Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Silver Coins
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The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was a momentous event that marked the 60th year of the sovereign on the British throne. To celebrate the occasion a number of commonwealth mints (if not all mints under Great Britain, as well as the Royal Mint itself) created commemorative bullion coins in both gold and silver. The Perth Mint created a series of gold coinages for the event, alongside another set of unique silver bullion coins in various sizes and styles, with all but one minted in proof quality, but with variances in the aesthetic details.
The first of the series of silver Diamond Jubilee coins was the standard Diamond Jubilee ‘double-headed’ £5 coin that featured both the standard Diamond Jubilee half-body portrait of the queen (designed by Ian Rank-Broadley) on the obverse with the legends ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Fides Defensor – Elizabeth II by the Grace of God, Queen Defender of the Faith) and the face value of five pounds (it being based on the U. K. Royal Mint’s standard commemorative coin). The reverse featured another head, this one the classic depiction of a younger, uncrowned Elizabeth II created by Mary Gillick, and adapted by Ian Rank-Broadley, with the legend DIR IGE DEVS GRESSVS MEOS (Dirige Deus Gressus Meos - God Guide My Steps / Way), along with the date of mintage. It features the bust of a younger queen in high-relief, supported by olive branches and a ribbon or wreath. Unlike other Australian mintages which are legal tender in either Australia or Tuvalu, this coin is legal tender only in the U. K. and is sold strictly as bullion in Australia. Unlike all of the Perth Mint’s other commemorative coin, the ‘double headed’ silver Diamond Jubilee coin is minted in BU (Brilliant Uncirculated) quality.
The second type actually features two coins sold as a set, with each coin possessing a unique reverse design. The first of the two depicts the queen making a grand entrance, and being greeted by trumpets with banners being the Royal Arms. The Royal Cypher (EIIR – Elizabeth II Regina) with the St Edward’s Crown is also depicted. The coin is selectively gilded in pure gold with the St Edward’s Crown and the Royal Coat of Arms of England beneath the coin, separating the dates ‘1952’ and ‘2012’. It also bore the legends ‘DIAMOND JUBILEE – HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II’ on the external border, while the coin weight (1 oz) and fineness was indicated next to the depiction of the queen. The second version depicts a more candidly posed queen facing left, with the Royal Cypher surmounted by the St Edward’s Crown clearly visible. As with the first, it is selectively gilded in pure gold, with the gilding on the depiction of the St Edward’s Crown and Royal English Arms below the coin separating the commemorative dates. As with the first, it bore a similar legend, as well as inscriptions with regards to the coin. Both of these unique coins are minted in proof quality, as indicated by the ‘P’ mintmark found likewise on the reverse. The obverse depicts the standard Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of the queen, with the respective standard legends and the face value of the coin (A$1).
The third coin to be released in the series is perhaps one of the most stunning tributary coinages made for the queen. The reverse of the coin is quartered, with half of the left side depicting a highly detailed full-colour portrait of the queen made by Sir William Dargie, while the right is divided into three different areas, with the top depicting her personal seal / emblem, the middle showing the dates ‘1952 – 2012’, and the bottom corner depicting her own authentic engraved signature. The legends ‘DIAMOND JUBILEE’ as well as the weight and fineness of the coin are also depicted in the reverse, while the obverse bears the standard portrait of the queen with the respective legends. It bears a face value of A$1, and is legal tender in Australia. Due to its very unique aesthetics, its issue is limited to only 7, 500 coins.
The last coin of the series is definitely the most fitting tribute to the queen –a proof quality, high-relief one-kilo silver bullion coin depicting the St Edward’s Crown in stunningly precise detail, bordered by 60 diamond shapes at the edge to commemorate the queen’s 60-year reign. The reverse also bore the dates 1952 – 2012, while the obverse flaunted a highly detailed standard portrait of the queen with the general legends, the coin weight, silver purity, date of mintage, and face value (A$30). Because of its sheer heft, it too is limited to only 600 coins.
The silver Diamond Jubilee bullion coins are not only fitting complimentary pieces to the gold Diamond Jubilee coins; they are also excellent investment pieces and collectors’ items in their own right, and a more than fitting tribute to the great queen.
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