The Royal Mint has unveiled the latest coin portrait of the Queen – the fifth since she ascended to the throne in 1952 – ahead of it entering circulation later this year.
The new portrait was designed by 33-year-old Jody Clark, the first engraver to be chosen to create a “definitive royal coinage portrait” in more than 100 years.
The Queen is picture wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown that she wore during her coronation. It was approved by an advisory committee, as well as the Queen herself.
The coins are going into production today and will start to appear in pockets, purses and piggy banks across the land later this year.
The Royal Mint described it as “a very rare event indeed” – it will join other portraits issued in 1968, 1985 and 1998.
“Together, the coins that carry them tell the story of Her Majesty’s lifetime and paint a compelling picture of the story of her reign,” the Royal Mint said.
Chief executive Adam Lawrence added: “This change of royal portrait will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and it will be hugely exciting for us all to see the new design appear on the coins we use every day.
“Jody’s achievement is something that we can celebrate as a proud moment for The Royal Mint. Capturing a portrait on the surface of a coin demands the utmost skill, and is one of the most challenging disciplines of the coin designer’s art. The last Royal Mint Engraver to be commissioned to undertake a royal portrait was George William de Saulles, who engraved the portrait of Edward VII which first appeared on the coinage in 1902”
Clark said: “I hope that I’ve done Her Majesty justice and captured her as I intended, in a fitting representation. The news that my design had been chosen was quite overwhelming, and I still can’t quite believe that my royal portrait will be featured on millions of coins, playing a small part in The Royal Mint’s 1,000 year history.”