Royal Mint surprises with Queens Beasts, new gold and silver bullion coin series

It isn’t often that the British Royal Mint releases new bullion coins, heavily relying on the venerable Britannia range for many years, but three years ago we were treated to the ‘Shēngxiào Collection’ of Lunar coins. Even though the designs split opinion somewhat – we like them a lot – the lunar range has been sucessful enough to prompt the Royal Mint to expand its offering to another range. This time the theme is about as British as can be, a cool thing for us given some of the stunning Britannia and proof coin designs that have appeared from this impressive mint over the last couple of decades.

Called Queens Beasts, this will be a ten coin series in line with the ten heraldic beasts present at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The beasts were the lion of England, the griffin of Edward III, the falcon of the Plantagenets, the black bull of Clarence, the yale of Beaufort, the white lion of Mortimer, the White Greyhound of Richmond, the red dragon of Wales, the unicorn of Scotland, and the white horse of Hanover. The original, quite gaudy (they were painted in heraldic colours), plaster statues now sit in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau after the Canadian Government took possession of them in July 1959.

If the first coin is any indication, this is going to be a hugely successful series of coins. Jody Clark, the designer of the quite sublime 2014 proof Britannia range, as well as the new Queens’ effigy, has designed the Lion of England and it’s again, a quite superb effort. Quintessentially British, the lion rampant holding the shield is, for me personally at least, one of the best looking new bullion coin for years. Available for now in a one-ounce fine gold format, very shortly there will also be ¼oz gold, and 2oz four-nines silver versions available as well. Both of the latter are available from a US-based bullion dealer, but we’re seeing reports of high minimum quantities and big premiums over spot from them – however the coins should be on general release from the mint in the next week or so. Superb effort from all involved. We hope there’s to be a proof version; a 5oz high-relief silver release would be quite a beautiful coin.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest organisations, shaping and leading the minting industry for over 1,000 years. As key players in the bullion market, we provide customers with the security and quality that they would expect from a leading mint, but it is also important that we offer choice. The latest addition to our bullion range takes its inspiration from hundreds of years of royal heraldry. The Queen’s Beasts bullion coins not only provide a new option for those looking to invest, but the range also includes a two-ounce coin – the first time an official two-ounce United Kingdom bullion coin has been struck.

At the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, ten heraldic beasts stood guard. The Queen’s Beasts, sculpted by James Woodford RA for the coronation ceremony held in Westminster Abbey in 1953, stand six feet tall. The heraldic creatures symbolised the various strands of royal ancestry brought together in a young woman about to be crowned queen. Each proud beast, used as an heraldic badge by generations that went before her, was inspired by the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII that still line the bridge over the moat at his Hampton Court Palace.

Today, The Queen’s Beasts can be found at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, while Portland stone replicas, also carved by James Woodford, watch over Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom. But these mythical, ancient creatures – lions, griffin, falcon, bull, yale, greyhound, dragon, unicorn and horse – have gone on to inspire a new artist.

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The Royal Mint’s established bullion portfolio continues to grow with a new series of gold and silver bullion coins. The coins will depict one of the The Queen’s Beasts, reimagined by a highly-praised new talent, Royal Mint Coin Designer Jody Clark. Jody created the latest definitive coinage portrait of The Queen to appear on United Kingdom coins. His bold interpretations of the Lion of England will be the first coin to be released.

THE LION: The Royal Arms are the arms of the monarch, an ancient device that represents their sovereignty. For the arms that represent Queen Elizabeth II and the United Kingdom, two beasts are shown supporting a quartered shield, the Scottish unicorn and the English lion. The crowned golden lion of England has been one of the supporters of the Royal Arms since King James I came to the throne in 1603, but the lion has stood for England far longer. Richard the Lionheart, son of Henry II, is famed for his three golden lions as the Royal Arms of England; and since the twelfth century, lions have appeared on the coat of arms of every British sovereign.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£5 UKP 0.9999 SILVER  62.42 g 38.61 mm BULLION TBC NO / NO
£25 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 7.80 g  22.0 mm BULLION TBC NO / NO
£100 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 31.21 g 32.69 mm BULLION TBC NO / NO
ROYAL MINT BULLION
By |2016-11-05T06:31:09+00:00March 25th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Bullion, History, Gold, Silver, Royal Mint, United Kingdom|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Katie March 26, 2016 at 12:16 - Reply

    A really great looking range. Looks like the silver isn’t available yet (the gold 1oz is slightly out of my price range!). Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series when it’s released.

  2. vasek March 26, 2016 at 20:23 - Reply

    Looks beautifully! I hope that the premium for 2oz silver bullion coin will be reasonable.

  3. LongJohnSilver March 29, 2016 at 22:52 - Reply

    The 2oz silver looks awesome

  4. Eli April 3, 2016 at 20:14 - Reply

    when will the silver BEAST be available?

  5. KCSO April 20, 2016 at 16:14 - Reply

    Mik, any insight when the exclusivity on the silvers with A-Mark may end?

    Still no silvers in the US and none apparently in bound quite yet in discussions I’ve had with reliable dealers.

    Thanks!

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