In 2016, the Royal Mint introduced the Queen's Beasts Silver and Gold Bullion Coins.
At Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, a statue of each of the 10 heraldic beasts was present.
The Queen's Beasts consists of a heraldic beast supporting a shield bearing a badge or arms of a family associated with the ancestry of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen's Beasts names are listed below:
Every reverse design has been designed by British coin designer, Jody Clark, who is also the creator of the latest portrait of The Queen on UK coinage.
The Queen's Beasts silver bullion coin is unique when compared to other silver bullion coins in that it is not available in the 1 oz size.
Instead, the Royal Mint makes the bullion coin available in the 2 oz. and 10 oz. sizes.
The obverse side of the 1 oz. UK Queen's Beasts Silver bullion coin is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Jody Clark designed the effigy of the Queen, his initials "JC" are inscribed directly below the Queen's neck.
Inscribed, inside the border of the coin, are the words and letters "ELIZABETH II, D,G, REG, FID, DEF".
D, G, REG, stands for "Dei Gratia Regina," it is a Latin title meaning "By the Grace of God, Queen."
F, D, stands for "Fidei Defensor," it also is a Latin title that translates into "Defender of the Faith" in English.
The phrases have been used regularly on coinage since the 16th century.
The Face Value of the Queen's Beasts 2 oz. silver bullion coin is "5 POUNDS."
Issued as legal tender, the Silver bullion coin is guaranteed by the Government of the United Kingdom.
Obverse photo provided courtesy of the Royal Mint
The reverse design of every one of the UK Queen's Beasts Bullion Coin is created by Jody Clark, his initials 'JC' can be found below the shield on each coin.
The crowned golden 'Lion of England' was the first beast issued in the bullion coin series.
The lion stands roaring over a shield bearing the Coat of Arms for the United Kingdom.
The words "LION OF ENGLAND" are inscribed around the perimeter of the bullion coin, along with its weight 2OZ, purity "FINE SILVER .9999," and the Year of
Reverse photo provided courtesy of the Royal Mint
Denomination:.............£5 GBP (5 pounds)
Silver Content:.............2 Troy oz.
Total Weight:...............62.20 grams
Purity:.........................99.99% / .9999
Designer:.....................Jody Clark (obverse & reverse)
Denomination:...........£10 GBP (10 pounds)
Gold Content:............10 Troy oz.
Total Weight:.............311 grams
Purity:.......................99.99% / .9999
Designer:...................Jody Clark (obverse & reverse)
The Lion of England:
As long as England has had a shield of its own, it has always featured the lion in some form; which symbolizes bravery, strength and valour.
The Lion supports a shield showing the Arms of the United Kingdom as they have been since Queen Victoria's reign in 1837.
In the first and last quarters of the shield are the lions of England, taken from the arms of Richard I "The Lionheart" (1157–1199).
The lion and tressure (armorial border) of Scotland appear in the second, and the harp of Ireland is in the third.
The Griffin of Edward III:
The Griffin of Edward III is an fantastical beast, part eagle, part lion.
It was considered a beneficent creature, signifying courage and strength combined with guardianship, vigilance, swiftness and keen vision.
It was closely associated with Edward III who engraved it on his private seal, and who's rule lasted for more than 50-years.
The shield shows the Round Tower of Windsor Castle (where Edward III was born) with the Royal Standard flying from the turret, enclosed by two branches of oak surmounted by the royal crown.
The Red Dragon of Wales:
The Red Dragon, of the Queen’s Beasts, was an emblem of Owen Tudor, a claim to Welsh heritage that was carried on by his son, who would become Henry VII.
Dragons are one of the most recognizable of Europe's mythical beasts, it is viewed as a frightening but wise and dominating creature.
The dragon holds a shield bearing a lion in each quarter; this was the coat of arms of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last native Prince of Wales.
The Unicorn of Scotland:
Mythical tales about the unicorn date back to 400 BC.
The unicorn was originally assumed to be big, strong, and fierce, but it has since become a symbol of elegance, grace, and purity, and a beast that is hard to overcome.
From the end of the 16th century, two unicorns were adopted as the supporters of the Scottish Royal Arms.
In 1603, the crown of England passed to James VI of Scotland, who then became James I of England.
He took as supporters of his Royal Arms a crowned lion of England and one of his Scottish unicorns.
The unicorn holds a shield showing the Royal Arms of Scotland, a lion ramping in a royal tressure, adorned with fleur-de-lis.
The Black Bull of Clarence:
The Black Bull of Clarence is a ‘Yorkist’ beast which descended to the Queen through Edward IV, the first king of England from the House of York.
Seen as a symbol of strength, Edward IV used the Black Bull, as did his brother, Richard III, the last York king.
The shield has two quarters with the gold lions of England, and two with the golden lilies.
The Yale of Beaufort:
The Yale was a mythical beast, supposedly white and covered with gold spots and able to swivel each of its horns independently.
It descends to the Queen through Henry VII, who inherited it from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort.
The shield shows a portcullis surmounted by a royal crown.
The beasts holds the shield with blue and white quarters of Margaret’s arms with a golden portcullis at the center, a badge used by Henry VII.
The portcullis is also part of the arms of Westminster City Council, which is home to Westminster Abbey where Queen Elizabeth II's coronation took place in 1953.
The Falcon of the Plantagenets:
The falcon was first used by Edward III of the House of Plantagenet as his badge, its been since passed to the Queen.
Edward III chose the symbol to embody his love of 'hawking' which is also known as 'falconry.'
When Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, he united the houses of York and Lancaster, he was known for using the falcon symbol regularly, and it is said to have been a favorite badge of Queen Elizabeth I.
The white Falcon holds a shield depicting a white falcon within an open golden ‘fetterlock.’
The White Lion of Mortimer:
The White Lion of Mortimer relates to the Queen through Edward IV who inherited the creature from his grandmother, heiress of the Mortimers.
Unlike the Lion of England the White Lion of Mortimer has no crown. In heraldry lions are usually standing with its front paws raised, but the Lion of Mortimer is often shown sitting with its tail between its legs.
The shield shows a white rose encircled by a golden sun, known heraldically as a ‘white rose en soleil’ which is really a combination of two distinct badges. Both of these appear on the Great Seals of Edward IV and Richard III. It also was a badge used by George VI, The Queen’s father, when he was Duke of York.
The White Horse of Hanover:
The White Horse of Hanover was introduced into the Royal Arms in 1714 when the crown of Great Britain passed to the Elector George of Hanover.
This grandson of Elizabeth Stuart, sister of Charles I, became George I, King of Britain, France and Ireland.
The shield shows the leopards of England and the lion of Scotland in the first quarter, the fleur-de-lis of France in the second and the Irish harp in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter shows the Arms of Hanover.
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