Queen Elizabeth on new coin

A new coinage portrait - the fifth in her 63-year reign - of Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been unveiled.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth

A new coinage portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been unveiled.

The updated image of the 88-year-old monarch - only the fifth new monetary picture in her 63-year reign - shows her in side profile wearing a crown and drop earrings and will appear in circulation later this year.

Engraver Jody Clark designed the image, which was selected in a competition organised by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, a consultative panel to HM Treasury.

He said: "Winning the competition has been an overwhelming experience - I hope she likes it.

I wanted to make her look less stern to give her a slightly warmer expression. I hope she thinks it is a fitting and accurate representation."

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint, believes the change of portrait makes 2015 a "vintage year" for UK coins.

He added: "Capturing a portrait on the surface of a coin demands the utmost skill, and is one of the most challenging disciplines of the coin designer's art."

The winning art work - the first to be done entirely digitally based on officially-approved photographs - was recommended to the Chancellor but the queen had final approval.

Previous coinage portraits of the monarch were unveiled in 1953, 1968, 1985 and 1998.

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