The History behind HLM Queen Elizabeth II's Effigies on coin

Set up by the Pobjoy family in 1965, our business has been striking official commemorative and circulating coins for over 57 years. All our coins bear either HLM Queen Elizabeth II's effigy or the Coat of Arms of the country, meaning we have had the honour of utilising four of HLM Queen Elizabeth II effigies, dating from 1968 to 2022. In accordance with a tradition that can be traced back to the 17th Century, successive monarchs face in alternate directions on their coinage. Therefore, as her late father, King George VI faced left, Her Late Majesty The Queen's effigy faced right.

Arnold Machin RA - 1968-1984:

Arnold Machin was a prolific artist and sculptor whose design was chosen in 1968 to be the Second Defensive Coinage Portrait, 15 years after Her Late Majesty's First Portrait by Mary Gillick. Throughout this process, the late Queen is said to have sat for Machin a total of four times as he made multiple sketches and clay models on which to base his work from. Machin was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy of Arts team and was selected from a collection of artists who submitted designs of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Due to Pobjoy Mint being established in 1965, Machin's effigy was the first to be struck on our coins.

Raphael Maklouf - 1985- 1997:

After being invited by the RMAC to submit his designs, Raphael Maklouf became the Third winner of the New Coinage Portrait Competition for HLM Queen Elizabeth II in 1985. Unlike Arnold, Raphael Maklouf was only granted two live sittings with Her Late Majesty. He was therefore required to work mainly from photographs and previously drawn sketches. With the time of the new Coinage Portrait coinciding with the Late Queens' early years of becoming a grandmother, Maklouf aimed to create a design that was both "regal and ageless".  The final design by Maklouf depicts the Late Queen with the Royal Diadem, paired with a necklace and earrings. 

Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS - 1998-2015:

In 1996 Ian Rank-Broadley received an invitation to participate in the Fourth Royal Portrait Design Competition, his image was shortlisted and not long after he was contacted confirming his success. Rank-Broadley's image introduced a new and greater level of realism that had not yet been seen before in Royal portraits. Ian Rank-Broadley's design also differed in the fact the image itself was made much larger to fill as much of the field as possible in deliberate response to the decrease in coin size.

Pobjoy Mint - 2016-2022:

In 2016 Pobjoy Mint was given the opportunity to design their own effigy for HLM Queen Elizabeth II exclusively in-house. As it is a huge responsibility, to ensure that an effigy of the Monarch is one they will be proud of, the design stage for this paramount task began at the start of 2015. The original design went through many tweaks before its submission and we were left with the effigy we use today, an effigy that we were delighted Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was pleased to approve and that has now officially become the last one of her reign.

We have also produced many coins with a double effigy of HLM The Queen to commemorate special milestones in her life including our latest tribute coin, which can be purchased here.