Monarchs to Kickstart Your Coin Collection

CollectHistoric Coins

Beginning a coin collection may seem daunting when you’re faced with thousands of years of numismatic history and countless coins. Where are you supposed to start? For some, it can be as simple as finding one of The Royal Mint’s Olympic or Peter Rabbit 50p coins, but if you’re interested in historic coins, they’re not going to turn up in your change.

This guide will take you through the easiest monarchs to collect and help you kickstart an impressive royal coin collection.


1-817 george iii sovereign.jpg

George III

For those hoping to grasp history in their hands, the coinage of George III is an outstanding starting point. His reign of 1760–1820 saw the 1800 Acts of Union which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This made George III the first monarch in the UK’s history.

George III’s coinage offers collectors the opportunity to own a real piece of British history. As he ruled prior to decimalisation, there is an exceptional collection of denominations that hold true historic value. George III guineas, crowns and ‘cartwheel’ pennies are brilliant additions to a collection, and he was the first monarch to produce the ‘modern’ Half-Sovereign which bore William Wyon’s crowned-shield design.

Silver George III coins include the sixpence, halfpenny and shilling. They are an affordable introduction to historic coin collecting because a variety of years are available at a reasonable cost. There is also an impressive selection of gold guineas and Sovereigns when you are ready to take your collection to the next level.

Shop George III



Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria is the second-longest-reigning monarch in history, holding the throne for almost 64 years. The Victorian era was one of technological advancement and expansion. At the start of her reign, Britain was already a respected trading nation, but during the nineteenth century it would become one of the most powerful empires the world has seen.

The Industrial Revolution helped create a period of rapid change and advancement, and its influence is still felt today. At a time when the role of the monarch had become increasingly ceremonial, Queen Victoria’s openness with the British public began to establish the royal image we see today.

The coinage of Queen Victoria is accessible for collectors because, although there are 64 years of coins, there were only three definitive portraits. William Wyon’s ‘Young Head’ design was so beloved by the queen that it was used for 50 years from 1838. The ‘Jubilee Head’ and ‘Old Head’ designs were released within five years of each other. There are also several spectacular commemorative coins and the Gothic crown that was as controversial as it is beautiful.

Shop Queen Victoria


3-1902 5 piece sovereign-Edward vii.jpg

Edward VII

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward VII became king on 22 January 1901 following the death of his mother. Edward VII was a supremely popular sovereign both at home and abroad and was known for his affable nature. On a royal visit to Paris in 1902, he endeared himself to the citizens of France by making his address in French, a move that proved instrumental to the signing of the Entente Cordiale in 1904.

Reigning just after the turn of the century, Edward VII oversaw a period of progression and a golden age of peace for the British Empire. Lasting only nine years, it was a short-lived reign, but he is regarded as one of the most popular monarchs in British history.

For coin collectors, the short reign of a beloved monarch offers greater opportunities. With fewer years of coinage, it is easier to complete a full set. For example, there are only nine Edward VII Sovereigns to collect. There are also several affordable coins that bear his likeness, including the Edward VII sixpence, 1902 Edward VII crown and Edward VII Maundy sets.

Shop Edward VII


4-1926 GV half sovereign South Africa.jpg

George V

George V was the second son of Edward VII. His elder brother died of pneumonia in 1892 so, when his father died in 1910, he ascended the throne. He was the first monarch from the House of Windsor and was a well-respected sovereign who left behind a legacy.

The early twentieth century was a testing period in British history. It saw the rise of fascism, communism and socialism which contributed to the tumultuous political landscape. George V reigned throughout great change but is perhaps best known for being the monarch on the throne during the First World War. George V was responsible for creating the House of Windsor when he appeased British nationalist feeling by renaming the German-sounding House of Saxe- Coburg and Gotha.

Due to several important years in British and military history, as well as key moments in The Royal Mint’s history, there are some highly collectable George V coins. The George V First World War coin sets are a popular choice and offer collectors a physical link to this significant period. These include general circulation coins and a complete First World War Sovereign set.

Shop George V


5-1937 crown -Georgie Vi.jpg

George VI

George VI became king in unexpected fashion when his brother Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, only months after he had ascended the throne and without coronation. Though George VI was thrust onto the throne, he proved a popular monarch. He earned the respect of his public during the Second World War when he steadfastly remained in Buckingham Palace, despite the palace being bombed nine times. Accompanied by his wife, Queen Elizabeth, George VI would visit areas of the East End of London that had been devastated by bombings, earning him more respect from his subjects.

George VI became the last emperor of India when the country gained independence in 1947, which makes his British India coinage of particular interest to collectors. The unusual square design of the half Anna and the attractive colour of the quarter Anna add interest to a coin collection.

Gold coinage from the reign of George VI isn’t easy to source and can be expensive, but the silver coins are more accessible for new collectors. Crowns and sixpences can be picked up at a reasonable cost to get your collection started without significant outlay.

Shop George VI


6-1976 E II sovereign uncirculated.jpg

Queen Elizabeth II

For those seeking a simple introduction to collecting, the coins of Her Late Majesty The Queen offer the easiest and most cost-effective entry to coin collecting. Annual sets provide a full set of coins from a given year. They offer an uncomplicated introduction to the world of collecting that suit a range of budgets.

As Her Majesty is the longest-reigning monarch in royal history, her coins span 70 years and cover momentous events in British history. The United Kingdom has seen much change during this time, including decimalisation, joining and leaving the European Union and shifts in the UK’s political landscape. This has produced a great number of collectable coins that are more affordable than historic coinage.

Of course, there are plenty of valuable coins that bear Her Majesty’s likeness. Our flagship coin, The Sovereign, has seen several design changes during her historic reign. There is also an array of commemorative coins that honour the most important events of the last 70 years, including the momentous 2022 Platinum Jubilee coins and sets.

Shop Elizabeth II

Whose Coins Will You Collect?

The coins of these monarchs offer an easy starting point for British coin collecting but, with thousands of years of history, there are many avenues for your hobby to take. Whether you choose to collect a particular monarch, denomination or metal, there are exciting stories that capture a specific moment of our shared history and present you with a link to the past.

Wherever your collection takes you, The Royal Mint is on hand to assist you with our expertise and an ever-changing selection of historic coins.

Monarchs Historic Coins

Feefo logo