Behind the Design with Timothy Noad

Categories: Collect

Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday is such a special occasion that two designs have been created for our commemorative coin collection celebrating this royal milestone.

The reverses of the £5, two-ounce gold Proof, two-ounce silver Proof and quarter-ounce gold Proof coins feature a design created by the calligrapher and heraldic artist Timothy Noad, who is renowned for his attention to detail and use of both traditional and modern techniques. His designs have featured on Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and he has worked on several projects for The Royal Mint, including the House of Windsor Centenary £5 coin, the Four Generations of Royalty £5 coin and coins within our Tower of London collection.

Her Majesty is well-known for her love of nature and flowers, a passion that Timothy Noad shares and often uses as inspiration for his work.

“I am inspired by many things, including real plants and flowers, seventeenth-century Dutch flower paintings, and the pattern designs of William Morris. I liked the idea that a posy or bouquet is often presented to The Queen, perhaps on her birthday, and that this could be a tribute from the four nations of the United Kingdom.”

As a scribe and illuminator to HM Crown Office at the House of Lords, Timothy is used to creating formal designs and documents. However, for this piece it was important to balance the royal theme with an element of informality for this more personal occasion.

“For this design, I made the flowers more naturalistic and less formal than usual, for example, the rose at the top. I originally experimented with using spring flowers but eventually settled on the national floral emblems – thistles, daffodils, roses and shamrocks – which are tried and tested in coin designs and connect Her Majesty to the four UK nations.”

The final design has a tapestry effect, with the Royal Cypher standing out against a mass of delicate leaves and flowers. Whilst he generally works with traditional symbols, Timothy did go against the norm with one element:

“I felt that Her Majesty would prefer to be given a daffodil rather than the more heraldically correct Welsh leek!”

The inscription that appears on the £5 coin features words that have been taken from The Queen’s first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957, and can be found on all of the coins in this celebratory collection.

The £5 coin is available as a gold Proof, silver Proof and silver Proof Piedfort edition and a Brilliant Uncirculated edition. The two-ounce gold, two-ounce silver and quarter-ounce gold Proof editions also feature Timothy Noad’s design. In addition to these, the collection includes fine gold and silver editions, which feature a design created by sculptor Gary Breeze. His richly symbolic ‘flourish’ design represents The Queen’s nine decades with nine roses, whilst 54 leaves signify the countries of the Commonwealth.

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