The British Silver Queen's Beasts are the latest addition to the Royal Mint's lineup of silver bullion coins. The name Queen's Beasts refers to the ten heraldic animal statues that stood guard at the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. These heraldic beasts were depicted one after another on the reverse side of the Queen's Beasts coins starting with the first "Lion of England" issue in 2016. The series continued with two new issues every year until the final beast issue bearing the White Greyhound of Richmond was released in September 2020. The silver version of the "Completer Coin" that shows all ten Queen's Beasts together on its reverse side was issued in April 2021, but only as a collectible proof issue. The Queen's Beasts series which also includes the British Gold Queen's Beasts and British Platinum Queen's Beasts is therefore made up of 11 different coin designs.
Investors and collectors can buy silver coins with the images of the various Queen's Beasts in several different sizes and with both brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes. Brilliant uncirculated Queen's Beasts silver coins have been issued in the sizes of 2 oz and 10 oz and their silver purity is 99.99%. Proof Queen's Beasts silver coins exist in the four different sizes of 1 kg, 10 oz, 5 oz and 1 oz but their silver purity is 'only' 99.9%. 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 legal tender coins are also exempt from the UK Capital Gains Tax. Investors can purchase the coins individually as well as in tubes of 10 coins. American buyers that are investing in silver for their retirement can include Silver Queen's Beasts in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).
|Weight||Face Value||Purity||Diameter x Thickness|
|1 kg proof||£ 500||99.9%||100 x ?? mm|
|10 oz proof||£ 10||99.9%||65 x ?? mm|
|10 oz BU||£ 10||99.99%||89.15 x 6 mm|
|5 oz proof||£ 10||99.9%||65 x ?? mm|
|2 oz BU||£ 5||99.99%||38.61 x 6 mm|
|1 oz proof||£ 2||99.9%||38.61 x ?? mm|
The obverse side of the British Queen's Beasts silver coins 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 Silver Lunar coins and British Silver Britannia coins. Also engraved on the obverse 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 Silver Series. Whereas the first three coins showed a stucco-like background, the coins that followed show a guilloché pattern.
One of the 10 heraldic beasts that stood guard at the coronation ceremony of the Queen is depicted on the reverse side of each Queen's Beasts silver coin. The 1st British Queen's Beasts silver 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 British Silver Queen's Beast Coin Series was released in March 2017. It shows the Red Dragon of Wales clutching a shield in its claws. The 4th Queen's Beasts coin 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 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, silver purity and year of mintage.
The reverse side of the 2021 Queen's Beasts Completer Coin (which is sometimes also referred to as the Queen's Beasts Collector Coin) shows all ten beasts forming a protective circle around the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The Completer Coin's obverse side design is completely identical to the previous ten issues.
Britain's long history of royal heraldry was the inspiration that led to the creation of the British Queen's Beast coins. At Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 1953, ten sculptures of heraldic beasts (each one six 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 ten 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 Queen's Beasts silver coins is available in the denominations of 2 oz and 10 oz (except for the Completer Coin that is only available in a proof version). When the first brilliant uncirculated 2 oz Silver Queen's Beast coin was released in 2016, it was actually the mint’s first ever official 2 oz silver coin. The brilliant uncirculated 10 oz coin with the Lion of England was only released in 2017 as a new addition to the series (and the first official bullion 10 oz silver coin of the Royal Mint). It differs in diameter and thickness from the 10 oz proof coin that is mentioned in the next paragraph.
Proof coins are available in the sizes of 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz and 1 kg. Among those, the 10 oz proof coin is special in that it is a piedfort strike. It has the same diameter as the 5 oz silver proof coin but double the thickness. When it was released, it was the first official 10 oz coin to be released in the UK.
Britain's Royal Mint released the first three coins of the Queen's Beasts series within a year. That is quite unusual as most other coin series see only one new coin design released each year. The first "Lion of England" 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 issues of the coins always came out a few months after the brilliant uncirculated version. The final Completer Coin of the series came out in April 2021 but only in the four proof sizes.
Mintage of the brilliant uncirculated 2 oz and 10 oz British Silver Queen's Beasts is not capped and according to the current market demand. However, there are maximum mintages in place for the 1 kg, 10 oz, 5 oz and 1 oz proof versions of the coins.
The Royal Mint introduced the Queen's Beasts gold coins in 2016, just like the silver version of the coins. The first three coins of the series came out in rapid succession and displayed the Lion of England, the Griffin of Edward III and the Red Dragon of Wales. A total of 11 coin designs make up the Queen's Beasts series that saw their final two issues in September 2020 (the "White Greyhound of Richmond" issue) and April 2021 (the "Completer Coin" that shows all ten beasts together). The coins' gold purity is generally 99.99% (with the exception of some proof issues of the "Completer Coin"). Brilliant uncirculated coins were minted according to market demand in the sizes of 1 oz and 1/4 oz. Proof coins were mostly minted in the sizes of 1 kg, 5 oz, 1 oz and 1/4 oz and their mintage was capped.
The Gold 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.