The Queen's Virtues Coin Series from the East India Trading Company

The Queen's Virtues Coin Series from the East India Trading Company

If you are a fan of the popular The Royal Mint series, which recently concluded in 2020, called the Queen's Beasts, you will love a new series of silver and gold coins being released by the East India Company over the next two and a half years. Dubbed the Queen's Virtues, the series will also tap into the widespread appeal of the symbolism and iconography of the British monarchy worldwide.

The coins will be issued for St. Helena, a British territory that was colonized by the East India Company in 1658 and which is the second oldest British colony,

The innovative series is called the Queen's Virtues Collection and focuses on six virtues associated with Queen Victoria – the great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 95 in April and who will observe her 70th anniversary as monarch in 2022. In 2015 she became the longest-serving British monarch, overtaking that position from Victoria, who reigned for 63 years.

The Victorian Age, as it is known, represented the British Empire's height when it controlled much of the then-known world. This period is also characterized by the Industrial Revolution and socio-political change as more people gained the right to vote.

Both Victoria and Elizabeth carried forward and embodied particular core virtues or principles. A virtue is a conscious effort to acquire and maintain one's own code of moral values. Diligently observing the practice of being virtuous as embodied in those core beliefs helps promote personal nurturing, leading to a more prosperous and happy life.  

The Queen's Virtues series consists of six designs that will appear on 1-oz silver and gold proof coins with very limited mintages, respectively of 2,500 and 250 pieces. Each release features an original design representing one of the six core virtues of Queen Victoria. The coins will be designed by acclaimed Dutch portrait artist and coin designer Elles Kloosterman, who has created coins for the Royal Dutch Mint and various private mints.

Kloosterman's designs will appear on the reverse, while the commonwealth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II wearing her crown and royal diadem created by The Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark will appear on the obverse of each coin. Clark's effigy was introduced on St. Helena in 2019.

The silver coins will contain 1 oz of .999 silver, weigh 31.1 grams, have a diameter of 38.61 millimeters, and be denominated as £1 and issued in proof quality. In comparison, the £5 gold coins will contain 1 oz of .9999 gold with the same weight but a diameter of 32 millimeters and also be struck in proof.

Silver bullion coins with an open mintage will also be released for each design.

Victory through Harmony: The First Release

The first coin in the Queen's Virtues series depicts Victory – a vital element of the reign of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Victory represents the end of conflict and the celebration of peace. As Head of the Armed Forces, only the Queen can declare war and end conflict.

The design of this coin that debuted at the mint on October 19th, 2020, features a very detailed image of an allegorical figure representing victory based on the gilded bronze statue of Winged Victory that sits at the top of the Queen Victoria Memorial monument in St. James Park. Located just outside Buckingham Palace in London, it is the tallest monument to a monarch in the country. The memorial was commissioned in January 1901, shortly after Victoria's death the same month. However, the monument was not completed until 1924 due to delays caused by the start of World War II.

Silver Queen's Virtures Victory ReverseSilver Queen's Virtures Victory Reverse
Silver Queen's Virtures Victory ObverseSilver Queen's Virtures Victory Obverse

On the 2021 St. Helena "Victory through Harmony" coins, Victory is shown facing left with the victor's palm held in her left hand, and her right arm is outstretched in triumph. Based on the figure in the memorial statue, her large wings are shown in great detail, with that portion of the design extending to the right edge of the coin.

It is also noteworthy that winged figures representing victory, which appear on various monuments around the world, such as on the Angel of Winged Victory in Mexico City (that is the inspiration for the very popular design of Mexican Libertad coins), were common motifs in ancient Rome.

The Victory coin's design is reminiscent of the Libertad design, although in this case, the winged figure is shown in much greater detail.

In ancient Rome, Victoria was the personified goddess of victory, and she was also the equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike.

The Queen's Virtues Series (2021-2023)

The second coin, "In All Things Charity," will be issued in Spring 2021 and is dedicated to Charity, another of the allegorical figures depicted on the Queen Victoria Memorial in marble. This design will show the figure caring for the young to represent motherhood, which symbolizes the virtue of charity.

The third coin, "Truth Conquers All," will be released in Fall 2021 and is inspired by another part of the same memorial showing a winged figure of Truth, holding up a mirror to nature, standing between a child bearing a palm branch and a seated women searching in a scroll for the truth.

The fourth coin, "Let Justice Be Done," is coming in Spring 2022 and will feature a winged angel of justice with a sword in hand, symbolizing the reputation of a just and righteous Queen. To her left will be a child carrying scales of justice, representing the unbiased nature of justice.

The fifth coin, "By Wisdom and Courage," is coming in Fall 2022. Courage is the virtue that makes all the other possible and means doing what one knows one needs to do no matter how difficult that may be. This design will feature a symbolic figure of courage wearing a helmet and bearing a club with a cloak swirling in the wind.

Finally, in Spring 2023, the Queen's Virtues series will conclude with the sixth coin for the virtue of "Constancy" that captures the essence of being unwavering in purpose, love, or loyalty. This firmness of mind and faithfulness to their cause is a quality long attributed to both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. The coin will have a design showing a figure representing that virtue holding a ship's compass that symbolizes the virtue of sticking to a course and remaining committed in purpose.

The East India Company

The East India Company dates to 1601 when it received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, and its first ships set sail to the east with heavy cloths and thousands of pounds of silver coins bearing the emblem of the Queen.

St. Helena and the East India Company share a long history of association. The first St. Helena local coins, copper halfpennies, were struck in 1821 and minted with the crest of the East India Company.

In 2010 the East India Company re-established itself as a luxury brand of tea, coffee, and fine foods. A limited series of gold Mohur medals were minted with a lion and palm tree design to mark this occasion.

Then in 2012, the company entered the bullion and collector coin market when it launched legal tender silver and gold for the government of St. Helena.

In 2020 East India Company issued silver and gold bullion and proof coins with a modern depiction of the iconic British motif known as Una and the Lion, which was the first coin to depict a symbolic representation of a British monarch – specifically, Queen Victoria. Those coins have been very popular with collectors.

Collectors who love the coinage of the United Kingdom and its commonwealth, as well as coins with allegorical symbols like the Libertad series, and many others, will want to collect this exciting new series.

Coin Authority SurveyCoin Authority Survey

Copyright 2020 GovMint. All Rights Reserved. GovMint.com does not sell coins and numismatics as investments, but rather as collectibles. Please review GovMint’s Terms and Conditions, Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using this website and prior to purchasing from GovMint. All website content is for reference use only and does not constitute investment, legal or financial advice. We encourage the sharing and linking of our information but reproduction of our news and articles without express permission is prohibited. Instead of reproducing, please provide the link to the original article or use the share buttons provided.

← Previous Next →