Marks the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen | The Royal Mint

01 Feb 2017

The Royal Mint is to commemorate the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the throne with a range of specially designed commemorative coins, continuing the organisation’s tradition of marking significant Royal occasions in this way. 

The occasion is a particularly special one for the people of Britain, as it is the first time that a British monarch has celebrated a Sapphire Jubilee, or 65 years on the throne. It follows on closely from two other notable Royal occasions - when Britons recognised the Queen as their ‘Longest Reigning Monarch’ in 2015, and then celebrated her 90th birthday with her in 2016.

Recognised across the world, having travelled more than a million miles and visited around 120 countries during the course of her reign, few can be more aware of the respect and love with which the Queen is greeted than former Royal Correspondent, Jennie Bond, who was present at The Royal Mint to see the Sapphire Jubilee collection being struck.

Commenting on the edge lettering on the precious metal £5 coins, Jennie said: “I particularly love the inscription around this coin. It reads ‘shine through the ages’ – taken from the Queen’s coronation speech. She was talking about how the ancient ceremonies shine through the ages of course, but for us, I think this also reflects how the Queen herself has shone, and continues to shine, throughout her wonderful long reign”.

The collection comprises a series of £5 coins with reverses designed by Royal Mint Coin Designer, Glyn Davies, in finishes ranging from the collectable Brilliant Uncirculated £5, through Silver Proof and Gold Proof, whilst Bishop Gregory Cameron has designed reverses for Five-Ounce and Kilo coins in both Silver Proof and Gold Proof editions.  


The Design and its Designer

Glyn Davies – designer for the £5 Range

“I drew inspiration from the regalia associated with The Queen’s coronation. As opposed to many traditional designs, I’ve rotated the crown to make a feature of the Stuart sapphire. I have also included a quotation from Her Majesty’s 21st birthday speech, which makes the design more personal. I used computer-aided design to create the inscription, but sculpted elements of the crown in clay. Combining a modern approach with traditional craftsmanship gives the design an energetic rather than static feel.”

Glyn Davies joined The Royal Mint’s team of coin designers in 2012 and already has notable commissions to his name, including the Battle of Agincourt £5 Coin and the Remembrance coin for 2015. His designs for ‘Portrait of Britain’, a collaboration with Royal Mint coin designer Laura Clancy, have also featured on the Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace £100 fine silver coins.

Gregory Cameron - designer for the Kilo and Five-Ounces

“There is nothing better for a royal occasion than the Royal Arms. I took my inspiration from late seventeenth century coats of arms and in particular the carved presentations of the Royal Arms in that period. The arms in my design are shown in an oval cartouche, surrounded by flourishes that reflect the celebratory mood of the coin. The shield is supported by two branches. On the left, as we look at the shield, is the olive branch, a symbol of faithfulness and reconciliation, and on the right, a branch of oak, representing stability and loyalty in service. These are all qualities that we can associate with Her Majesty.”

Gregory Cameron is a Bishop of the Anglican Church in Wales, serving the Diocese of St Asaph in North East Wales, and is a keen artist and coin collector. This is Gregory’s third design for The Royal Mint, his first appeared on the Farewell Round Pound and his nativity-themed design featured on the Christmas coin for 2016.

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