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.