Britain’s sovereign Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest operating mint systems, and formerly stretched across numerous continents to places such as Australia. Today, the Royal Mint is well known for striking not just British circulation coinage, but also a new series of Chinese Lunar coins and the Britannia collection that dates back to the 1980s. Right now however, there is a brand-new collection of coins from the Royal Mint that is attracting attention.
Known as the British Queen’s Beast program, these brilliant bullion coins are available in both gold and silver, with the program offering beautiful designs and an extensive variety that is sure to attract investors and collectors of all walks of life looking to buy gold and silver. As you scroll through the following paragraphs you’ll learn about the history behind the Queen’s Beast collection and get an in-depth look at the early releases in the series.
On June 2, 1953, Her Majesty The Queen was crowned sovereign head of England. During the ceremony, ten heraldic beasts stood guard outside the coronation in Westminster Abbey. The Queen’s Beasts, as they are known, are a collection of statues commissioned by the British Ministry of Works and sculpted by James Woodford RA. Each one stands six feet tall and was cast in plaster. Each of the ten statues depict the genealogy of The Queen, with each of the heraldic beasts symbolizing the various strands of The Queen’s royal ancestry.
Her Majesty’s Queen’s Beast collection was inspired by the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII, a series of statues lining the bridge over the moat of Hampton Court Palace where they stood guard over the Great Hall. Woodford drew his inspiration for the Queen’s Beast collection of statues directly from this collection. The original Queen’s Beasts were relocated to Windsor Castle four years after Her Majesty’s coronation, while the King’s Beasts statues remain at Hampton Court Palace today, where they still line the bridge over the moat. After a short stay at Windsor Castle, the Queen’s Beasts were put into storage, and eventually moved to Canada where they can now be found at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, Canada.
This exciting series of gold and silver coins from the Royal Mint marks the newest release of numismatic or bullion coins from the mint. The British Queens Beast Coin program is a planned 10-design series that features new designs for each of the animals featured in the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. In total, the British Queens Beast coin series features a 1 oz gold coin, a 1/4 oz gold coin, and the Royal Mint's first-ever 2 oz silver bullion coin.
Coins in this collection feature either .9999 pure silver or .9999 pure gold, and have face values reflective of their weight and metal content. The 2 oz Silver Queen’s Beast has a face value of £5 (GBP), while the 1 oz and ¼ oz Gold Queen’s Beast coins have face values of £100 (GBP) and £25 (GBP) respectively.
First up in the release schedule was the 2016 British Queen’s Beast design of the Lion of England, the most prominent and important to Queen Elizabeth II directly. This exciting new lineup of silver bullion coins from the mint launched with one release in 2016 featuring inspiring designs from Jody Clark.
Clark is the same man who just reimagined Queen Elizabeth II's portrait for the obverse of all 2016-issue British and commonwealth coinage. Her Majesty's portrait has not been updated to reflect her age since 1998, when Sir Ian Rank-Broadley created the right-profile portrait still in use by some mints. The design of the 2016 British Queen’s Beast Lion Coin includes:
The Barbary lion is the national animal of England. During the Middle Ages, lions kept within the Tower of London were Barbary lions, and English medieval warriors even took on the name of “The Lion” for their bravery in battle. The most famous of these British rulers was Richard I of England, who is known to this day simply as Richard the Lionheart.
For the second overall release of the series, and the first of 2017, the Royal Mint selected the image of the Griffin of Edward III. With the head, wings, and front paws of an eagle, and the body of a lion, this was said to be the most powerful animal in the world. That power comes from the lion’s status as king of the beasts, and the eagle’s status as king of the birds.
The Griffin is considered a beneficent creature that signifies courage and strength combined with the virtues of guardianship, vigilance, swiftness, and a keen sense of vision. The Griffin was emblazoned on the private seal of Edward III. King Edward III reigned for 50 years from January 1327 until his death in June 1377, and was known for restoring royal authority following his father’s (Edward II) disastrous reign, and also for establishing the Kingdom of England as one of Europe’s most formidable military powers.
On the 2017 Queen’s Beast Griffin coin’s reverse you’ll find the image of a Griffin standing tall and proud, its wings fully outstretched over its head. It has its front paws up on a shield, and includes engravings of the weight, metal content, purity, and year of issue.
A previously established list of designs to be released had the Red Dragon slated for release in 2020, but instead it is now appearing on the third overall release in the series, and the second release of the 2017 schedule. Known officially as the Red Dragon of Wales, the dragon itself was originally used by Owen Tudor, grandfather of Henry VII. He was a Welsh courtier and the second husband of Catherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V. Owen descended from a prominent family from Penmynydd in the Isle of Anglesey, and was the grandfather of Henry VII, who founded the Tudor dynasty.
The Red Dragon of Wales includes the coat of arms used by the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd The dragon’s origin is based upon the story of the dragon on Llewelyn the Last’s castle grounds. Henry VII took on the symbol in a nod to his supposed descent from the Cadwaladr.
On the reverse of the 2017 British Queen’s Beast Dragon Coin is the image of the Red Dragon of Wales. The dragon is often depicted holding a shield bearing a lion in each quarter of it, which accurately depicts the coat of arms used by Llywelyn.
The Royal Mint plans to emulate all of the designs from Woodford’s original collection of statues, with Jody Clark set to create all 10 reverse coin designs. The series is set to release two coins annually, with the exception of two of the years. The 2016 debut of the coins featured only the Lion of England release, and the final year of 2021 will have just one release as well. Originally, a list of designs was released with each one listed in order, but the order appears to have changed with the early release of the Red Dragon of Wales design. Just as 2017 has two design releases, all subsequent years will feature two coin design debuts until the final design comes out in 2021. Upcoming releases in the collection include the following, in no particular order:
Originally founded as the London Mint in 886, the British Royal Mint is one of the oldest operating facilities in the world. Throughout its history, the Royal Mint has produced some of the most widely used coins in the world, due in large part to the size and scope of the former British Empire. Coins from the Royal Mint were once used from North America to Europe, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Today, the Royal Mint remains one of the foremost facilities in the world. The most popular product from the mint is the sovereign Britannia coin. On the reverse face of each coin is the image of the mythical Britannia, a goddess from Roman times who was believed to have watched over the nation. She is featured on each Silver Britannia coin with a trident in one hand and a shield bearing the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom, her eyes constantly fixed on the English Channel separating the British Isles from mainland Europe.
When you’re ready to purchase your British Queen’s Beast silver and gold coins from the JM Bullion catalog, you’ll find numerous payment options available to you. JM Bullion proudly accepts Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards, paper checks, PayPal transfers, and bank wire transfers.
Paper checks come with the benefit of a 4% discount compared to credit/debit cards and high maximum purchases, but take four to six business days to process. Credit/debit card purchases clear in one business day on average. Bank wire and PayPal transfers clear processing instantly, releasing your purchase to our fulfillment queue.
All JM Bullion purchases over $199 come with free standard shipping and insurance. You do have the option to select expedited shipping for an additional fee. Each product is shipped in discreet packaging via the US Postal Service or UPS. If your shipment is lost or stolen, JM Bullion will work to replace your products, or if supplies are exhausted provide you with a full refund of your purchase price.
Please contact JM Bullion associates with questions about Queen’s Beast Collection coins. You can reach us at 800-276-6508, connect with us online using our live chat, or email us. If you visit our homepage, you’ll find gold and silver prices today.