The death of Queen Elizabeth II still resonates, understandable given her 70-year reign. It’s almost unimaginable to realise the vast majority of the world’s seven billion people were born after she took the throne. Her image has graced billions of coins, changing in appearance as she did, but always recognisable. There have been many commemorative coin issues marking her death, but nothing quite like this new one-off created by The East India Company.
It’s hard to know where to start with this one. Formed from 3.61 kg of fine gold, and with an internally braced lattice frame, it’s an extraordinary 300 mm+ in diameter, and covered with 6,426 diamonds (486 carats) over both faces. There’s a one-kilo gold coin in the centre, with the Queen’s Jubilee marked on the reverse, and the new Jody Clark effigy on the obverse.
The obverse is otherwise completely covered in diamonds, set to emulate a Union Jack. The gold border is inscribed, as it is on the reverse face, and on the edge of the coin, also. The reverse is equally intricate. As well as that one-kilo coin in the centre, there are no less than ten, one-ounce gold coins also embedded in orbit of it. Four of them depict effigies of Queen Elizabeth II, from the first one by Mary Gillick, to the ubiquitous Ian Rank Broadley version. The last six are the Queen’s Virtues coins, which EIC have been issuing over the last few years. The diamonds are set in a complex, traditional pattern.
As you can see from the images, it’s an amazing piece of numismatic art, quite blingy, of course, but a testament to the skill of the craftsmen involved, all 63 of them! In a great touch, the work has taken place over eight countries, mainly from the Commonwealth. This is a one-off issue, hardly surprising given what we believe is a circa £18.5m price, but you have to be grateful that this kind of thing exists in all of its glory. If you’re interested in buying, give them a call and tell them Mik sent you…