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On Sunday, February 6, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate 70 years on the British throne, and The Royal Mint will be commemorating her remarkable Platinum Jubilee with a series of precious metal coins.
The special obverse design, by esteemed artist John Bergdahl, depicts The Queen on horseback and will be struck on the “heads” side of a new 50p and traditional £5 crown.
Representing Her Majesty’s fondness of nature, the Queen-approved design is reminiscent of the equestrian designs for the 1953 Coronation and 2002 Jubilee crown pieces.
Upon the death of her father, King George VI at age 56, Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952. She was only 25 at the time. The Queen broke the record as the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015.
There will be year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world as communities come together to celebrate The Queen’s historic reign.
The coins of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be available in platinum, gold, silver and brilliant uncirculated cupronickel (copper-nickel alloy). Prices vary widely, depending on the metal of choice. For example, the 50 pence coin depicting the “70” logo retails for £1,395 in platinum, £1,095 in gold, £102.50 in silver and £7 in cupronickel.
The precious-metal versions of the coins will be minted in limited quantities, while the availability of the cupronickel version will be unlimited.
The “70” logo on the “tails” side of the 50p coin, which includes the Queen’s cypher, or monogram, was conceived by Osborne Ross. The heraldic designs of Bergdahl are displayed on the “tails” side of the £5 coins.
The UK has instituted a special four-day Jubilee bank holiday from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, during which the British government has promised a “once-in-a-generation show” that will “mix the best of British ceremonial splendor and pageantry with cutting-edge artistic and technological displays.”
About a week later, on June 11, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 96th birthday.
Credits: Photo of coins courtesy of The Royal Mint. Queen Elizabeth II (1953) by Associated Press, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Queen Elizabeth II (2015) by PolizeiBerlin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.