The British Gold Queen's Beasts are the latest addition to the Royal Mint's lineup of gold bullion coins. The first gold coin of this series was issued in 2016 and its reverse design depicted the Lion of England. The series continued with two new issues every year until the final issue was released in September 2020 that featured the White Greyhound of Richmond. A total of 10 coin designs constitute the Queen's Beasts series that also includes the British Silver Queen's Beasts and British Platinum Queen's Beasts. Each coin design depicts one of the Queen's Beasts on the reverse side, the 10 heraldic animal statues that appeared in the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen's Beasts gold coins are minted out of 99.99% pure gold, just like the British Gold Britannia coins and British Gold Lunar coins. The brilliant uncirculated version of the gold coins is available in the denominations of 1 oz and 1/4 oz. Proof coins are available in the sizes of 1 kg, 5 oz, 1 oz and 1/4 oz. There are maximum mintage numbers in place for the proof coins.
All coins of the Queen's Beasts coin series are fully backed by the British government. The coins are also exempt from the UK Capital Gains Tax and VAT free because of their status as legal tender in the UK. If you want to buy gold coins of the Queen's Beasts series in larger quantities and not just individually, you could also buy them in mint tubes of 10 coins. If you are investing in gold for your retirement, it is important to note that these coins can be included in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).
|Weight||Face Value||Purity||Diameter x Thickness|
|1 kg||£ 1,000||99.99%||100 x ?? mm|
|5 oz||£ 500||99.99%||50 x ?? mm|
|1 oz||£ 100||99.99%||32.69 x 2.7 mm|
|1/4 oz||£ 25||99.99%||22 x ?? mm|
The obverse side of each Queen's Beasts gold coin depicts Jody Clark's official 5th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The artist's initials J.C appear underneath her majesty's image. The same profile of the Queen also appears on the British Gold Lunar coins, British Gold Britannia coins and British Gold Sovereign coins. Also engraved on the obverse side of the British Gold Queen's Beasts are her majesty's official name, D. G. Reg. F. D. as well as the coin's official face value. The background of the obverse side was changed for the 4th coin of the Queen's Beasts series. Whereas the first three coins showed a stucco-like background, the coins that followed show a guilloché pattern.
The reverse of the British Queen's Beast coins shows one of the 10 heraldic beasts that stood guard at the coronation ceremony of the Queen. The 1st Queen's Beasts gold coin was released in March 2016. It featured the fearsome crowned Lion of England holding a shield emblazoned with the official Arms of the United Kingdom. The 2nd coin that came out in November 2016 displayed the Griffin of Edward III. The griffin is shown standing on its hind legs and with its wings raised. The beast's claws are gripping a shield that bears the insignia of the House of Windsor. The 3rd coin of the series was released in March 2017. It shows the Red Dragon of Wales clutching a shield in its claws. The 4th coin of the series was released in September 2017. It shows the Unicorn of Scotland leaping over a shield. The 5th coin that was issued in February 2018 shows the mighty Black Bull of Clarence on its hind legs rearing above a heraldic shield. The 6th coin that was released in September 2018 depicts a falcon that is holding a shield. A smaller falcon within an open fetterlock appears on the shield's badge. The 7th release of the coin series came out in February 2019 and features the mythical Yale of Beaufort. The yale is standing on its rear legs with its front legs raised above an emblazoned shield. The 8th release of the coin series came out in September 2019 and features the fierce White Lion of Mortimer. The lion is shown holding a shield that depicts a white rose encircled by a sun (known as "white rose en soleil"). The 9th release of the coin series came out in February 2020 and features the White Horse of Hanover. The horse is shown rearing above a shield that is emblazoned with the heraldic crest of the House of Hanover. The 10th and final release of the coin series came out in September 2020 and features the White Greyhound of Richmond behind a heraldic shield that bears the Tudor rose. In British heraldic tradition, the loyal greyhound is strongly associated with the Tudor family. Jody Clark's initials JC appear again on the reverse underneath each Queen's Beast. The name of each beast is engraved on the coins as well along with the coin's weight, gold purity and year of mintage.
Britain's long history of royal heraldry was the inspiration that led to the creation of the Queen's Beasts coins. At Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 1953, ten sculptures of heraldic beasts (each one 6 feet tall) stood guard. The Canadian Museum of History in Quebec is now the home of these sculptures that had been created by the artist James Woodford. That same artist had also created stone replicas of the 10 beasts that can still be seen at the Kew Gardens in the UK.
An earlier generation of heraldic beasts had inspired Woodford to create the Queen's Beasts. These were the King’s Beasts of Henry VIII that had been commissioned in 1536 in order to celebrate the King's marriage to Jane Seymour. These original sculptures were unfortunately destroyed sometime during the late 17th century. However, recreations of them can still be seen at the Hampton Court Palace where they line the moat bridge.
The brilliant uncirculated version of the gold coins is available in the denominations of 1 oz and 1/4 oz. Proof coins are available in these sizes as well and two additional sizes of 5 oz and 1 kg.
Britain's renowned Royal Mint released a new issue of the coins of the Gold Queen's Beasts about every 6 months. The first "Lion of England" Queen's Beasts coin was issued in March 2016, followed by the second "Griffin of Edward III" coin in November 2016. The following coins were then released in March 2017 (Red Dragon of Wales), September 2017 (Unicorn of Scotland), February 2018 (Black Bull of Clarence), September 2018 (Falcon of the Plantagenets), February 2019 (Yale of Beaufort), September 2019 (White Lion of Mortimer), February 2020 (White Horse of Hanover) and September 2020 (White Greyhound of Richmond). The proof version of the coins was always released at a different time than the brilliant uncirculated version.
Mintage of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz and 1/4 oz Gold Queen's Beast coins is not capped and according to the current market demand. However, there are maximum mintages in place for the 1 kg, 5 oz, 1 oz and 1/4 oz proof versions of the British Queen's Beasts gold coin.
The Royal Mint introduced the Queen's Beasts silver coins in 2016, just like the gold version of the coins. The design of the silver coins is identical to that of the gold coins and the first three coin designs displayed the Lion of England, the Griffin of Edward III and the Red Dragon of Wales in succession. The coins are minted out of 99.99% fine silver. Brilliant uncirculated coins are minted according to market demand in the sizes of 2 oz and 10 oz. Mintage of the four proof coin sizes (1 kg, 10 oz, 5 oz, 1 oz) is capped however. A total of 10 coin designs make up the series of the British Silver Queen's Beasts that saw their final "White Greyhound of Richmond" issue in September 2020.
The Silver Queen's Beast coin page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.
The Royal Mint started issuing the British Platinum Queen's Beasts in 2017 in the wake of the successful market introduction of the gold and silver version of the coins. The new 1 oz platinum coins of the Queen's Beasts series are 99.95% pure and have a face value of £100. For now, only brilliant uncirculated coins are issued. They are very thin with a thickness of just 1 mm and 32.69 mm in diameter. The first inaugural issue shows the Lion of England on the reverse and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The reverse design of the 2nd coin shows the Griffin of Edward III. When this coin series eventually ends, a total of 10 coins will have been released.
The Platinum Queen's Beast coin page gives more information about the coins.