The UK’s Royal Mint has expanded its bullion sales portfolio with the addition of gold and silver coins celebrating The Queen’s Beasts – ten creatures that have featured throughout hundreds of years of British royal heraldry.
The series will be introduced a ‘beast’ at a time, starting with the gallant Lion of England, by British coin designer Jody Clark. The coins are legal tender with face values way below their worth, but this makes them both VAT and Capital Gains Tax exempt for the investor. The price for a single 1 ounce Gold Lion coin is priced on the Royal Mint’s website at the time of writing at £sterling 917.66 – suggesting that it carries a premium over the gold price of around 7% which does not seem unreasonable given the VAT and CGT exemptions. Discounts are available for larger orders which will represent smaller premiums over the gold price – down to £898.27 for orders of 500+ suggesting a premium of only 5% for such a large order. However one would need contact the Royal Mint directly for the latest price which will depend on fluctuations in the daily gold price.
Head of Bullion Sales, Nick Bowkett said: “The introduction of The Queen’s Beasts series brings an exciting new series of bullion coins to investors around the globe. With the current range consisting of 1 oz and 1/4 oz gold coins, the series also sees the introduction of our first two-ounce 999.9 pure silver bullion coin.”
Bearing The Queen’s Fifth portrait, also by Jody Clark, the new coins take their place in The Royal Mint’s core bullion range alongside the organisation’s flagship gold Sovereign and gold and silver Britannia bullion coins, as well as the Royal Mint Refinery range of gold and silver bars.
The Queen’s Beasts bullion coins will be exclusively available in the UK from www.royalmintbullion.com. The Queen’s Beasts bullion coins are also available for purchase via The Royal Mint’s global wholesale distributor A-Mark.
About the design
Inspiration for this series has been taken from The Queen’s Beasts sculptures, each standing at around 2 metres tall, originally created by James Woodford RA for the coronation ceremony of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II held in Westminster Abbey in 1953. The heraldic creatures symbolised the various strands of royal ancestry brought together in a young woman about to be crowned queen. Each beast, used as an heraldic badge by generations that went before her, was inspired by the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII that still line the bridge over the moat at his Hampton Court Palace.
Today, The Queen’s Beasts sculptures can be found at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, while Portland stone replicas, also carved by James Woodford, watch over Kew Gardens in the UK.
The Lion of England is the first of the beasts to be introduced for this new bullion coin series. Royal Arms are the arms of the monarch, an ancient device that represents their sovereignty. For the arms that represent Queen Elizabeth II and the United Kingdom, two beasts are shown supporting a quartered shield, the Scottish Unicorn and the English Lion. The crowned golden Lion of England has been one of the supporters of the Royal Arms since King James I came to the throne in 1603, but the symbol of a lion has stood for England far longer. Richard the Lion-heart, son of King Henry II, is famed for his three golden lions as the Royal Arms of England, and since the twelfth century, lions have appeared on the coat of arms of every British sovereign.
Jody Clark is a member of The Royal Mint’s team of graphic designers and engravers. Jody has worked on notable projects such as the medals struck to celebrate the 2014 Ryder Cup and Nato Summit, whilst his contemporary interpretation of the iconic Britannia was chosen for the celebrated coin’s 2014 collection.
Jody is best known for creating the latest definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, released on United Kingdom coins in 2015, which features on these bullion coins.
In turning his talents to the reverse designs for The Queen’s Beast’s Bullion Range, Jody said: “I took inspiration from the original Queen’s Beasts, both the original versions in Canada and the Portland Stone replicas here that look out over Kew Gardens. They are very stylised and look imposing as statues, but the challenge was to capture this on the surface of a coin.
“I researched the origins of heraldry and coats of arms, and wanted to replicate the sense of strength and courage they were designed to convey. I created a sense of movement to make the beasts bold and dynamic, but the shields they guard still feature strongly as they are integral to the story.
“The lion in my design takes a rampant stance, the most fierce. I researched imagery of lions in the wild to make sure that mine had a true likeness to the creature’s character, but I was careful that it wasn’t too realistic. In this context the lion is a ‘beast’ and I wanted it to feel fantastical, so when it came to areas like the eyes I kept them blank. Adding too much detail softened the look and I think this way there is still a sense of sculpture reflecting the originals.”
||The Queen’s Beasts 2016 – The Lion One Ounce Fine Gold Bullion Coin
||The Queen’s Beasts 2016 – The Lion Quarter-Ounce Fine Gold Bullion Coin
||The Queen’s Beasts 2016 – The Lion Two-Ounce Fine Silver Bullion Coin
||Available as singles or in tubes of 10 coins.
||Available as singles or in tubes of 25 coins.
||Available as singles or in tubes of 10 coins.
Images of The Royal Mint and its products are available upon request. The Royal Mint retains copyright ownership © of all images. These may only be used for editorial purposes and cannot be sold or used for other marketing purposes without the permission of The Royal Mint.
About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK.
While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, The Royal Mint produces coins that remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.
There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2014 ,with a total face value of over £4 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, nearly 2 billion UK coins were issued during 2013-14.
As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It has served more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and currently meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.
The Royal Mint has been making official military campaign medals since it was commissioned to make awards for soldiers who fought in the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The year 2012 was of particular significance for The Royal Mint’s medal-making team, with the manufacture of all 4,700 Victory Medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Royal Mint has recently introduced a new fineness of Britannia bullion coins and a highly-secure on-site bullion vault storage facility, building on the gold Sovereign’s long-standing reputation for integrity, accuracy. This positions The Royal Mint and its bullion products as a premium proposition in this marketplace.
In September 2014, The Royal Mint launched a new bullion trading website, www.royalmintbullion.com, enabling customers to buy, store and sell bullion coins at constantly updated prices directly from The Royal Mint quickly, effortlessly and securely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In January 2015, The Royal Mint announced the revival of The Royal Mint Refinery bullion brand. Gold and silver minted bars bearing the historic marque became available for the first time since 1968, available direct to the public at www.royalmintbullion.com.
In June 2015, The Royal Mint launched Signature Gold, a new addition to its bullion trading service, allowing customers to purchase and own a fractional amount of a 400 oz gold bar from www.royalmintbullion.com.
In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Construction is expected to be completed during 2016.