By Bullion Shark LLC ……
From 2016 to 2021, the Royal Mint – one of the most respected world mints with a history spanning over 1,100 years – issued a series of bullion and collector coins in precious metals known as the Queen’s Beasts that were a worldwide phenomenon.
The Queen’s Beasts series was inspired by 10 statues of mythical beasts that stood guard in Westminster Abbey in London when Queen Elizabeth II was coronated in 1953. The statues, created by James Woodford, are based on the heraldry or royal lineage of the current queen.
Last October, the Mint launched a new five-year series of coins called the Tudor Beasts, which are based on the 10 statues that guard Hampton Court Palace, a 500-plus years old palace that was the home of Tudor and Stuart kings – including Henry VIII, who commissioned the statues after his third marriage, which was to Jane Seymour.
These coins are being issued in collaboration with the Historic Royal Palaces – a non-profit organization that works to maintain the Hampton Court Palace, which is one of the oldest and most famous sites in England. Part of the proceeds from each coin does to that group.
The House of Tudors was a royal house of Welsh origin that rules England from the 15th to 17th centuries, and the current monarch from the House of Windsor traces its lineage to the Tudor and Stewart houses.
The new series, which could also be called the “King’s Beasts”, pays homage to the families of both Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. In fact, five of the new beasts are the same as five of the Queen’s Beasts but depicted with entirely different designs by a different artist – in this case David Lawrence rather than Jody Clark, who designed both the 10 Queen’s Beasts and the royal portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that appears on the obverse of the coins of both series and of all UK and many Commonwealth nations.
Lawrence is an artist, illustrator, and sculptor with over three decades of experience who previously designed the 2018 and 2019 Britannia Proof range of collector coins. He described his task with the new series as being “to find a new vision that is still true to the past.”
He added that in creating the designs for the Tudor Beasts he took inspiration from the beasts that line the door of Hampton Court, which were then stylized in a modern and original way that is also faithful to the naturalistic elements of the original beasts.
Those beasts that are the same with new representations include the Lion of England, the Greyhound of Richmond, the Yale of Beaufort, the Tudor Dragon, and the Black Bull of Clarence.
The entirely new beasts that come from the Seymour family heraldic emblems include the Seymour Panther, the Seymour Unicorn, the Royal Dragon, the Queen’s Lion, and the Queen’s Panther.
As was the case with the Queen’s Beasts, the Tudor Beasts will follow a different release schedule for the coins in the bullion range and those in the collector range. Coins in silver, gold, and likely platinum too will be issued in both versions in a range of different sizes to suit different budgets and objectives.
The bullion coins have unlimited mintages as with the last series but are only minted and sold for a limited period, while each Proof coin will be limited to a specific mintage.
The collector versions kicked off last October 6 at a ceremony held at Hampton Court with the launch of the Seymour Panther in Proof. This beast is depicted with its mouth open that by legend was breathing flames and an intoxicating aroma that could charm other animals and was intended to represent the union of a committed consort and a might monarch – Jane Seymour and King Henry VIII.
A panther was used by King Henry VII and King Henry VIII as a symbol of their royal lineage that dates to the reign of King Henry IV.
The Proof range includes silver coins of 1, 2, 5, and 10 ounces and 1 and 2 kilograms, while the gold Proofs include ¼, 1, 2, 5, and 10 ounce and 1 and 2 kilos as well as a copper-nickel version.
With the new series, mintages for the Proof coins have been lowered compared to the Queen’s Beast Proof coins, which were quick sellers at the Mint.
Lion of England
In February, the Mint launched the second beast – the Lion of England – in collector versions and the first bullion coins of the new series. The bullion pieces include 2 oz silver and ¼ and 1 ounce gold coins plus a copper-nickel version with platinum coins probably coming down the road.
The Lion of England is one of the oldest and most majestic and iconic beasts in heraldic art, a traditional symbol of bravery, strength, and valor. It has been featured on the shield of England since one has existed which is since the 12th century.
On the Tudor beast statue and on the design of the new coin the lion is shown grasping a shield with the combined symbols of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour to symbolize the strength of the royal couple’s union.
Collectors have many more fascinating designs to enjoy in this exciting new Royal Mint series.