Acclaimed coin designer Jody Clark is the creator of the current coinage portrait of Her Majesty and has produced multiple designs for our most exclusive ranges since 2021.
Throughout this blog, we will be exploring the different ranges that have been created by this exceptionally talented artist.
In 2021, we worked with Jody Clark to create a phenomenal sovereign range that celebrated the 200th anniversary of the definitive St George and the dragon design, a design that has graced Britain’s gold sovereigns since the year 1821 in the reign of King George IV. Created by the talented Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci, it is known the world over as a masterpiece of coin artistry and has become synonymous with the gold sovereign itself.
This series of St George and the dragon sovereigns features an exciting interpretation by talented artist Jody Clark, creator of the current coinage portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This means that for the first time in 200 years, both the monarch’s portrait and the design of St George are the work of the same designer! Each sovereign in this set has subtle variations from the others, and together, the coins chart the progress of combat between St George and the dragon, bringing a unique design touch in this 200th anniversary year.
No British monarch before Queen Elizabeth II has ever celebrated the milestone of a 95th birthday, so to celebrate her becoming our oldest reigning monarch, an important range of sovereigns were released. Owing to the unmatched significance of this royal event, these coins were produced in the highest purity gold possible, 24 carat; an astonishing 99.99% pure! Not only that, the beautiful motif was created by the talented artist Jody Clark, so, in another exciting first, this is the first time the Queen appears on both sides of the coin in portraits by the same designer!
You may already know the significance of the ‘Una and the Lion’ design in British coinage history. Inspired by Edmund Spenser’s epic medieval poem ‘The Faerie Queene’, it was the young Queen Victoria who was first depicted as Una with the lion on the first gold £5 coin of her reign in 1839. Now, her great-great granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II appears as Una, side by side with the British Lion in a magnificent new treatment of this historic and beautiful coin motif.
In the year that we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of our own Queen, we also remember that this was sadly brought about by the death of her father, King George VI on 6th February 1952. King George VI could not have foreseen he would become our monarch but the shock abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, meant that George was forced to assume the role on 11th December 1936.
For Her Majesty, her accession to the throne meant the loss of her beloved father at a very young age. To mark the 70th anniversary of his death, the first sovereigns ever to feature George VI and his daughter Elizabeth II on the same coin were released, a way for us all to acknowledge his considerable legacy. The profile portrait of King George VI gives these coins notable significance, as it has been expertly created by Jody Clark.
This year, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first in our history to celebrate seventy years as monarch. A Platinum Jubilee is an event that no generation of Britons has ever seen before, and this series celebrates her greatest qualities, which in classical times would be referred to as Her Majesty’s Graces, that have made her such an outstanding monarch. These sovereigns are struck in platinum gold; enriching 22 carat gold with 22 carats-worth of platinum.
What’s so unique is that these are the first sovereign coins ever to feature a special edge reeding pattern, with each coin featuring precisely 70 edge reeds, or ‘ridges’, in honour of the 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign. Not only that, Jody Clark has created designs in neo-classical style that celebrate the personal virtues embodied by Her Majesty, and these are the Four Graces of a ‘new Elizabethan era’. The ‘Graces’ is an historic design created by the celebrated British designer William Wyon for King George III’s long reign.
The mythical tale of St George and the Dragon has such a long and illustrious association with the gold sovereign that the two are almost synonymous. In 2022, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, a dynamic new rendition of St George slaying the dragon has been created and to elevate this new edition beyond those that have gone before, it has been struck, for the first time ever, in two types of solid 22 carat gold!
The first time St George appeared on British sovereign coins was in the year 1817 by the talented Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. Now, it is the turn of artist Jody Clark, to re-imagine the mythical tale of battle between St George and his foe. Jody Clark’s striking new design takes its place in the esteemed history of the gold sovereign. With an outer ring of solid 22 carat rose gold containing the coin legend and an inner section containing the main design in solid 22 carat yellow gold, these coins create a series of sovereigns that stands apart from all others.
We were all saddened to hear that Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8th of September. Her Late Majesty has been part of our lives for such a long time that it almost seemed that she may have continued reigning ‘forever’. Of course, this is not possible, and we are now faced with the hard reality of that truth. For some it may seem ‘too soon’ to start talking about celebrating her life and legacy, but now that we have moved past the original shock, it’s time to be grateful for what was an incredible seventy years of service to the British people.
A new one-eighth sovereign coin has been announced in tribute to the life of service and devotion of Queen Elizabeth II. Both sides have been designed by Jody Clark. On the reverse, the Imperial State Crown rests upon a rose, thistle, shamrock and leek. It is a prominent symbol of the duties she carried out for over seventy years.
The obverse of these coins is significant too. Jody Clark has created a portrait of Queen Elizbeth II especially for these tribute sovereigns. It depicts Her Late Majesty in the tiara and necklace of her wedding day, and wearing a brooch gifted to her by her late husband HRH Prince Philip. If the reverse design is a celebration of her role as monarch, this unique portrait is a tribute to her personal life as a wife, mother and grandmother. This portrait will only ever be used on this series of tribute sovereigns.