Prince George of Cambridge one year on - The Royal Mint celebrates with the nation
The Royal Mint has announced that it will strike an official United Kingdom 925 sterling silver £5 coin bearing a seldom-seen heraldic Royal Arms design in honour of the first birthday of His Royal Highness, Prince George of Cambridge. The coin has been approved by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Her Majesty the Queen and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and will be restricted to a limited mintage of just 7,500 coins.
The coin’s Royal Arms design was originally created for Prince George’s great-grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, when it was approved for use on £5 coins to be struck during her reign. The design echoes heraldic elements that have been seen on coinage for more than 300 years, and has only been featured once on coinage since the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, on a £5 coin struck for the British Exhibition in New York in 1960.
The cruciform arrangement of the Royal Arms – four shields representing the nations of the United Kingdom arranged in a cross – is interspersed with floral emblems of the rose, shamrock, thistle and leek. It was seen as a modern and contemporary heraldic design when it was first created, for just as the home nations of the United Kingdom were represented during the Coronation in their entirety on the Queen’s embroidered gown, for example, so the first coins of The Queen’s reign featured an emblem for Wales for the first time.
The obverse features the current portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS. The perfect balance of the Royal Arms design on the reverse by the heraldic painter Edgar Fuller, modelled by the sculptor Cecil Thomas, is crisply detailed in Silver Proof finish, the polished background contrasting with the shields and emblems which are picked out in frosted relief.
For the birth of Prince George on 22 July 2013 The Royal Mint struck a limited number of 10,000 special silver coins to mark the occasion, which were so popular that they sold out within days. This heraldic-themed £5 coin minted in honour of his first birthday is expected to be equally sought-after.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin and Bullion at The Royal Mint said: “As Prince George of Cambridge reaches the significant milestone of turning one year old, we felt there could be no more fitting design to mark the first birthday of our future king than the Royal Arms - the arms of the monarch, minted in honour of the future heir to the throne.
“The choice of a silver coin is significant too as the precious metal is closely associated with new born babies, as crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver is a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life, whilst the £5 coin is a favourite for royal celebrations”.
The official UK £5 coin commemorating the first birthday of HRH Prince George of Cambridge is available now to pre-order from the Royal Mint’s website www.royalmint.com and is priced at £80.00.
The First Birthday of HRH Prince George of Cambridge 2014 UK £5 Silver Proof Coin Specifications:
Issuing authority United Kingdom
Alloy 925 Ag
Reverse Designer Edgar Fuller
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Limited Edition Presentation 7,500
Maximum Coin Mintage 7,500
About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest and most venerable organisations, with an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1000 years. Though more than ten centuries have passed since then, The Royal Mint’s reputation for both quality and integrity has always endured.
While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, coins from The Royal Mint remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.
There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2013, with a total face value of £3.9 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, 1.4 billion UK coins were issued during 2012-13.
As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It currently serves more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.
In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Construction is expected to be completed during 2015.