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What Are the Queen’s Beasts Coins?
Most of the internationally known and praised coins in the bullion market have decades of history in their mintage. However, the Queen’s Beasts coin series is an exclusive release that the British Royal Mint began in 2016.
Many generations of royal heraldry have passed, and the Queen’s Beasts series takes its inspiration from this history. King Henry VIII’s garden is the inspiration behind the statue series to commemorate Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Henry VIII’s garden at Hampton Court Palace had ten heraldic statues commissioned to line his bridge over the moat. The beasts he chose represented his family and those of his wife at the time, Jane Seymour.
The eleven coin designs are all animals or mythical beasts that British monarchs used to characterize and identify their families and allegiances. James Woodford sculpted these ten beasts, and the Ministry of Words produced them for the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Furthermore, these statues stand six feet tall and weigh 700 lbs. They were designed to ‘guard’ over the ceremony.
Each of the beasts on the coins stands proudly before the series’ signature chainmail texture to boost the strength and endurance of the royal line. These coins were all designed by the outstanding British Royal Mint’s coin engraver Jody Clark. He also designed the 2017 Britannia coin and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 5th portrait. Furthermore, the obverse for each of the coins in the entire Queen’s Beasts series depicts the effigy of the beloved British Monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen’s Beasts Complete Series
- 1st – The Lion of England – February 2016
- 2nd –The Griffin of Edward III – October 2016
- 3rd – The Red Dragon of Wales – March 2017
- 4th – The Unicorn of Scotland – September 2017
- 5th – The Black Bull of Clarence – March 2018
- 6th – The Falcon of the Plantagenets – September 2018
- 7th – The Yale of Beaufort – March 2019
- 8th – The White Lion of Mortimer – September 2019
- 9th – The White Horse of Hanover – March 2020
- 10th – The White Greyhound of Richmond – September 2020
- Special 11th Release – Queen’s Beasts Completer Coin – April 2021
Where are the statues today?
History tells us that at the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, ten heraldic beasts stood guard over the ceremony. These creatures symbolized the majority of royal ancestral lines meeting together through Queen Elizabeth II. Each proud beast symbolized the generations that came before her. Today, the Queen’s Beasts statues sit in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. The Canadian government received them as a gift in 1959. Again, James Woodford sculpted replicas of the statues that now stand proudly in the Kew Gardens of London.
The latest release of the Royal Mint Queen’s Beasts program is the Great Britain Queen’s Beasts Completer Coin. This issue is the final piece to finalize your entire collection. Together, all the Queen’s Beasts appear in unity, arranged in a protective circle around the portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Most importantly, this is the only piece to display all the Coats of Arms! Also struck in .9999 fineness, this final release will first be available in 1 oz Gold, and then in 2 oz Silver and 1 kilogram Silver coin editions. Bookend your collection with this Completer Coin before the opportunity sails away!
- The first and only coin to feature all the Queen’s Beasts together
- Final Gold Coin of the Queen’s Beasts program
- Made from .9999 fine gold with a weight of 1 troy oz
- Produced by the Royal Mint
- Comes in Brilliant Uncirculated Condition
- Carries a face value of 100 British Pounds backed by the British Government
- Legal tender coin in Great Britain
- Individual coins come in plastic flips
- Obverse: Contains the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Inscriptions: “ELIZABETH II”, “100 POUNDS”, “D.G. REG F.D.”, and the initials of the artist, Jody Clark.
- Reverse: Showcases the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by all the heraldic animals featured in the program in order of release. Inscriptions: “THE QUEEN’S BEASTS”, “1 OZ”, “FINE GOLD”, “999.9”, “2021”, and the initials of the artist, Jody Clark.
What Are All the Released Queen’s Beasts Coins?
2016 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (LION) COIN
The first released coin in the Queen’s Beasts series was the Lion of England, one of the most distinguishable beasts in the series. It is also one of the earliest animals to appear in royal heraldry. The lion, a real animal, is among these fantastic beasts because it has represented England for centuries.
Since the twelfth century, lions have appeared on the coat of arms for every British monarch and the Royal Coat of Arms. Richard the Lionheart set forth this tradition, but its first recorded appearance was earlier. Its first recorded use was on a blue shield with small golden lions gifted from Henry I to Geoffrey Plantagenet when he married Henry’s daughter. You can see the Lion of England featured in different ways on many other federal British items. Some of these items include coins, British passports, and certain courtrooms. This was the first coin in the series, available as the 2016 Gold Lion of England. Other releases were the 2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, special edition 1 oz Proof Silver coin, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum releases.
2017 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (GRIFFIN) COIN
The second release was the Griffin of Edward III, an ancient mythical beast. The griffin is considered a magnanimous creature embodying courage and strength. Additionally, it is a symbol of vigilance, perseverance, keen vision, courage, and guardianship.
Edward III engraved it on his private seal and has been associated with him ever since. Additionally, the shield shows the Round Tower of Windsor Castle where Edward III was born. Also on this shield is the flag, symbolizing the Royal Standard, flying from the turret. Two branches of oak surmounted by the royal crown enclose the turret. This coin was struck in 2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum editions.
2017 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (RED DRAGON) COIN
The third release in this series was the Red Dragon of Cadwallader, the emblem on the national flag of Wales. The Red Dragon in this remarkable series displays the beast clutching a shield in its claw. It’s ready to breathe fire with its horned tongue protruding from its mouth. The shield also has a lion in each quarter. So, the dragon holds onto the shield as it reaches out with its other claw, ready to swipe. This was the proud badge of Owen Tudor that was later adopted by Henry VII, his grandson, during his reign.
The red dragon is also symbolic of ancient Celtic leaders. During Henry VII’s reign, this dragon was on the English Coat of Arms. The Red Dragon has a long history belonging to Wales. Evidence suggests this symbol is linked to the legendary King Arthur, otherwise, it is unclear why a dragon was chosen in the first place for Wales. This coin was struck in 2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum editions.
2018 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (UNICORN OF SCOTLAND) COIN
The fourth release in the Queen’s Beasts series is the Unicorn of Scotland. This unicorn is brought into existence with the contemporary design. The magical animal stands on its rear legs with its front hooves before the shield. William I (William the Lion) of Scotland chose this horned horse. The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland, so chosen as a symbol of purity, innocence, masculinity, and power. Additionally, it is a chivalrous beast associated with fairytales as an animal that fights to remain unconquered. However, it is believed that only a virgin maiden could tame the beast. Thus, there are chains around its throat. This animal, therefore, effectively symbolizes the passion of the Scots who throughout history fought to remain independent.
Scotland and England unified under that throne under James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England and Ireland, in 1603. This official image supports the royal badge of England on the shield, which was the final edit to this coat of arms under the former king. The shield also includes an image of the Lion of England. Included in our inventory are the 2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum coins in addition to graded editions.
2018 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (BLACK BULL OF CLARENCE) COIN
The fifth release of the Queen’s Beasts series was the Black Bull of Clarence. This animal is symbolic of strength, virility, and honor. Edward IV’s ancestor, Lionel Duke of Clarence, introduced this beast into the royal family heraldry. Also, Edward IV was a key player in the War of the Roses and eventually overthrew the monarch to become king.
This bull represents the rise of the House of York to the throne from the war. Additionally, it is a symbol of courage, transformation, and passion—an appropriate beast for this line. The design of this fierce bull is, similar to the Unicorn of Scotland, standing on its hind legs. It is also raising one mighty hoof over a shield with England’s coat of arms. As a part of this Queen’s Beasts series, Bullion Exchanges offers the 2018 1/4 oz Proof Gold NGC PF 70 Coin in addition to its other varieties: 2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum coins.
2019 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (FALCON OF THE PLANTAGENETS) COIN
Another symbol connected to Edward IV, this sixth release in the Queen’s Beasts was the Falcon of the Plantagenets. The falcon is traditionally perched upon an almost locked padlock that encases another falcon. The meaning of this was to provide an image parallel to Edward IV’s struggle to claim the throne. Therefore, the heraldic falcon was his personal badge. Henry VII also adopted this symbol after uniting the house of Lancaster and York, two of the three houses that fought for the throne in the War of the Roses. This coin displays this image of a calm falcon perched atop a shield with the locked, angered falcon on the shield. Bullion Exchanges offers all versions of this coin (2 oz Silver, 10 oz Silver, 1/4 oz Gold, 1 oz Gold, and 1 oz Platinum coins) in addition to graded editions.
2020 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (YALE OF BEAUFORT) COIN
The Yale of Beaufort is a large, legendary creature with the features of an antelope or goat. Most portrayals have the yale with the jaws of a boar, the tail of an elephant, prominent horns, and a brilliant gold-spotted coat. This creature links Her Majesty to Henry VII and his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. She was a key figure in the War of the Roses. Additionally, the Yale appears as a sculptural decoration on Cambridge’s Christ’s College and St John’s College to commemorate Lady Margaret’s donations.
This symbol signals higher education. Also, Yale University in Connecticut continues this tradition on their campus today. On the reverse, this royal creature holds a crowned shield. It stands proudly on its hind legs behind the shield. The shield features a golden portcullis in the center. This was a badge used by Henry VII. Furthermore, Bullion Exchanges offers this coin in 2 oz Silver, 10 oz silver, 1/4 oz gold BU, 1/4 oz Proof Gold, 1 oz gold, and 1 oz platinum editions.
2019 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (WHITE LION OF MORTIMER) COIN
The White Lion of Mortimer is the eighth release in the Queen’s Beasts series. This heraldic lion connects the Queen to Edward IV, who inherited this from his grandmother. His grandmother was the heiress of the Mortimers.
This shield the lion clutches in its right paw bears the White Rose of York in the middle of the sun. This design is different from the Lion of England. Most notably, this lion was often depicted as a tame beast with blue claws and tongue and no crown. It holds a Yorkist shield instead of the Shield of the Royal Arms that represents England (1st and 4th quadrants), Scotland (2nd), and Ireland (3rd). This Yorkist shield with the sun and white rose is important because it demonstrates a combination of the emblems used by Edward IV and Richard III. Her Majesty’s father, George VI, used this combined badge. Bullion Exchanges carries this coin in 2 oz silver, 1/4 oz gold, 1 oz gold, and later in 10 oz silver and 1 oz platinum coin editions.
2020 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (WHITE HORSE OF HANOVER) COIN
The White Horse of Hanover is the second to last release of the Queen’s Beasts series that arrived in March 2020. This horse descends to Her Majesty through Georg Ludwig from Hanover, Germany. Later, he went by George (Louis) I and was the first Hanoverian ruler. Furthermore, six British monarchs who ruled ‘Great Britain and Ireland’, and then ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland’ are from this dynasty. On the reverse, the horse is rearing up on its hind legs. It stands behind the shield bearing the Royal Arms. This coin is also presented in 1 oz gold, 1/4 ounce gold, and 2 oz silver varieties. Later, the 10 oz silver and 1 oz platinum editions became available.
2021 GREAT BRITAIN QUEEN’S BEASTS (WHITE GREYHOUND OF RICHMOND) COIN
Lastly, the White Greyhound of Richmond is the final single animal release first issued in September 2020. The reverse reportedly bears the White Greyhound with the Tudor shield that has the rose and crown. This symbolizes the unity of the houses of York and Lancaster. John of Gaunt—the Earl of Richmond and son of Edward III—Henry IV, and Henry VII all used this badge. This coin will complete the new beast releases for the Queen’s Beasts series that began in 2016. It will be available in 2 oz silver, 1 troy ounce gold, and 1/4 troy ounce gold sizes, and (later) the 10 oz silver and 1 oz platinum varieties. Don’t forget, we always carry graded editions for all these coins, so keep an eye out for those!
Where Can I Buy Queen’s Beasts Coins?
Bullion Exchanges is honored to stock the Queen’s Beasts series in many varieties of platinum, gold, and silver bullion. When you purchase with us today, we will securely package your order to have it delivered to your address. Since this series has periodic releases, stay tuned for updates. While you wait, check out our other British Royal Mint collectibles including the Britannia series in gold and silver, the British Lunar series in gold and silver, and their platinum coins. Feel free to contact us with any questions. Our customer service team will be happy to assist you.
All upcoming coins will be available for purchase at Bullion Exchanges. Keep checking our website’s updates and sign up for our newsletters!