New portrait of the Queen to appear on UK coins

Britannia half ounce gold coin Image copyright Royal Mint
Image caption The current portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley

The portrait of the Queen which appears on UK coins will change next year for the first time since 1998.

It will be the fifth version of the Queen's profile to appear on currency during her 62-year reign.

The new portrait will be chosen in a closed competition run by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.

Specialist designers will be invited to submit their entries anonymously before the committee chooses a winner.

The current depiction of the Queen, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, has been in circulation for 16 years.

The Rank-Broadley portrait came about after the Royal Mint held a competition to design the obverse of the 1997 Golden Wedding crown - a coin issued to celebrate the Queen and Prince Philip's 50th wedding anniversary.

According to the Royal Mint, the standard of the entries for that competition was so high that it was decided it should be a way of arriving at a new standard portrait for circulating coins as well.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A new official portrait of the Queen previously appeared on British coins in (clockwise from top left) 1953, 1974, 1985 and 1998.

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