The idea of replacing the Maklouf portrait came about during a competition to design the obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown. The standard of entries for the conjoint portrait of The Queen and Prince Philip was so high that it was decided to explore the possibility of a new coinage portrait for circulating coins, too.
The winning design by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, introduced in 1998, makes for an interesting contrast with its predecessor, being less idealised and more strongly realistic. Ian Rank-Broadley explained there was: “No need to disguise the matureness of The Queen’s years. There is no need to flatter her. She is a 70-year-old woman with poise and bearing.” The portrait also appeared as large as possible within the framework of the coin, as he wanted to maximise its impact on smaller coins like the new 5p, 10p and 50p pieces.
The Half-Sovereign 1999
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|