This new quarter ounce gold coin is the fourth release in a brand new series of ten issues. Each of the ten coins in this new series will feature a heraldic animal of the British Royal Family. In addition to this quarter ounce gold coin, the UK Royal Mint also produces a one oz gold coin and a two ounce silver coin for each of the ten animals in the series.
Here are some highlights of this coin:
- Contains one quarter (1/4) troy ounce of .9999 fine gold.
- Minted at the Royal Mint in Wales.
- £25 legal tender face value, backed by the government of the United Kingdom.
- Obverse design features a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, updated for 2018.
- Reverse design features the unicorn, one of England's most famous heraldic creatures.
- Fourth of ten coins in a new series.
In 1536, the infamous King Henry VIII commissioned the carving of ten stone sculptures in honor of his marriage to Jane Seymour (they were engaged the day after the execution of his previous wife, Anne Boleyn). Each of the ten animals depicted in the sculptures represent the heraldry of different branch of Henry and Jane's respective ancestries. These sculptures - the "King's Beasts" - stand to this day on a moat bridge at Henry VIII's primary English residence, Hampton Court Palace.
In advance of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, some four hundred years later, a similar set of sculptures were commissioned. These sculptures also depicted the different mythical creatures representing the various branches of Elizabeth's family in the heraldic system. The sculptures themselves were plaster, not stone, and are now on display indoors at a museum in Canada. Stone replicas are on display in Kew Gardens, London.
This new series of coins from the Royal Mint honors these ten mythical creatures: the Queen's Beasts. In addition to a two ounce silver coin, a 1/4 oz gold coin and a one ounce gold coin will also be produced for each of the ten animals in the series. This coin, featuring the English Unicorn, is the fourth release.
The Royal Mint is one of the oldest and most well-respected national mints in the world. The purity and quality of these coins make them an excellent investment choice; in addition, because these coins are part of a unique series with a limited production run, they have the potential to acquire significant collectible (or, "numismatic") value, as well.