09 January 2020
King George III has been featured on a modern coin for the first time, with the release of a £5 coin marking the 200th anniversary of his death.
The reign of George III
During the 59 years George III was on the throne, Britain fought wars across continents, experienced industrial and agricultural revolutions and emerged as a world power. A symbol of stability at a time of great change, George III has often been misrepresented and even dismissed as being ‘mad’. The way we think about Britain’s longest reigning king has changed as historians have revealed a thoughtful monarch determined to fulfil his responsibility to his people.
George III’s reign is also of interest to anyone interested in coins as it saw many changes in portraiture and design, including the recoinage that introduced the modern Sovereign.
The reverse design of the coin - available in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver and Gold - by Dominique Evans, celebrates the different achievements of the king's reign, with the packaging content and story produced with support from the Georgian Papers Programme.
As well as the portrait, the coin also features George III’s Royal Cypher, which combines George III’s first initial ‘G’ with ‘R’, an abbreviation of ‘Rex’ the Latin word for king. The edge lettering features the words of George III at his accession: I GLORY IN THE NAME OF BRITON.
Dominique Evans, Royal Mint Coin Designer said: “I have placed George III at the centre of the coin design in a pose depicting the iconic portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci, that I, like many, greatly admire. Surrounding George III’s head are the symbols of his kingdom, framed by his crown. I felt it important to add symbolism reflecting the life of a king and mind of a man who was dedicated to discovery and progress. From science to agriculture and industry George III left a remarkable legacy.”
Reverse design: Dominique Evans
Obverse design: Jody Clark
To purchase the coins, visit The Royal Mint's website.
QUICK LINK: New coins to look forward to in 2020
(image courtesy of The Royal Mint)