Sunday, October 30, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II coin portraits

Last week, a few of my Facebook friends have a discussion about Queen Elizabeth II coin potraits. One of them is asking about a potrait that look identical but with a different writing on them. One of them have a writing "ELIZABETH II D.G.REG F.D" and the other "ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D". My friend were thinking that both of the portraits on the coins are different persons because of the different faces and writing on the coin obverse. Most of the answer on the discussion told him that both coins show the pictures of Queen Elizabeth II but with a different portraits design. The words abbreviations "D. G. REG. F. D." or "DEI GRATIA REGINA F D" stand for Dei gratia regina fidei defensor which means ""By the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith" and normally can be seen on British coins.

Here are some of the Queen Elizabeth II coin portraits designs:

Mary Gillick Portrait
First portrait of the Queen to appear on a coin was issued in 1953, shows The Queen wearing a wreath, a young woman in her mid-20s. This portrait was used both on UK coinage and the coinage of many commonwealth countries. The first portrait was used from 1953 to 1965 on all pre-decimal coins.

Cecil Thomas Portrait
A portraits on Malaya and British Borneo coins is a design by Cecil Thomas. His designs  showed an effigy of The Queen crowned and facing right. Cecil Thomas designed a ‘realm portrait’ which is similar in nature and appears in the same context as that of George VI who was king before and father to Queen Elizabeth II. The design approved for use on colonial coinage and certain medals.

Arnold Machin RA Portrait
A new portrait of the Queen was adopted for the decimal coins. Designed by Arnold Machin RA, it had in fact been approved by the Queen as early as June 1964. Like Mary Gillick, Machin avoided the couped portrait cut off by the neck which had been usual on coins earlier in the century. The wreath, however, was replaced with the tiara which the Queen had been given as a wedding present from her grandmother Queen Mary.  The design was used for the decimal coins from 1968 to 1984.

Raphael Maklouf Portrait
From 1985 to 1997, UK circulating coins were struck bearing a royal portrait by the sculptor Raphael Maklouf. The couped portrait – cut off at the neck – shows the Queen with the royal diadem which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament, and includes a necklace and earrings. A close examination reveals the artist’s initials, RDM, on the truncation of the neck, the inclusion of the middle letter – for David – ensuring that the signature would not be misinterpreted as a reference to the Royal Mint.

Dora de Pedery-Hunt Portrait
Dora de Pedery-Hunt was an artist who designed various coins and medals. She created the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II that was used on Canadian coinage in 1990. She was the first Canadian citizen to design an effigy for Her Majesty, The Queen. Her effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, when she was 64 years old.

Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS Portrait
Portrait design by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS is a winning design in a competition held by the Royal Mint to design the obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown. The design introduced in 1998 and show the matureness of the Queen’s years, etchings of age to reflect her 71 years.

Susanna Blunt Portrait
Susanna Blunt is a Canadian portrait artist who designed the most recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the current Canadian coinage, which began in 2003. Blunt was invited by the Canadian Mint to join eight other artists in a nationwide competition for a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to be used on Canadian coins. Blunt created the image from a photograph of the Queen.

Source: Wikipedia, Royal Mint UK,