2044.65
1.50
22.74
0.02
898.43
3.23
998.17
0.27

The Queen’s Beasts Collection

Posted on October 15, 2021

Coin collectors were in awe when in 2016, the British Royal Mint began releasing the Queen’s Beasts, a collection of eleven coins produced in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. With the eleventh and final coin released in 2021, it’s time we take a deeper look at this stunning collection.

What are the Queen’s Beasts?

Platinum Queens Beasts Coin Obverse ImageThe Queen’s Beasts is a collection of eleven gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins. Each coin depicts various heraldic animals of British myth and lore that came to be used by the nation’s ruling class to represent the ancestral noble families of Queen Elizabeth II. Ten of the coins have a single beast illustrated, while the eleventh and final coin is composed of all the beasts together. 

The history of these coins date back to 1953 and the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II. Ten statues representing ten noble British families were erected to guard the entrance to Westminster Abbey in the Queen’s honor. This collection of bullion coins pays homage to these statues and their role in protecting the Queen.

The Coins

Lion of England

The first coin in the collection was released by The Royal Mint of the UK in 2016 depicts a beast well-known throughout Britain and is one of the oldest. King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, brought forth the lion as a symbol of courage and strength, making the lion a national symbol for Great Britain throughout the world. The lion has appeared on many coins throughout the country’s history and in other areas of national pride. 

Production year: 2016

Sizes: 

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • 1 oz proof silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Griffin of King Edward III, House of Plantagenet

The griffin is a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body and tail of a lion. This mythical creature was first used on the private seal of King Edward III and has come to represent guardianship, perseverance, and vigilance. This coin also depicts the birthplace of Edward III, Windsor Castle, with the Royal Standard flag flying for all to see. 

Production year: 2017

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Red Dragon of Wales: King Henry II, House of Tudor

Wales has its own history as part of the United Kingdom, and the red dragon is a large part of its history. Known as the Welsh Dragon, this heraldic symbol dates back to 829 AD. King Henry II adopted this symbol on his banner during battle. The dragon depicted on this coin is much more fierce than the one shown on the Welsh flag. Its scales are visible and mouth agape while its claw clutches to the shield of Owen Tudor, which has four lions across the shield.

Production year: 2017

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Unicorn of Scotland: King James II, House of Stuart

Known as Scotland’s national animal — albeit fictitious — the unicorn of Scotland is a symbol of nobility and power among Scottish elites. It dates back to the 15th century when King James II fully supported the mythology surrounding the unicorn. As the legend of the beast grew, so did the Scots adoration of it, leading the unicorn to be officially recognized as the country’s national animal.

Production year: 2018

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Black Bull of Clarence

Most commonly known as a symbol of strength and masculinity, the black bull was first introduced to British royalty by Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, the ancestor of King Edward IV. This creature came to represent the rise of the House of York during the 1600s. Perched on its hind legs, this bull looks off to the side while the English coat of arms is displayed in the foreground.

Production year: 2018

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Falcon of the Plantagenets: King Edward III

King Edward III used the falcon as a regal creature, and it adorns this coin with its wings spread wide. The falcon became a royal badge of sorts and was most closely associated with the House of York over time. On the coin, the falcon holds the shield of King Edward IV in its talons.

Production year: 2019

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

White Lion of Mortimer: King Edward IV, House of York

1 oz platinum white lion coin reverse imageRepresenting one of the first Yorkist kings, Edward IV, the white lion bullion coin has a more than 500-year history of symbology in Britain. Released in September 2019, this coin depicts the white lion carrying a shield adorned with the white rose of York in the center of the sun. Compared to the Lion of England, the white lion is presented as a more tame beast.

Production year: 2019

Sizes: 

Yale of Beaufort: King Henry VII

More than an Ivy League college in Connecticut, the yale is a mythical British creature closely resembling an antelope or goat (except it’s white with gold spots, and can swivel its horns). Early estimates put King Henry VII using the figure In 1485 after his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. The figure would later be used to represent the House of Beaufort as well. The coin released in 2020 shows the yale on its hind legs with a crowned shield directly in front.

Production year: 2020

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • ¼ oz proof gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

White Horse of Hanover, King George I

1 oz white horse queens beasts reverse imageThe crowning of George I brought the white horse into prominence as a heraldic symbol used on all military garb and royal badges during his time. You might even recognize the name “white horse” donning many bars and pubs, given the British (and early American) propensity to name establishments after national symbols. The Royal Arms is depicted on this coin along with the white horse.

Production year: 2020

Sizes:

White Greyhound of Richmond, King Henry VII

The final beast in the collection released in September 2020 is the white greyhound. This animal is associated with Edmund Tudor, the first Earl of Richmond. Henry VII, Tudor’s son, enacted the white greyhound on the British coat of arms. The greyhound itself has come to symbolize loyalty, faithfulness, and fitness. The coin displays the elegant greyhound behind the Tudor shield with a rose and crown.

Production year: 2020

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 10 oz silver
  • ¼ oz gold
  • 1 oz gold
  • 1 oz platinum

Queen’s Beasts Completer Coin

The final coin in this collection is the completer coin. This coin depicts all ten Queen’s Beasts circling around and protecting Queen Elizabeth II. This is the pièce de résistance of the Queen’s Beast collection and the culmination of six years of coin production from the Royal British Mint.

The gold version of this coin is minted at 99.99% pure gold and comes in brilliant uncirculated condition. The coin itself carries a face value of 100 British pounds and is legal tender in Great Britain.

Production year: 2021

Sizes:

  • 2 oz silver
  • 1 kg silver
  • 1 oz gold