‘Dignified likeness’ of Queen unveiled for new coins

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DESCRIBED as “one of the most difficult things for any artist or sculptor to do”, designer Jody Clark has done it - and seen his portrait of the Queen unveiled on a new two pound coin.

Mr Clark, the first Royal Mint engraver to create a royal coinage portrait in more than 100 years, said having his design chosen was “quite overwhelming”.

It is the fifth time a new portrait of the Queen has been chosen, a record matched only by Queen Victoria.

Mr Clark was 33 when his design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions, and approved by the Queen herself. He is the youngest of the five designers to have created the portraits of the Queen that have appeared on UK circulating coins during her 63-year reign.

He said: “I really liked the four previous coin portraits - each one is strong in its own way.

“I hope that I’ve done Her Majesty justice and captured her as I intended, in a fitting representation. The news that my design had been chosen was quite overwhelming, and I still can’t quite believe that my royal portrait will be featured on millions of coins, playing a small part in the Royal Mint’s 1,000-year history.”

'Overwhelming': A Royal Mint assistant holds the new two pound coin during an unveiling ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery. 'Pictures: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

'Overwhelming': A Royal Mint assistant holds the new two pound coin during an unveiling ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery. 'Pictures: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The portrait shows a side profile of the Queen wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation and drop earrings.

Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said the latest portrait is “astonishingly significant”, and provided “a good likeness and a dignified likeness”.

Coins featuring the new effigy went into production yesterday and will start to appear in circulation later this year, when they will be delivered to cash centres and banks in the first instance.

Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark observes his new coinage portrait (centre) of Queen Elizabeth II at the National Portrait Gallery

Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark observes his new coinage portrait (centre) of Queen Elizabeth II at the National Portrait Gallery