Pobjoy takes up the Queen’s Beasts challenge with the first in a new bi-metallic style proof coin series

One of the best proof/bullion coin series in recent years, in our view, the Royal Mints ‘Queen’s Beasts’ ten-issue series will no doubt go down as a modern numismatic classic. To follow so soon after with your own interpretation takes some rather large kahoonas, but nevertheless, the Pobjoy Mint is going for it.

Like the Royal Mint, the British Pobjoy Mint is starting with the Lion of England, and the differences between the two mints approach is quickly evident. The former portrays a single combined element of animal and heraldic shield done in a naturalistic style, while the latter goes with two seperate elements sculpted with a more stylistic look. Both mints employ a large border for the proof versions, but Pobjoy have chosen the bi-metallic British £2 format for this series and the sterling silver coin manages to ape the look of that with gilding. It looks promising, but we’re hamstrung as usual by the poor official images. We’d love to see some actual coin images and will see if we can get some.

Issued for the British Indian Ocean Territory, which despite covering only 60 sq.km (23 sq.miles) is comprised of over 1,000 islands. As a result, Pobjoy’s own effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sits in the central area of the obverse. The coin is boxed with a C.O.A, all coloured purple. Only the one precious metal variant on offer (12 grams), but the mintage is a very small 475 pieces. A base-metal version is also available and even that has a low mintage of just 2,750 pieces. Available shortly for £67.50, we’ll keep an eye on this one.


The Queen’s Beasts were sculpted by James Woodford RA for the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II, and held in Westminster Abbey in 1953. Standing six feet tall, they stood guard over the new monarch, and each was a heraldic symbol celebrating the nations royal history.

The whole concept was inspired by the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII that to this day, still line the bridge over the moat at Hampton Court Palace. Thee original plaster statues are now located at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, while Portland stone replicas, also carved by Woodford, sit in the famous botanical park at Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom.

DENOMINATION £2 UKP (British Indian Ocean Territory)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 12.0 grams
MODIFICATIONS Gilded outer ring
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes