Release number seven in the Royal Mint’s 21-coin, 5-year ‘British Monarchs Collection’, welcomes Charles II, joining Charles I and III in appearing on a coin in the series, although the latter in just obverse effigy form. A popular monarch with a reign lasting from 1660 to his death in 1685, he was recalled from Europe after the death of Oliver Cromwell, to help quell the resulting political unrest.
He seemed to be a bit of a party animal, fathering at least a dozen illegitimate children, and enjoying the finer things in life. His popularity stemmed from his affable nature, approachability, and religious tolerance. He had no legitimate heir, however, and was succeeded by his brother, James.
Charles liked his art, including coins, and in 1661 invited celebrated engraver and medallist, John Roettiers, along with his brothers Philip and Joseph, to take up positions in the Royal Mint. John became highly celebrated in his own lifetime, and is now considered one of the best engravers ever employed there. Amongst his many works, was a coin portrait, brought into the modern age by the Royal Mint today. Roettiers was actually buried in the Tower of London, the home of the Royal Mint at the time.