Royal Mint unveils fifth definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
- Published: Mar 2, 2015, 1 AM
The following is a press release dated March 2, 2015, from Britain's Royal Mint:
The Royal Mint has today unveiled a new coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, giving the general public the first glimpse of the image that will soon be a familiar sight on United Kingdom coins.
This is only the fifth definitive portrait of The Queen to appear on our circulating coins since her accession to the throne in 1952, making it a very rare event indeed. When it appears in our change later this year, it will become the fourth portrait currently in circulation, joining those created in 1968, 1985 and 1998; together, the coins that carry them tell the story of Her Majesty’s lifetime and paint a compelling picture of the story of her reign.
It has also been revealed today that the new portrait is designed by Jody Clark. He is the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a definitive royal coinage portrait in over 100 years.
Just 33 when his design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions to a design competition, Jody is the youngest of the five designers to have created the portraits of The Queen that have appeared on UK circulating coin during her 63 year reign.
Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, said: “This change of royal portrait will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and it will be hugely exciting for us all to see the new design appear on the coins we use every day.
“Jody’s achievement is something that we can celebrate as a proud moment for The Royal Mint. Capturing a portrait on the surface of a coin demands the utmost skill, and is one of the most challenging disciplines of the coin designer’s art. The last Royal Mint Engraver to be commissioned to undertake a royal portrait was George William de Saulles, who engraved the portrait of Edward VII which first appeared on the coinage in 1902”
Commenting on the honour of being selected, Jody Clark said: “I really liked the four previous coin portraits - each one is strong in its own way. I hope that I’ve done Her Majesty justice and captured her as I intended, in a fitting representation. The news that my design had been chosen was quite overwhelming, and I still can’t quite believe that my royal portrait will be featured on millions of coins, playing a small part in The Royal Mint’s 1,000 year history.”
Jody’s elegant portrayal of The Queen, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation, was selected in a closed competition organised by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC), a consultative panel to Her Majesty’s Treasury comprising experts from such fields as history, sculpture, architecture, art and design. A number of specialist designers from across Britain were invited to submit their own interpretations of the Queen’s portrait under anonymous cover, and each one was judged on its merits and suitability before the winning artwork was recommended to the Chancellor and, ultimately, The Queen for approval.
Coins featuring the new effigy go into production as of today, and the public are being urged to keep a watchful eye on their coins later this year when it will start to appear in pockets, purses and piggy banks across the land.
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