New coin portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth unveiled

Mon Mar 2, 2015 11:31am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - A new portrait of Britain's long-reigning Queen Elizabeth which will appear on the nation's coins was unveiled on Monday, and is set to reach her people's purses and pockets later this year.

The portrait is the fifth of the 88-year-old queen, who will overtake Queen Victoria as Britain's longest-reigning monarch in September, to appear on coins since she came to the throne in 1952, and the first since 1998.

The new portrayal, which shows Elizabeth wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her coronation, was created by 33-year-old Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, whose design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions.

The last Royal Mint Engraver to be commissioned to undertake a royal portrait was George William de Saulles, who engraved the portrait of Edward VII which first appeared on coins in 1902.

Coins featuring the new effigy will go into production immediately.

(This version of the story was refiled to add dropped word in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Michael Holden)

A gallery assistant holds a 2-pound coin with the new portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth following it's unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in London March 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett