The Royal Mints latest £20 f0r £20 face value coin has now been launched, and predictably it celebrates the upcoming 90th birthday of Britains Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II. If Helen of Troy had ‘the face that launched a thousand ships’, Queen Elizabeth must have ‘the face that adorned a billion coins’. A popular monarch, seen as hard-working and a great ambassador for the UK, a large number of mints are issuing coins for the celebration, which we’ll condense into an article nearer the date, 21 April.
In terms of specification there are no changes from other coins in this series, a simple half-ounce of fine silver struck to a brilliant uncirculated finish, and like before, the coin is mounted to a card. The reverse face design is similar to several other royal coins released over the last couple of years, incorporating heraldry and symbolism, leaving no doubt to the subject matter of the coin. The nine roses representing the nine decades the Queen has lived is a nice touch.
It’s available now with a mintage of 150,000. The Royal Mint seem to be doing a good job of selling coins at the moment, perhaps signs of a renaissance in UK coin collecting. The design on this is relatively unambitious, but quite appealing, and will likely do well. A range of proof versions of this design have also been revealed ranging from £13.00, to almost £46,000 in price. Again, we’ll cover at a later date but they are available to buy now from the Royal Mint website.
One troubling change with these coins has been the discovery of a statement from the mint saying that these coins, even though they are legal tender, are not acceptable for use in Post Offices, banks and businesses. To confirm this the mint has now placed the following on the product page in the estore “All coins made by The Royal Mint are legal tender, whether commemorative or circulating. However, only circulating legal tender coins are designed to be spent and traded at businesses and banks. This coin is a commemorative coin so banks, post offices and shops will not accept them. If individual customers wish to discuss the return of this coin now or in the future please contact our customer services team on 0345 6088 300.” They do not, however, say at what price they will take them back for. Collectors believed that buying one of these meant at the very least that the coin would be worth what was paid for it – i.e. its face value. A less than satisfactory development.