This year a brand new £5 coin has been issued to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, and it features a never-seen-before effigy of the great man.
Designed by renowned sculptor and artist David Cornell FRSA, the new portrait shows a defiant Churchill in military uniform.
I’ve been given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the portrait, and had a quick chat with the artist himself.
David Cornell is perhaps more famous for sculpting members of the Royal family, (he was even commissioned to paint a birthday portrait of the Queen) so I thought I’d ask him about his inspiration behind the new design:
“Winston Churchill was a major part of my childhood growing up in London during the War, hearing his speeches and seeing photos on posters, which left an indelible impression on me.
“I realised later what a great man he was and his contribution to the War effort, inspiring the people of Great Britain.
“As a portrait artist, it has been a great honour for me to be able to portray him in this tribute to honour his legacy.”
First of all Cornell worked on a plaster engraving of the portrait, making sure it fits the very particular dimensions of a coin. You can see the fine detail in the picture above, and also the large size of the plaster, which has to be reduced when the die is created to strike the coin.
The finished £5 coin also features an inscription of one of Churchill’s famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ Although spoken in reference to the heroes of the Battle of Britain, the quotation was chosen as it represents Churchill’s indomitable spirit during the war.
The coin has been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and is available now in a range of metals – from an impressive 5oz 22 carat gold version measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, to a highly collectable cupro-nickel version available to all. I’m sure you’ll agree, it will make a fitting tribute in any collection to our greatest ever Prime Minister.
If you are interested…
The new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version. Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.
People tripped, fell and were trampled on in the rush to get in line at the U.S. Mint in Denver on 7th August. They were all after one coin – the John F. Kennedy 50th Anniversary Gold Half Dollar.
After the official launch at the ANA World Money Fair in Chicago, thousands of collectors queued up at U.S. Mint locations each day in the hope of securing one of the 500 coins due to be released daily, with most selling out in just a few hours.
The rush was so intense that the police had to be called to calm things down. The US Mint were eventually forced to suspend in-person sales of the coin and released the following statement:
“The United States Mint and the American Numismatic Association (ANA) announced today that sales of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin have been suspended at the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. The Mint and the ANA made the decision to ensure the safety of those wanting to purchase the coin and the safety of their own employees.”
Why did this coin cause such a frenzy?
Issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Kennedy half dollar, it is the first ever US half dollar to be issued in 24 Carat gold. The reverse design also features a ring of 50 stars – more than any other US coin produced for circulation.
In fact, dealers were so keen to get hold of the first release coins they were buying the coin straight back off members of the public and some were even offering people $600 to queue and buy the coin for them.
If you are interested…
The Westminster Collection managed to beat the rush and reserve a limited number of 2014 Anniversary JFK Gold Proof Half Dollars.
NOW SOLD OUT
It’s every collector’s dream to find a significant coin which is worth a fortune. And they don’t come any more significant than the Edward VIII Sovereign which has just smashed an auction record and netted £516,000.
The incredibly rare 1937 dated gold ‘proof’ coin is the only single example available to collectors anywhere in the world. It was struck ahead of the King’s Coronation, however following the scandal which predicated Edward’s abdication from the throne in 1936, the coins became redundant and cemented their place in collecting folklore.
His left-facing portrait; the same as his predecessor George V, also represents a unique deviation from a tradition which started in the 17th century under Charles II who wished to be facing the opposite way to Oliver Cromwell.
“In the world of coins, it’s the coin’s story that makes it important and this coin has the most fantastic story” said winning bidder Mr Jordan Lott of Regal Rare Coins in Chester.
After a tense battle in the Baldwin’s auction room and some fierce bidding, the coin eventually reached a winning bid of £430,000 and with fees included this took the total price to £516,000.
It was money which Mr Lott was happy to pay; “I was the first to bid and I was determined to be the last. I would have paid another £50,000 to make sure I got it.”
The price is the highest ever recorded for a sovereign coin struck by the Royal Mint in the UK and possibly the best example of the numismatic significance of British coins in the collecting world.