Banknote Collectors know that Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait is on more banknotes designs than any other person. Since 1954, The Queen has been on more than 100 banknotes designs. But in that time, she has also graced thousands of coin designs. Her profile is on more than 20 countries’ circulating coins, and probably 1,000 collectable coins making Queen Elizabeth coin portraits some of the most recognizable.
Many former British territories, current overseas territories and current members of the Commonwealth of Nations use a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on precious metal coins. Many in fact use the same profile of the Queen that they have used for more than 40 years, I imagine it is a licensing issue. Many of the smaller countries such as Nuie, Tokelau, Tavula and Pitcairn Islands collaborate with private mints to license their name and images to collectable Queen Elizabeth coins. Star Wars, Star Trek and Marvel characters can be found on silver coins from these countries. Mints will commemorate anniversaries, Olympics and special events by producing precious metal coins with vibrant and well designed images on the reverse side. But on the obverse (the front), more than half of these designs have the Queen.
The most famous coin with Queen Elizabeth II is the British 1 Pound Coin. The 1 pound remained unchanged since 1983 until it was redesigned in 2016. The redesign was done because more than 3% of the one pound coins in circulation were counterfeit. This is an amazing, shocking number. From the collector perspective, The Royal Mint (which by the way is in Wales- not England) did a great job with the design of the Queen coin.
The new coin is bimetallic, that is, it has a center of one metal alloy and is surrounded by a ring of a second metal alloy (on the image to the right above). The Portrait of the Queen has significant detail and is on both alloys. Instead of being round, it has 12 sides and the edge has letters embossed in it. There are also microfeatures and hidden security features. It is an absolutely beautiful coin. It might not be gold or platinum, but it is very special.