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.

Specification

The Half-Sovereign 1988

Specification Value
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 3.99 g
Diameter 19.30mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Obverse Designer Raphael Maklouf
Specification Value
Quality Proof
Year 1988
Pure Metal Type Gold
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