With mythical and medieval origins, heraldic beasts have captured the imagination of artists for centuries. They have represented households and monarchs, often passed down through generations. The beasts inherited by Her Majesty The Queen, and chosen to symbolically guard the entrance to her coronation, have inspired a new collection of coins to be struck.
The first of the ten designs is this beautifully presented Lion of England Brilliant Uncirculated £5 Coin. Both sides of this coin have been designed by Jody Clark, best known for creating the current coinage portrait of The Queen that features on the obverse of this coin. The reverse design has a fierce interpretation of the Lion of England.
The Lion is one of the earliest animals to appear in royal emblems; a traditional symbol of bravery, strength and valour. The first recorded use was the gift of a blue shield, decorated with small golden lions, given to Geoffrey Plantagenet by Henry I in 1127. As long as England has had a shield of its own, it has always featured the lion in some form.
The Lion is not only an English symbol as it appeared on the arms of the Principality of Wales. Today, it features on the Royal Badge of the National Assembly of Wales and is a prominent figure in the Scottish royal coat of arms. This inclusive symbol was an obvious choice for The Queen’s Beasts but at Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation it was the golden Lion of England who stood in pride of place, nearest the entrance to the Abbey, crowned and holding the shield of the Royal Arms, King of the Beasts.
This coin is struck to Brilliant Uncirculated standard and accompanied by a booklet produced in association with Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald at the College of Arms.