The government and treasury of Ascension Island have issued (30th August) a new crown coin which marks a royal event not seen in anyone’s lifetime previously. The crown celebrates the 65th anniversary of reign (the Sapphire Jubilee) of HM Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the British throne on the 6th February 1952 at the age of 25.
The use of a royal cypher originates with the utilisation of the royal initials for decorative and official purposes and dates from the early Tudor period. The cypher is simply the initial of the sovereign with the addition of the letter R, for “Rex” or “Regina,” and can also include the regnal numeral of the sovereign’s name, which is represented by a roman numeral. In the case of the Queen, the cypher is E II R. The sovereign uses the same cypher throughout all of the realms in which they are the crowned head of state. Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, and was proclaimed queen by her various privy and executive councils shortly afterwards. The coronation took place more than a year later due to the tradition that holding such a festival is inappropriate during the period of mourning following the death of a monarch. In the ceremony itself, at Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth swore an oath to uphold the law and govern the Church of England. It was during this ceremony that the royal cypher of the Queen was prominently displayed on banners and royal standards which lined the procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. On the 9th September 2015, the Queen became the longest-reigning monarch when she overtook her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, surpassing her 63 years and 216 days as the sovereign. On the 6th February 2017, Her Majesty celebrated her 65th year as Queen. Currently, she is the longest-reigning sovereign in the world since the death of Thailand’s King Rama IX in October 2016.
The coin is produced by the Pobjoy Mint, United Kingdom, on behalf of the treasury of Ascension. The reverse design on the coin features the royal cypher of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II which appears, amongst other places, on the gates of the Tower of London. The design includes the cypher itself surrounded by flowers and plants representing the United Kingdom. The rose symbolises England; the daffodil, Wales; the thistle, Scotland; and the shamrock, Northern Ireland.
The obverse features an effigy of the Queen which is an exclusive creation by the Pobjoy Mint.
|28 g||38.6 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|28 g||38.6 mm||Proof with select gold plating||
This coin is produced in two versions, a Brilliant Uncirculated version (cupro-nickel) and a Proof-quality version struck in sterling silver and finished with selective gold plating of the cypher in the centre of the coin. To reflect the year that the longest-serving British monarch ascended to the throne, the silver coins are limited to a mintage of 1,952 pieces. For more information on these and other coins issued by the government of Ascension, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint.