Queen Elizabeth II is the longest living and second longest reigning Monarch in British history next to Queen Victoria. The year 2012 will commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Accession of Her Majesty who became Queen and Head of the Commonwealth on the 6th February 1952 and was crowned in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd June 1953. During her 60 year reign, she has become the most widely traveled Head of State in World history. The Queen has witnessed numerous changes within her realm and around the world. From the end of rationing in the UK the year she became Queen, to the landing of the first man on the moon up, and to the present day of the digital age.
To celebrate the remarkable 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II as Sovereign of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the seas, The Pobjoy Mint have been commissioned to issue a series of new coins on behalf of Ascension Island, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
All coins have been approved by Buckingham Palace and feature a unique double effigy of the Queen on the obverse. The first effigy is an up to date portrait of Her Majesty, the second is based on a portrait sculpted by Mary Gillick that first appeared on the obverse of British and commonwealth coins from 1953 to 1968.
Ascension Island – Authorized by the Government of Ascensionand struck by the Pobjoy Mint in the United Kingdom, the coin depicts three images of the Queen during the last 60 years, from the first official portrait to be used on British and commonwealth circulating coins in 1953 to the most recent profile commissioned for territorial circulating coinage. The obverse of the coin carries the double conjoined portraits of these two portraits along with the text “ELIZABETH II 2012 ASCENSION ISLAND” around the rim. The reverse design depicts a semi front facing portrait of the Queen just after her accession along with the text above the portrait “LIFE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II”. The denomination of two pounds is positioned to the left of the portrait.
British Indian Ocean Territory – Authorized by the Treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory and struck by the Pobjoy Mint in the UK, the obverse of the coin carries the specially commissioned double conjoined portraits of the queen along with the text “ELIZABETH II 2012 BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY” around the rim. The reverse image of the coin is inspired by a photograph of both the Queen and Queen Mother during the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee in 2002. The text “LIFE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II” is above the main images and the coin’s denomination of two pounds is just below the text.
British Virgin Islands – Authorized by the Government of the British Virgin Islands and produced by the Pobjoy Mint, the obverse of the coin carries the specially commissioned double conjoined portraits of the queen along with the text “BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2012”. The reverse of the coin carries a version of an official photograph portrait of the Queen commissioned during the Golden Jubilee. She is wearing the Queen Alexandra tiara and a necklace of diamonds given to her by Queen Mary on the occasion of her wedding in 1947. The text “LIFE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II” is above the main design and a rose and stem is placed to the right. The coin’s denomination of $10 is seen to the left of the main design.
Isle of Man – The Isle of Man Treasury have issued their latest coin to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the queen who is officially recognised as Lord of Man. On the obverse of the coin is the specially commissioned double conjoined portraits of the queen along with the text “ELIZABETH II ISLE OF MAN 2012”. The reverse of the coin depicts a scene from the Queen’s coronation in 1953. Her Majesty is holding the sceptre containing the Cullinan diamond and is wearing the Imperial State crown with the crown of St. Edward beside her to the left. The text “LIFE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II” is above the main design and a rose and stem is placed to the left. The coin’s denomination of one crown (25 pence) is positioned below the main design.
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands – The Treasury of the Falkland Islands on behalf of the British overseas Territory of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands have authorized the issue of a commemorative coin to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The obverse of the coin carries the specially commissioned double conjoined portraits of the queen along with the text “SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2012”. The coin has a face value of Two pounds and the reverse design is inspired by a photograph of the Queen as she was seen on Christmas Day church services in 2009 at Balmoral, the Queen’s private estate in Scotland. The text “LIFE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II” is above the main design and the denomination is positioned just to the left of the primary design.
All of the above coins are produced in Proof Sterling Silver and Uncirculated Cupro Nickel. The silver proof coin is struck in sterling silver with a weight of 28 grams and a diameter of 38.6 mm. Each coin is limited to a mintage of 10,000 pieces. The cupro-nickel coin’s mintage is without limit.
For more information on any of these or other coins offered by the Pobjoy Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.pobjoy.com/ukworld/page.php?xPage=index.html