Births, deaths, weddings, christenings, jubilees, anniversaries and birthdays – The Royal Family have had commemorative coins issued to mark them all.
But which Royal coins are really worth adding to your collection? With so many out there it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to nine of my favourite coins, each representing a member of the modern Royal family. Without further ado, in no particular order…
1. Princess Diana
No royal collection would be complete without a Princess Diana coin.
The most poignant issue was struck by The Royal Mint in 1999 following the tragic death of ‘the people’s princess’. Diana touched the hearts and lives of thousands across the globe and this coin commemorates her life – with a beautifully engraved portrait by David Cornell. Such an important member of the Royal family should forever be remembered and this is the perfect way in which to pay tribute to her life.
2. Prince Charles
The Prince Charles 50th Birthday coin holds the distinction of being the rarest UK Gold £5 coin to be issued. Just 773 were struck and it also features the most words of any British coin within its design.
Prince Charles founded the Princes Trust in 1976 – a charity which was created in order to help the lives of disadvantaged young people. The coin was issued to celebrate his 50th birthday and honour his charity. As the longest serving heir in British history, Prince Charles is certainly a Royal figure that is certainly deserving of a commemorative coin.
3. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was viewed by an estimated 2 billion people around the world.
The most iconic photograph of the whole ceremony was undoubtedly The Balcony Kiss – and this was captured perfectly on this Cook Islands $1 coin. Plated in 24 carat gold the Royal Wedding Photographic coin had an edition limit of just 24,500 – which isn’t many considering the number of people who tuned in to watch the ceremony. In years to come when William is King, those who have this coin will own a lasting memory of the day he married his Queen.
4. Prince George
Born 22nd July, 2013, the arrival of the young Prince George stirred global interest – especially from the USA. As the first son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George became third in line to the throne and is our future King.
The Perth Mint issued a Royal commemorative coin which really stood out. Depicting William and Kate with the new-born Prince this was the first official coin from a major nation to feature an engraving of Prince George.
5. Princess Charlotte
On 2nd May this year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their second child into the world – Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. The Royal christening took place on 5th July at St Mary Magdalene church on the Sandringham estate.
With a design inspired by the stunning Lily Font which is used for Royal christenings, the Silver Proof £5 Coin issued by Guernsey captured the moment perfectly. The elaborate one-off design makes this one of the premier commemoratives celebrating the young Princess.
6. Queen Elizabeth II
In 2012 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. It was a multinational celebration that marked the 60th anniversary of the her accession in 1952.
To celebrate, an exceptional ‘double obverse’ coin was issued. The coin is the first ever UK crown to feature the Queen’s full profile on both sides. With such a rare design, the Diamond Jubilee coin is certainly one which adds another dimension to any Royal collection.
7. Prince Philip
Prince Philip’s life of Royal service began at Queen Elizabeth II’s accession in 1952 when he was promoted to Commander after a distinguished career in the Royal Navy.
To mark his 90th birthday in 2011, a specially commissioned portrait was struck on a £5 coin issued by the Royal Mint. This was the first coin in British history to feature both a Monarch and a Consort on opposite sides.
8. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
The 1980 UK 25p Coin was issued in celebration of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday. The design features the effigy of the Queen Mother surrounded by bows and lions – which is a pun on her family name ‘Bowes-Lyon’
This was the penultimate 25p crown issued in the UK and was the first ever British coin to feature a living person other than the reigning monarch.
A special mention goes to the Canada 2014 $20 ‘Royal Generations’ Silver Proof Coin. This coin was issued to commemorate the birth of Prince George and pictures three generations of heirs.
I think it’s particularly special as Prince George’s birth marks only the second time in history that Britain has had three living male heirs to the throne from separate generations – and this coin captures them all.
So if you’re looking to put together a Royal collection, these coins are my personal recommendations, each with a story to tell. If you own some already, let me know in the comments…
Prince George Louis Alexander of Cambridge is set to make his second public appearance in his early life, amid a frenzy of public interest both here and around the world.
However, when the young Prince is baptised at the Chapel Royal in St James, there could be fewer than 60 people in attendance. All the public will see and hear of the 45-minute ceremony is the official photos and a few details which William and Kate choose to release the following day. So far the only photographs are family snapshots taken by Kate’s father Michael Middleton.
William and Kate’s wedding along with Prince George’s birth on 22nd July has been credited with bolstering the popularity of Britain’s Royal family both home and abroad.
Millions of people around the world watched live coverage of the Duke and Duchess leaving the hospital with their sleeping son – the only public sighting of George to date.
Australia and Canada among other Commonwealth countries have issued their own tributes to Prince George as the popularity of the Royal family continues to grow internationally.
In fact, Australia was the first major country to feature an image of young baby George on a commemorative coin – with a design portraying him with his proud mother and father.
Despite being held behind locked gates, royal fans are still expected to descend on St James’ Palace to soak up the atmosphere and wait patiently for a glimpse of the young Prince.
By removing the grandeur of the occasion, there is secrecy and intrigue surrounding the ceremony which has led to a surge in demand from collectors looking for a keepsake from what remains a hugely significant Royal event.
In terms of commemorative coins, limited edition issues like the DateStamp™ Royal Christening Sovereign have been snapped up. Collectors not only look for the history and heritage of a Sovereign which you would expect for a future King, but also recognise the unique appeal of an Official Royal Mail postmark on the day of the Christening which captures the moment forever. With an edition limit of only 495, there has been a last-minute scramble to try and secure one.
Traditionally, it is seen as good fortune to cross a newborn’s palm with a silver coin, which also explains the incredible popularity of the Prince George Silver Proof £5 – struck from Sterling Silver and limited to just 2,013 pieces.
It’s certainly not a day that young George will remember, but for millions of others around the world, the christening of the future King of England is a day to be commemorated.
Managing Director, Ian Glen, helps you pick through the Royal Baby commemorative jungle.
It’s 9.57 am. Less than 24 hours after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been blessed with a new baby boy and a nation with its future King.
The Prince has not even been given a name yet but already there is a vast array of commemorative memorabilia.
One of our most important jobs is to select for you the very best commemorative issues that will mark the birth our future King in the most appropriate way and create a lasting heirloom that you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.
But which of the hundreds of commemorative pieces will stand the test of time?
Well let me share with you some of the elements that I believe are most important when we select the pieces we recommend to collectors.
1. Capture a moment in time
When there is a momentous occasion like a Royal Birth, I’m always keen to tie commemorative items back to that moment forever, which is why in my mind stamps create such a perfect collectable.
For example, we arranged well in advance for Royal Mail to hold a number of covers and other philatelic items ready for them to postmark with the all-important birth-date, as soon as it was announced.
These are true never-to-be repeated commemoratives, unlike so many items that will be manufactured for months after the birth.
2. History and heritage
By specialising in coins and stamps, we have already declared our hand that the best collectable items have a strong history and heritage. Coins, commemorative medals and stamps, of course, have long traditions as Royal Commemoratives and so make the perfect keepsake.
With much issuing information not yet in the public domain, you can also realistically expect British Isles issues, as well as coins and stamps from many key commonwealth countries to be announced over the coming days and weeks.
As always, the closer the links to the UK, typically the stronger the longterm heritage of the piece. And with a Christening some way off, I’m certain we have many important issues still to come.
3. Designed to stand the test of time
A commemorative piece should always be designed to create an enduring memory – something that you can pass down through the generations.
It is no coincidence that many of the most popular coins to be issued over the years feature heraldic representations. Rushed and imagined sketchy pictures of the Royal Couple and baby, bear little creative strength and over time risk looking tired and clichéd.
It’s also worth searching out something a little bit unusual – even unique – in the design, which is why I was delighted when we were able to select a silver commemorative design that actually contains the new Prince’s birthstone – a ruby – as an integral part of the design.
4. Edition limits that mean something
Of course, many Royal Baby commemoratives will be issued in limited editions – but that is only of real importance if demand is actually going to exceed supply, resulting in collectors missing out.
Of course, there is no hard and fast rule but I like to ensure that we work hard to select commemoratives with edition limits that should see sell-outs, helping to ensure their long-term collectability.
Finally, there is just one other thing to add. Enjoy your collecting.
By owning a Royal Commemorative, you are ensuring that not only you, but also your children and grandchildren, will forever have an element of connection to the moment when a nation celebrated the birth of its future King.