A new portrait of the Queen that is set to appear on coins has been released by the Royal Mint. During an unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Monday morning, the first golden images of Her Majesty's portrait were proudly put on display.
With a hint of a smile shown in the new portrait, the design reflects the warm, much-loved Queen we see today. The image also maintains more traditional features, and is a nod to coins that have been produced in the past.
Artist Jody Clark, who designed the portrait, decided to portray the Queen wearing the glittering crown she donned for her 1953 Coronation, marking a "real nod to the past".
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The Queen had to give her approval for the new coins before they went into production
The craftsman first researched photos online to decide which regalia he would include. "I chose the Royal Diamond Diadem," said Jody. "I think it's the most familiar and I wanted to make some clear distinctions between the portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, as Her Majesty really hasn't aged too much in the years since."
"The Diamond Diadem was worn by the Queen to her Coronation and was featured in the portraits designed by Raphael Maklouf and Arnold Machin, so it's a real nod to the past," he added.
This is the fifth time that the Queen's image has been produced on a coin
This new coin marks the fifth time that the Queen's definitive portrait has appeared on circulating coins, since her accession to the throne in 1952. When it is released to the public later this year, it will become the fourth portrait currently in circulation, joining those created in 1968, 1985 and 1998.
Out of the five designers who have created coinage portraits of the Queen in the past, Jody is the youngest. He was 33 years old when his design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions to a closed competition.
Each submission was judged on its merits and suitability and ultimately had to be given approval from the Queen herself.
The new coin portrays the Queen wearing her glittering Coronation crown
"I hope that I've done Her Majesty justice and captured her as I intended, in a fitting representation," said Jody. "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."
The new coins went into production on Monday but members of the public will have to keep a watchful eye on their coins later this year, when the new pieces will start to appear in pockets, purses and piggy banks across the land.