The government and treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory have issued (25th January) a new crown coin and gold coin which were minted in celebration of one of most solemn events that took place in the United Kingdom 65 years ago: The Queen’s coronation.
It was nearly 66 years ago that the then-Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of her father, King George VI. The succession occurred on the 6th February 1952, while the Princess, along with her husband Prince Philip were en-route to Australia in place of her ailing father. She was in Kenya on a scheduled stop-over when she was told of the sad news that her beloved father had died and, as such, she was now Queen of Great Britain. The new Queen flew back to London and upon touching down on British soil, she was proclaimed Queen by her various privy and executive councils. The coronation took place more than a year later due to the tradition that holding such a festival is inappropriate during the period of official court mourning following the death of a monarch. The celebration and solemn ceremony was the first major royal event to be broadcast on television (against Winston Churchill’s advice). It was broadcast in both black and white and colour, and was viewed by 27 million of the then-36 million Britons. In the ceremony itself, at Westminster Abbey, Elizabeth swore an oath to uphold the law and govern the Church of England. Every English and British monarch since William the Conqueror (who reigned long enough to hold a coronation) was crowned at Westminster Abbey, and on a cold and rainy day on the 2nd June 1953, the young Queen was no exception. Tens of thousands of Londoners and many spectators as far away as Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, (not to mention many foreign visitors) lined up overnight the day before to secure the perfect place to witness the spectacular event for themselves.
Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning monarch in 2015 when she overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who herself reigned for 63 years and 216 days. The recent death of Thailand’s King Rama IX in October 2016 means Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Commonwealth Realms has now become the world’s longest-reigning monarch. The 65th anniversary is associated with the sapphire — a gem symbolic of loyalty, inner peace, fulfillment of dreams, and prosperity. The colour associated with this anniversary is blue, which is symbolic of trust, peace, loyalty, and integrity — all of the characteristics you would expect to see in an exemplary sovereign.
The lion and the unicorn signify the United Kingdom and appear as its heraldic supporters on its coat of arms. The lion represents England and the unicorn represents Scotland. The combination of the two animals dates back to the accession of James I of England in 1603, who was also James VI of Scotland. Over the last 400 years, these animals have become strongly associated with royalty and, by proxy, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Both the silver crown and gold coin share the same designs which feature a lion seated behind a unicorn with an English rose, a Scottish thistle, a Welsh daffodil, and a Northern Irish shamrock. The wording, 1953 • H.M Queen Elizabeth II • 2018, appears in the surround. The reverse design is inspired by the hand-painted personal invitation given to Prince Charles for his mother’s coronation, which featured these magnificent beasts.
The obverse features an exceptionally detailed effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which is an exclusive design of the Pobjoy Mint. The issuing authority, the British Indian Ocean Territory, is included in the legend placed around the Queen’s portrait along with the year of issue.
|28.2 g||38.6 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|31.1 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
|1.24 g||13.92 mm||Proof||
The coin’s denominations are £4 for the gold, £2 for the silver, and £2 for the cupro-nickel coins. The 1/25th-ounce gold and the sterling silver coins are protected by an acrylic capsule and then packaged in a beautiful red box which includes a certificate of authenticity. The Uncirculated cupro-nickel coin is shipped in a Pobjoy Mint-branded pouch. For additional information on these and other coins issued from the treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint.