portrait were released Oct. 17, and all the silver coins (Proof 1-, 2-, 5-, and 10-ounce .999 fine silver pieces) quickly sold out.
The British Monarchs collection will feature 21 monarchs in total, in releases during five years, spanning four Royal Houses — Tudor; Stuart; Hanover; and Saxe-Coburg, Gotha and Windsor.
Coins issued in 2022 all carry the Queen Elizabeth II obverse portrait, while any new releases struck from Jan. 1, 2023, onward are to feature King Charles III on the obverse.
This means that the collection will feature two different obverse effigies, a rare occurrence in a numismatic series such as British Monarchs.
The portrait of Edward VII was originally created by engraver George William De Saulles, and this “Bare Head” portrait defined Edward VII’s nine-year reign on coins.
The “Bare Head” name is from the absence of a crown or laurel wreath in the portrait, headgear that appeared in coinage portraits of previous British monarchs. De Saulles also created an alternative crowned portrait of Edward VII that appeared on some overseas coinage.
The relatively short Edwardian era saw advancements in minting processes: the use of large-scale models in the design process invited the hand of the sculptor, rather than the engraver, to create stylized naturalistic portraits with personality, according to the Royal Mint.
Edward VII’s reign also saw the modernization of the military and navy, and disputes were settled with France, all of which proved vital when war broke out a few years later.
By the time Edward VII inherited the throne in 1901, the United Kingdom’s presence across the globe was so widespread that approximately a quarter of the world was under British influence. Trading between countries had increased the popularity of the sovereign, then known as the “chief coin of the world.”
The first seven coins in the collection were launched in January and featured Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, followed by coins with a remastered portrait James I from the House of Stuart released in March, and of George I of the Hanoverians in July this year.
Three Proof .9999 fine gold coins remain available at press time Oct. 18: a 1-ounce £100 coin, a 2-ounce £200 coin, and a 5-ounce £500 coin.
The £100 coin has a maximum mintage of 610 pieces, with 100 available individually, for £2,725 each.
The £200 coin has a maximum mintage of 106 pieces, with 100 available individually for £5,215 each.
The £500 coin has a maximum coin mintage of 56 pieces, with 50 available individually for £12,500 each.
To order the coins, visit the Royal Mint website, www.royalmint.com.
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