The Royal Mint has released a new, nostalgic commemorative coin set which unites four 25p decimal crowns. Coins have long played an important part in celebrating special events throughout the history of the nation and the crowns are no exception.
Commemorative crowns, as we know them today, were issued from 1935 for the celebration of George V’s Silver Jubilee. Originally five-shilling coins, the denomination changed with decimalisation in 1971 to twenty-five new pence. Only four crown pieces were released with this 25p denomination, before the crown was re-valued in 1990 to five pounds. Covering almost a decade, the 25p coins in this appealing set were issued in 1972, 1977, 1980 and 1981 to celebrate an anniversary, a Jubilee, a landmark birthday and a royal wedding.
The definitive royal coin portrait by Arnold Machin graces the obverse of all the crowns in this set, apart from the Silver Jubilee crown, which bore new designs by Machin on both its obverse and reverse.
The Royal Silver Wedding Anniversary Crown 1972
In 1972 Arnold Machin – known for designing the royal portrait featured on UK decimal coins from 1968 to 1984 – created the crown struck to commemorate the silver wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who had married on 20 November 1947. The 1972 Silver Wedding coin bears the initials of the royal couple on a background of foliage with the figure of Eros between them, surmounted by a royal crown.
HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Crown 1977
Issued five years after the royal silver wedding anniversary crown, Arnold Machin’s 1977 reverse design for Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee depicted the Ampulla and Anointing Spoon, sacred objects used in the Coronation ceremony for centuries, encircled by a floral border and above a Royal Crown. It was coupled by Machin’s equestrian portrait of The Queen, seated side-saddle and in uniform as she would be for the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
HM The Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday Crown 1980
Following Arnold Machin’s presence on both the obverse and reverse of the two previous crowns, In 1980 the baton passed to Richard Guyatt, Rector at The Royal College of Art. In honour of the 80th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Mother he produced a magnificent reverse design which featured a portrait of HM The Queen Mother, complete with radiating bows and lions to reflect her maiden name – the Honourable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon.
The Royal Wedding Crown 1981
Philip Nathan – known as the designer of the classic Britannia featured on The Royal Mint bullion coins – created the reverse of the 1981 crown which celebrated the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. His distinctive conjoined portrait of the royal couple commemorated their marriage in St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 July 1981.
Available now to purchase from royalmint.com this little slice of history is an ideal gift or keepsake for anyone who would enjoy a ‘trip down memory lane’.