A new monarch soon on the Royal Mint coins
- September 10, 2022
We learned the day before yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 years. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, or now King Charles III, is taking his turn on the throne of England. One of the changes called for by a new monarch in England is the change of the royal portrait that appears on the coins in circulation.
A new royal portrait on the coins
Adopted under Charles II, the royal numismatic tradition requires that monarchs have to be represented on the coin in the opposite direction to their predecessor. This custom dates back to 1660 and has been respected ever since, with the exception of King Edward VIII. He imposed, by personal taste, a portrait turned to the left, drawn by the engraver Humphrey PAGET, while his predecessor King George V was also represented turned to the left on the coins issued by the Royal Mint. A sovereign with the portrait of King Edward VIII is also an extremely rare coin. The last one sold by the Royal Mint’s Collector’s Department was sold for one million pounds (about €1,153,700, to read the article click here).
Gold sovereign George V – 1915 (Photo: Royal Mint)
Gold sovereign EDOUARD VIII – an exceptionally rare coin (6 pieces)
Even if this change will not be made until next year, or even beyond, we can already wonder about the choices that might be considered by the English coin authorities.
The most recent depiction of King Charles III on a Royal Mint struck blank is a set of precious metal medals celebrating his 70th birthday in 2018. The portrait of Charles III that will appear on the new circulation coins may look like this…
Medal for the 70th birthday of Prince Charles
current King Charles III of England (Royal Mint)
A new engraver for Charles III
A new portrait always involves the choice of a new engraver in the English numismatic tradition. One name stands out in particular. It is the engraver Timothy NOAD.
The engraver and artist, Timothy NOAD
Timothy is a prolific designer of coins and medals, including work for the Royal Mint. For the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, he achieved the unique distinction of having his design selected for the gold sovereign for which Timothy NOAD stated “The Golden Jubilee sovereign featured the crowned shield of the Royal Arms flanked by branches of laurel, alluding to Queen Victoria’s sovereign design. The St. George design focused on the action between St. George, his horse and the dragon. The new design represents the entire Royal Coat of Arms and therefore includes some of the elements such as the shield, crown and heraldic animals, but in a very different arrangement.”
His designs were also chosen for five one-pound coins from 2013 to 2015, seven Crown coins commemorating royal events and the country’s history, and for the reverse of more official UK medals than any other artist.
His production is quantitatively and above all qualitatively undisputed and it would seem logical that having designed the last gold sovereign with the portrait of Queen Elysabeth II he would also design the first sovereign with the portrait of King Charles III. He would thus ensure the numismatic transition between the two monarchs.
Sources: Royal Mint and NUMISMAG.