The Royal Dutch Mint has launched (2nd February) a medal which will mark the occasion of the four kings of the Netherlands as well as the accession of the Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander to the throne of the Netherlands on the 30th April of this year. It was announced on the 28th January that HM Queen Beatrix will abdicate her position as head of State of the Netherlands in favor of her eldest son, who has been crown prince since his mother’s own accession to the Dutch throne on the 30th April 1980.
The medal includes an official portrait of the soon-to-be King, who according to Dutch numismatic tradition, will face to the opposite side as the previous Monarch, that is, to the right. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will on his day of accession, be the country’s first King in more than 123 years, as the last King, Willem III – the new King’s great-great grandfather died in 1890 leaving the throne to his 10 year old daughter who was Queen Wilhelmina. It is expected that shortly after the Crown Prince’s day of accession, his investiture and swearing-in to the States General assembly will follow soon thereafter.
The medal, designed by well-known coin artist Michael Guilfoyle, depicts a detailed profile of Willem-Alexander in a more traditional style. The text “WILLEM ALEXANDER KONING DER NEDERLANDEN” appears around the portrait with the year of accession of “2013” included below the portrait with a stylized initial of “W” placed to the left of the year and a small crown placed to the right. Also included on the reverse design are the portraits of the country’s previous three kings, those of Willem I, Willem II and Willem III which are overlapped and facing to the right. A ribbon-like banner containing their names is positioned below their portraits with a detailed crown placed above all three portraits. Below the portraits is a stylized “W” and finally the mintmarks of the Royal Dutch Mint can be seen to either side of the “W” initial.
Struck to proof quality in sterling silver, the medal weighs 31.1 grams and has a diameter of 38.1 mm. A total mintage of just 2,000 pieces has been authorized and the Royal Dutch Mint have indicated that the portrait is in fact a pre-curser to the official portrait which may be used on circulation type coinage for the Netherlands. This medal design is also available in a smaller size (30 mm) and struck in cupro-nickel with a coin-card package.
For more information on this and other coins and medals offered by the Royal Dutch Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.knm.nl/De-officile-Willemspenning-Zilver-Proof/nl/product/1446/ Information is offered in Dutch.