Queen Elizabeth II circulating coins of Great Britain

Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, and she would remain as the head of the British monarchy until she died on September 8, 2022. Her reign, which lasted for over 2,500 days, is the longest for any national ruler. Despite her advanced age, the death of Queen Elizabeth has shocked the world. Many collectors are aware that she has been on more coins than any other individual in history. This means that there are more ways to honor the queen than we can count. One of the easiest ways to collect her coins is by assembling portraits of her on the Great Britain coins.

Mary Gillick

Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.

The first image of Queen Elizabeth that was featured on the coins of Great Britain and the Commonwealth was created by Mary Gillick. It shows a young Elizabeth wearing a white hat and a laurel wreath. Her hair is also adorned with ribbons. This image has become a classic. It is easy to find proof coins that feature the Gillick image of Queen Elizabeth on British copper pieces, gold sovereigns, and even tiny British copper pieces.

This portrait of the queen is surrounded by various legends on British coins. Her name, as well as the Latin words “Dei Gratia,” “Fidelis Defensor,” and “By the grace of God, Queen,” are featured on these coins. The queen has been the head of the Church of England since King Henry VIII’s reign.

Arnold Machin, 1968 – 1984

Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.

The second image of the queen was featured on the coins of Britain in 1968. This image, which was created by Arnold Machin, shows the queen wearing a Royal Diamond Diadem Crown. This image has become very popular and is easy to find. Since this design was the main image used for almost two decades, it has become very common.

Raphael Maklouf, 1985 – 1997

Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.

It was the work of a sculptor who was born in Jerusalem that was featured on the coins of Britain in 1968. Although this image doesn’t show the queen as old as she is, it still presents her in an elegant manner. Some of the legends surrounding this image have also been replaced by more abbreviated versions.

The design of this image is very common, and it is easy to find. Unfortunately, it is not available on British farthings, as the coins that featured this design were discontinued years before it was released. Even the half penny denomination of the coin was discontinued a year before the design was released. There are still copper penny pieces that are available for those who prefer to keep their coins in low denominations and at a low price. On the other hand, those who are fond of the phrase “Go big or go home” can also find plenty of gold sovereigns that feature this design.

Ian Rank-Broadley, 1998

Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.

In the end of the millennium, the fourth portrait of Queen Elizabeth was released on British coins. This time, it was the work of Ian Rank-Broadley. Although his rendering shows the queen as an older woman, he still manages to maintain her beauty.

Jody Clark, 2015

Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.

The last portrait of Queen Elizabeth that can be featured on British coins is the work of Jody Clark. He was an employee of the Royal Mint when he submitted his design for a new and updated design. After winning the competition, he became the youngest artist to win a commission of this kind in over a hundred years. He also established a record for being the first person to create a design of the queen completely digitally.

The last portrait of Queen Elizabeth that can be featured on British coins is the work of Jody Clark. It shows the queen wearing a royal diamond diadem. These coins are incredibly easy to find.

Five Coin Set

There are five different ways that people can collect portraits of Queen Elizabeth. These include coins, gold sovereigns, and copper penny pieces. A simple five-coin set can easily become a large collection that honors the queen, who reigned for the longest amount of time in history. Proof sets of the different portraits of Queen Elizabeth are also very affordable. There are many other ways that people can honor the queen, such as collecting various types of coins.

I am passionate about the historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of currency. I collect coins and banknotes from various countries and time periods, focusing on specific themes, time periods, or regions that I find interesting. I also love to study the historical context of the currency that influenced coinage and currency issuance.