From 1985 to 1997, UK circulating coins featured a royal portrait by the sculptor Raphael Maklouf. The portrait was couped and showed The Queen wearing the royal diadem, which she normally wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament.

Unlike the earlier portraits, Maklouf’s version also shows The Queen wearing a necklace and earrings. Critics accused him of sculpting The Queen “flatteringly young” but Maklouf responded by pointing out that his intention had been “to create a symbol, regal and ageless.”

If you look closely you can see the artist’s initials, ‘RDM’, at the bottom of The Queen’s neck. Maklouf included his middle initial, D for David, to make sure that his initials wouldn’t be seen as a reference to The Royal Mint.

There is a long-standing urban myth that the first bicolour £2 coins from 1997 that bear the Maklouf portrait are rare and valuable. As more than 13 million of them were issued, it’s a myth that can be debunked!

Specification

Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.98 g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Specification Value
Obverse Designer Raphael Maklouf
Quality Proof
Pure Metal Type Gold
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