The Royal Mint unveiled a new coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen this week, giving the public a first glimpse.
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.
The new portrait was designed by Jody Clark, the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a definitive royal coinage portrait in over 100 years.
Just 33 years old 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.”
The Queen, wears the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation, in the soon to be circulated, engraving.