The British Silver Queen's Beasts are the latest addition to the Royal Mint's lineup of silver bullion coins. The first coin of this series was issued in 2016 (the series will end in 2021) and its reverse design depicted the Lion of England. A total of 10 coin designs will eventually make up the Queen's Beasts series that also includes Queen's Beasts gold coins and Queen's Beasts platinum coins. 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.
All Queen's Beasts silver coins are minted out of 99.99% fine silver which makes them join the ranks of the purest silver bullion coins. Brilliant uncirculated Silver Queen's Beast coins are issued in the sizes of 2 oz and 10 oz for those that buy silver coins for investment whereas collectors can choose between proof Queen's Beasts coins in the sizes of 1 kg, 10 oz, 5 oz and 1 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 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||99.99%||100 x ?? mm|
|10 oz proof||£ 10||99.99%||65 x ?? mm|
|10 oz BU||£ 10||99.99%||89.15 x 6 mm|
|5 oz proof||£ 10||99.99%||65 x ?? mm|
|2 oz BU||£ 5||99.99%||38.61 x 6 mm|
|1 oz proof||£ 2||99.99%||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 Britannias. 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 it showed a stucco-like background previously, it now shows the new guilloché obverse design.
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 first 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 second 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. 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.
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 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 Queen's Beasts silver coins is available in the denominations of 2 oz and 10 oz. 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) and February 2018 (Black Bull of Clarence). Proof coins with the first coin design that shows the Lion of England however only came out in December 2016. Seven additional coins will come out in succession until the series scheduled completion in 2021.
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, making them the newest gold coin series by a major minting institution. 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 10 coin designs will eventually have appeared on the Queen's Beasts gold coins when the series ends in 2021. The coins are minted out of 99.99% pure gold. Brilliant uncirculated coins are minted according to market demand in the sizes of 1 oz and 1/4 oz. Mintage of the four proof coin sizes (1 kg, 5 oz, 1 oz, 1/4 oz) is capped however.
The Queen's Beasts Gold coin page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.
Due to the overwhelming success of the gold and silver version of the Queen's Beasts coins, the Royal Mint decided to expand the series in 2017 by including a platinum version. The new 1 oz Queen's Beasts platinum coins 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 the series eventually ends, a total of 10 coins will have been released.
The Queen's Beasts Platinum coin page gives more information about the coins.