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    Queen Elizabeth II

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    Queen Elizabeth II Coinage

    The world’s longest-serving female head of state and England’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was a global figure who played a prominent role in her nation’s culture and Western societies over the course of a 70-year reign. Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 and provided a steady presence for her nation throughout the tumultuous post-World War II era, guided her nation into the 21st century, and preserved a role for the monarchy as political winds changed.

    Though the sun has set on her record-breaking reign, Queen Elizabeth II will be forever remembered as perhaps England’s greatest monarch. More than just the head of state for the United Kingdom, she was also head of state for the Commonwealth Nations and her effigy has appeared on coinage from Commonwealth Nations, territories, and other previous British colonies around the world.

    British Coinage

    No mint provided more coinage with Her Majesty’s effigy than Britain’s own Royal Mint. From the dawn of her reign to its sunset in the 21st century, the Royal Mint captured the Queen’s image on some of the many programs noted below:

    • British Gold Sovereigns
    • British Britannia Coins – Gold, Silver, and Platinum
    • Queen’s Beasts Series – Gold, Silver, and Platinum
    • British Silver Valiant Coins
    • Tudor Beasts Series – Gold, Silver, and Platinum

    Australian Coinage

    Both the Royal Mint of Australia and the Perth Mint, a state-owned entity of Western Australia, have used the same effigies of the Queen created by Britain’s Royal Mint over the course of her reign. There is no end to Her Majesty’s appearances on Australian coins, with her image common programs such as:

    • Australian Kookaburra
    • Australian Kangaroo
    • Australian Koala
    • Australian Emu
    • Australian Lunar Series Collections
    • Australian Wedge Tail Eagle
    • Australian Wombat
    • Australian Swan

    Canadian Coinage

    Another of the major mints to feature Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy is the Royal Canadian Mint. While Her Majesty appeared on all Canadian bullion coins, from investment-grade releases to collectible, limited-issue series, she was most visible on the coins of the Canadian Maple Leaf Series. Examples of her appearances on Canadian coins include:

    • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
    • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
    • Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf
    • Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf
    • Canadian Magnificent Maple Leaf

    Portraits of a Monarch

    Give her record-setting reign, Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy was modernized several times throughout her life. No other British monarch had so many changes made to their portrait on national coinage. In total, the Royal Mint introduced five different portraits of Her Majesty. These include the following portraits:

    • 1st Generation – The first effigy of Her Majesty was created by Mary Gillick and was designed in 1952, making its debut in 1953. The youthful depiction shows the Queen with a laurel wreath for a crown.
    • 2nd Generation – Arnold Machin created the next portrait of the Queen, with the design created in 1965 and making its debut in 1968 on British coinage during the transition to decimalized currency. In this portrait, the Queen wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, and is captured at the age of 39.
    • 3rd Generation – Raphael Maklouf was the next artist to capture the Queen on coinage. His design debuted in 1985 and shows an ageless Queen Elizabeth II wearing the George IV State Diadem Crown.
    • 4th Generation – Arguably one of the most popular and longest-used effigies of the Queen, the fourth-generation portrait comes from Ian Rank-Broadley and debuted in 1998. The design captures the Queen in her early 70s and marks the return of the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. This design was perhaps the most widely used, featuring on British coins from 1998 to 2015 and continuing on Australian coins through 2018.
    • 5th Generation – The final effigy of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, debuted on 2016-dated coins at the Royal Mint. Created by Jody Clark, then the youngest Royal Mint engraver to create the monarch’s image for currency, this design shows Her Majesty wearing the George IV State Diadem Crown at the age of 89.

    All of these portraits of the Queen were used on coinage throughout the Commonwealth Nations, with Australian mints closely adhering to the use of these images. Starting in the 1990s, the Royal Canadian Mint diverged, turning to Canadian artists for distinctive portraits of the Queen that include:

    • Canadian 3rd Generation – Debuting in 1990, this portrait captures Her Majesty wearing the George IV State Diadem Crown. This was the first design from a Canadian artist and was created by Dora de Pedery-Hunt.
    • Canadian 4th Generation – The final Canadian portrait of the Queen, this design began to feature on Canadian coins in 2003. Created by Susanna Blunt, it is the first of Her Majesty’s reign to lack a crown, recalling her father King George VI’s portrait without a crown.

    One final note on Her Majesty’s effigies, Queen Elizabeth II features in right-profile relief in all portraits used throughout her reign. Monarch portraits traditionally shift from one to the next, with King George VI depicted in left-profile relief. As such, Her Majesty was shown in right-profile relief in all designs.

    Celebrate a Life with Queen Elizabeth II Coinage from JM Bullion

    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address. You can also visit our Payment Methods page for quick answers to common questions regarding purchases at JM Bullion.