One of the oldest consistent symbols of a nation or kingdom in the world is the Three Lions of England. First officially adopted in 1198 by King Richard I, or Richard the Lionheart, the Royal Arms of England has been modified countless times of the past 800 years to reflect claims to other thrones, new families of monarchs, and the expansion of the Kingdom of England. Now featured in an exciting collection of gold and silver bullion from the Royal Mint of England, the British Silver Royal Arms depicts the modern version of the Royal Arms of England and is available to you from JM Bullion.
On the obverse face, the 2019 British Silver Royal Arms coins feature the right-profile bust of Queen Elizabeth II. This design is the fifth-generation effigy used on British denominations during Her Majesty’s reign as Queen of England. Created in July 2015, this artwork comes from Jody Clark who was just 33 years old when he designed this new portrait. That makes him the youngest Royal Mint designer ever to create a monarch portrait for British coins. The Queen is shown at the age of 89 with the George IV State Diadem Crown. The crown in question has alternating designs of a cross and the combination of roses, thistles, and shamrocks, the flowers of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This crown was commissioned by King George IV in the early months of his reign in 1820. Created by the Crown jewelers at Rundle and Bridge, it features 1,333 diamonds weighing more than 320 karats. The background field on this side of the coin has a guilloche design element.
In the reverse design element of the 2019 British Silver Royal Arms coins, you will find a distinctive, modern image of the current Royal Arms of England. This complex design includes the modern shield at the center of the arms, a crown above, and the two most important heraldic beasts in English heraldry.
First up is the quartered shield. This shield reflects the current state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom consists of four independent nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Wales is, however, not reflected in the Royal Arms of England because it was absorbed into England. Therefore, the quadrants of this shield consist of the Harp of Ireland in the lower left, the Lion of Scotland in the upper right, and the Three Lions of England in the upper left and lower right.
The shield is crowned by the St. Edward’s Crown. The crown depicted above the shield is the second version of the St. Edward’s Crown, which was named for Edward the Confessor who was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. The original version of this crown was used in the 9th and 10th centuries, but sold by Oliver Cromwell. The crown featured here is the second and was restored in 1661. It is worn by the monarch only once for the official coronation ceremony of a new king or queen. The modern design was modified in 1911 and includes 345 aquamarine stones, 12 rubies, 7 amethysts, and 6 sapphires.
In the final element of the design, the two main heraldic beasts of English history support the shield. The Lion of England crowned by the St. Edward’s Crown is on the left, while the Unicorn of Scotland supports the shield on the right.
For several centuries prior to the 9th century, Danish Vikings ruled most of England and used lions in their heraldic shields as leaders in England. The later Anglo-Saxon and Norman kings would also use lions in heraldic symbolism, but it was the Plantagenets that brought the eventual Three Lions design that was first accepted as an official Royal Arms of England.
The second Plantagenet king was King Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart. His reign was brief and much of it consisted of him spending time outside of England fighting to defend his lands in France and supporting Western Christian kingdoms in their fight in the Third Crusades in the Middle East. He had previously used banners and seals of one or two lions in a rampant pose, but in 1198 he adopted an official seal with three lions in a passant guardant pose. Richard I’s Royal Arms with three golden lions on a field of red is one of the longest-used versions of the arms without changes being made. It was used from 1198 to 1340.
The first changes came with the reign of King Edward III in 1340 who added quadrants to the shield and adopted the French fleur de lis in two quadrants with Richard I’s Three Lions in the other quadrants. Several variations of this design would persist through 1630 with no fewer than six modifications made. King James I realigned the quadrants to house the entire Royal Arms with French and English symbols in two quadrants, adding the Lion of Scotland and Harp of Ireland in the other quadrants. The fleur de lis of France was finally dropped in 1801 and the modern coat of arms adopted in 1837 with the ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne and the elimination of the final non-English symbol, the arms of the House of Hanover.
The 2019 British Silver Royal Arms bullion coins are available from the Royal Mint of England with 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver. Each coin is in Brilliant Uncirculated condition and comes with individual or multiple packaging options. Single coins ship with a protective plastic flip, while multiples are available in mint tubes of 25 or Monster Boxes of 500 coins. The face value of the coins is set at 2 Pound sterling (GBP).
The British Royal Arms Series of bullion coins from the Royal Mint includes a 1 oz gold coin, these 1 oz silver coins, and new additions to come in 2020. Those additions include a 1/10 oz gold coin and a new 1 oz platinum coin.
For those interested in owning this brilliant coin, JM Bullion customer service can help answer any questions. We are available on the phone at 800-276-6508, online using our live web chat, and via our email address.