The Royal Mint reunites four decimal crowns

25 Jan 2015

The Royal Mint is to issue a specially compiled historic coin set uniting four decimal crowns celebrating a decade of royal occasions - an anniversary, a Jubilee, a landmark birthday and a royal wedding.

Coins have long played an important part in celebrating special events in the history of the nation. Commemorative crowns as we know them today (in terms of special designs marking specific events), were issued from 1935, with the Silver Jubilee Crown of George V. Originally five-shilling coins, they were often issued in connection with significant royal occasions, and the tradition continued following decimalisation but with the denomination of twenty-five new pence instead of five shillings. Only four crown pieces were released with this denomination – in 1972, 1977, 1980 and 1981 - before the crown was re-valued in 1990 as five pounds, and it is these four pieces that are united in this commemorative set.

The Silver Wedding Crown 1972 In 1972 Arnold Machin – known for designing the royal portrait featured on UK decimal coins from 1968 to 1984 – created the crown struck to commemorate the silver wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, who had married on 20 November 1947. The 1972 Silver Wedding coin bears the initials of the royal couple on a background of foliage with the figure of Eros between them, surmounted by a royal crown.

The Silver Jubilee Crown 1977 Issued five years later, Arnold Machin’s 1977 design for Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee depicted the Ampulla and Anointing Spoon, sacred objects used in the Coronation ceremony for centuries, encircled by a floral border and above a Royal Crown. It was coupled by Machin’s equestrian portrait of The Queen, seated side-saddle and in uniform as for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony.

The Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday Crown 1980 In 1980 the baton passed to Richard Guyatt, Rector at The Royal College of Art. In honour of the 80th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Mother he produced a magnificent portrait, complete with radiating bows and lions to reflect her maiden name - the Honourable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon.

The Royal Wedding Crown 1981 Philip Nathan, known as the designer of the classic Britannia featured on The Royal Mint bullion coins, created the reverse of the 1981 crown celebrating the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. His distinctive conjoined portrait of the royal couple commemorated their marriage in St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 July 1981.

Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals for The Royal Mint, said “These four historic coins represent a decade of royal celebrations. Individually they are each a work of art, but together they are a wonderful reminder of occasions that will be remembered by many with great nostalgia.”

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