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British coin Five Pounds

This article discusses the commemorative British Five Pounds "crown-sized" coin issued since 1990, only. For earlier coins worth Five Pounds, please see the article on the 1826-1990 gold 5.


The commemorative Five Pounds (5) coin is minted in cupro-nickel, an alloy of approximately 75% copper, and 25% nickel, although special versions are also minted in silver and/or gold. The coin is a continuation of the old Crown coin which continued to be minted after decimalisation with a value of twenty-five pence although nowhere stating its value. The 5 coin has the same dimensions, weighing 28.28 grams and having a diameter of 38.61 millimetres.
The denomination was introduced in 1990 because the cost of producing such a large coin with a face value of only 25p was becoming too large.

Production of the 5 coin has used both the normal obverses used by all contemporary British coins, i.e. the effigies of Queen Elizabeth II Raphael Maklouf between 1990 and 1997, and by Ian Rank-Broadley since 1998, but special effigies have also been used on occasion.

The following 5 coins have been produced:

1990: 90th birthday of the Queen Mother.
Obverse: Maklouf head. ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D above FIVE POUNDS below.
Reverse: Crown over two intertwined E's, rose & thistle QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER 1900 1990. Milled edge.

1993: 40th anniversary of the Coronation.
Obverse: Small portrait of same design as the 1960 crown, surrounded by trumpeters and swords. ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID DEF above, FIVE POUNDS below.
Reverse: Crown within 40 radially aligned trumpets FAITH AND TRUTH I WILL BEAR UNTO YOU 1953-1993. Milled edge.

1996: Queen's 70th birthday.
Obverse: Maklouf head. ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D above FIVE POUNDS below.
Reverse: Flags flying with Windsor Castle behind. One flag inscribed 1926, another 1996. Also Royal Standard, Union Jack and the Queen's personal flag.
Edge inscription: VIVAT REGINA ELIZABETHA

1997: Queen's Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Obverse: Conjoined heads of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D PHILIP PRINCEPS.
Reverse: Royal Arms and Coat of Arms of Prince Philip. St Edwards Crown above and anchor below 20 NOVEMBER 1947 1997 FIVE POUNDS. Milled edge.

1998: Prince Charles' 50th birthday.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1998.
Reverse: A portrait of The Prince of Wales against a background relating to the work of The Prince's Trust. FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY OF HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES above, 1948 FIVE POUNDS 1998 below. Milled edge.

1999: Princess Diana memorial issue.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1999.
Reverse: A portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales facing right. IN MEMORY OF DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES around, 1961 1997 to the right, FIVE POUNDS below. Milled edge.

1999: Millennium.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1999.
Reverse: Clock face showing time as midnight. Map of GB & Ireland, arranged so that Greenwich is at the centre of the clock; ANNO DOMINI below, 1999 2000 FIVE POUNDS around.
Inscription: WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE .

2000: Millennium.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2000.
Reverse: Clock face showing time as midnight. Map of GB & Ireland, arranged so that Greenwich is at the centre of the clock; ANNO DOMINI below, 1999 2000 FIVE POUNDS around.
Inscription: WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE.

2000: Millennium Dome issue.
Identical to the last issue except for the addition of a mintmark at the 3 o'clock position on the reverse. Sold only at the Millennium Dome, at a premium.

2001: Queen Victoria death centenary.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2001.
Reverse: Wyon head of Victoria in V representing railway lines with representation of Crystal Palace around. 1901 2001 above, 5 POUNDS to low left. Milled edge.

2002: Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II mounted on a horse. ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG around, 2002 and coat of arms below (The love of the People is the Queen's Protection).
Reverse: Portrait of the Queen, FIVE POUNDS below. Milled edge.

2002:: Queen Mother memorial issue.
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D around FIVE POUNDS below.
Reverse: Portrait of Queen Mother, QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER around. 1900-2002 below.
Inscription: STRENGTH DIGNITY LAUGHTER

2003:: Coronation 50th anniversary.
Obverse: New portrait by Tom Phillips CBE RA. ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D around.
Reverse: Central motif GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, CORONATION JUBILEE FIVE POUNDS 2003 around.. Milled edge.


See also British coinage.



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