Commemorates the life of Sir Winston Churchill | The Royal Mint

25 Nov 2014

The Royal Mint commemorates the life of Sir Winston Churchill

As the anniversary of the birth of Sir Winston Churchill approaches (30th November 1874) The Royal Mint has announced a special two-coin set which commemorates the life and marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of history’s great figures.

The Royal Mint has paired a new Winston Churchill 2015 Brilliant Uncirculated £5 coin with an original Winston Churchill 1965 Memorial Crown in a special set that is sure to appeal to coin collectors and Churchill enthusiasts.

One of the most renowned Britons of all time, Winston Churchill was twice Britain’s Prime Minister, and twice helped the United Kingdom through the dark days of war. He was a great leader, soldier and artist, and as a writer he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was a Knight of the Garter, Companion to The Queen, and the first honorary citizen of the United States by Act of Congress. His thoughts and insights were respected both in and out of political office – this was the man who coined the term ‘Iron Curtain’ and warned the world of the grip of the Cold War. He was a brave soldier, even serving on the Western Front after vacating the prestigious post of First Lord of the Admiralty.

On the death of Winston Churchill in 1965 The Royal Mint issued a coin that became a classic, the essence of the great man captured by Oscar Nemon. In 2015, 50 years later, The Royal Mint has issued a second coin designed by Mark Richards FRBS, honouring Sir Winston Churchill and everything he achieved in his life – the only statesman ever to be commemorated on two UK coins created in his honour. The portrait of Churchill is instantly recognisable on the new coin, a man who was larger than life, almost impossible to capture in the usual confines of coin design.

Designer of the 2015 £5 coin, Mark Richards FRBS says: “I wanted to capture something of Winston Churchill’s intensity, to create an active portrait, a sense of the man that you may have come away with had you met him. I thought the portrait created for the memorial coin in 1965 by Oscar Nemon couldn’t be bettered, so though I much admired it, I wanted to start afresh. I decided to create an image that is larger than the field of the coin – because this was a larger than life man, there was so much more to him than can ever be captured in one portrait”.

The two coins are now paired together in this special edition set, which has a limited edition of 5,000 and is priced at just £20.

The Coins and their Designers

The designer of the 1965 Winston Churchill Memorial Crown, Oscar Nemon, was born in Croatia and moved to London in 1938. He worked from a studio outside Oxford, and sculpted many recognised figures including Her Majesty The Queen. His statue of Sir Winston Churchill stands in the Members Lobby of the House of Commons, its foot now burnished bright by many years of being touched ‘for luck’. Oscar Nemon created the crown struck in memory of the former Prime Minister in 1965.

Mark Richards FRBS, designer of the 2015 £5 coin, is a figure and portrait sculptor based in Shropshire. He read History of Art at Manchester University and trained in sculpture and drawing at The City and Guilds of London Art School. Mark worked for a number of sculpture companies before establishing himself as an independent sculptor in 1992. The designer created last year’s Queen Anne memorial coin and the £5 coin struck for the 90th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh.


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