World Coins

Trio of nations honor record reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have teamed to issue two collections of gold and silver coins commemorating the record reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth became the longest-reigning British monarch Sept. 9, when her rule of 63 years and 216 days surpassed that of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

The sets are called the 2015 Silver Royal Collection and the 2015 Gold Royal Collection. Each set contains a silver or gold coin from each of the three participating nations. Coins are being offered individually and in two three-coin sets.

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While the sets have a common theme, each nation’s two coins features distinctive designs: a portrait of the queen on the obverse (each by a different designer) and a commemorative design on the reverse (also by a different designer). 

The sets became available on Sept. 9.

Great Britain’s coins

“To mark this significant moment in Her Majesty’s reign, highly esteemed artist James Butler ... designer of The Queen’s Great Seal of the Realm, has created both the reverse and obverse of this commemorative £5 coin,” according to information provided by the Royal Mint. 

The British coin’s reverse bears what the Royal Mint calls “the familiar symbol of royalty,” the Coronation Crown; the obverse, “very unusually,” according to the Royal Mint, has a commemorative effigy of Elizabeth II. 

Both metallic versions of the coin measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter, with the .9167 fine gold coin weighing 39.94 grams and the .925 fine silver coin weighing 28.28 grams.

The gold coin has a maximum mintage of 1,500 pieces; the silver coin, 15,000 pieces.

Both coins feature a standard Proof finish.

Both the gold and silver versions of the 2015 coin bear the same denomination.

Australia’s coins

Bronwyn King designed the Australian coins’ shared reverse. “A profound moment during Her Majesty’s coronation on 2 June 1953 occurred when the anointing oil was symbolically applied by the ancient Coronation Spoon, transforming Princess Elizabeth into a queen,” according to the Royal Australian Mint.

 “Fittingly, this coin’s reverse features Her Majesty’s royal insignia, the Coronation Spoon and select ingredients of the anointing oil intertwined with Australia’s golden wattle,” according to the RAM.

The coins’ obverse contains the standard Commonwealth portrait of the queen by Ian Rank-Broadley.

The .9999 fine gold $100 version has a diameter of 38.74 millimeters and weighs 1 ounce. 

Australia’s  .999 fine silver $5 coin is 40 millimeters in diameter and also weighs 1 ounce.

Maximum mintages are 100 for the gold coin and 5,000 for the silver version.

Canada’s coins

The Royal Canadian Mint took a different approach for its two Proof 2015 coins — it created separate designs for the silver and gold coins. In explaining the reverse designs, officials addressed the royal symbols found on them. 

Both reverse designs for Canada’s two 2015 coins are by Canadian artist Cathy Bursey-Sabourin.

“The [silver] design features two cyphers sitting above a wreath of maple leaves that have a motto ribbon incorporated into the design,” according to the Royal Canadian Mint. “On the upper left is the cypher used by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and on the upper right is a cypher that was used by Queen Victoria. Each cypher is ensigned with a crown. Each crown is depicted in a style specifically used by each monarch.”

The wreath of maple leaves is in color, the leaves in bright fall foliage colors. The ribbon linking the two branches forming the wreath is blue in color.

The reverse of the gold coin features two crossed maple leaves, one bearing the cypher of Elizabeth II and the other the cypher of Victoria. St. Edward’s crown is positioned above the two leaves.

The gold coin’s design bears no color enhancement.

Both coins’ obverse bears Canada’s coinage portrait of the queen, by Susanna Blunt.

The .9999 fine gold $200 coin measures 30 millimeters in diameter and weighs 31.16 grams. 

The .9999 fine silver $20 coin measures 38 millimeters in diameter and weighs 1 ounce.

The gold coin has a maximum mintage of 300 and the silver coin’s maximum mintage is 10,000 pieces.

Availability of coins

All six of the coins are available individually from the issuing nations’ respective mints. Customers can also buy three-coin sets, of either the gold or the silver coins, limited to 100 units each. 

Pricing, current availability, and other details are available at the websites of the Royal Mint, Royal Australian Mint, and Royal Canadian Mint.

All three nations have issued other coins celebrating the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, with details also available at the mint websites. 

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