Britain's Royal Mint updates coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

 Mint engraver Jody Clark designed the latest portrait of Elizabeth II, shown at center.

Story highlights

  • Britain's Royal Mint unveiled a new coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday
  • Production of coins with the new image has begun, and they will be in circulation this year
  • The portrait was designed by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark

London (CNN)Britain's Royal Mint has unveiled a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which will gradually appear on coins in the United Kingdom.

It is the fifth portrait of the British monarch to be used on coins during her 63-year reign.
    Production of the new coins began Monday, and they will appear in circulation later this year, the Royal Mint said.
    The new design depicts the Queen wearing the royal diamond diadem crown from her coronation.
    Artist Jody Clark said he researched images online when deciding which crown to use.
    "I think it's the most familiar and I wanted to make some clear distinctions between the (most recent) portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, as Her Majesty really hasn't aged too much in the years since."
    "FRBS" refers to Rank-Broadley's fellowship in the Royal British Society of Sculptors, a professional organization that advances the art of sculpture.

    Selection process

    A panel selected Clark's design from a number by specialist designers across Britain invited to submit anonymous work.
    The design was then submitted to the British chancellor and the Queen for final approval.
    Clark is a member of the Royal Mint's team of designers and engravers. He is the first mint engraver to produce a definitive royal coinage portrait in more than a century, the organization said.
    "Jody's achievement is something that we can celebrate as a proud moment for The Royal Mint. 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," chief executive Adam Lawrence said.
    "This change of royal portrait will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and it will be hugely exciting for us all to see the new design appear on the coins we use every day."
    Royal coinage portraits are usually updated every 15 to 20 years, the Royal Mint said.
    The last portrait was created by sculptor Rank-Broadley in 1998.