Description

For the very first time The Royal Mint has chosen to feature the Tower of London on a series of UK coins. Starting with The Legend of the Ravens, the collection continues with coins featuring The Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders and The Ceremony of the Keys. Together the coins tell the story of this mighty stone fortress and the ancient ceremonies that still take place within these walls.

The Ceremony of the Keys is an ancient ritual, held every evening at the Tower of London, when the main gates are locked for the night. It is said to be the oldest military ceremony in the world, and is the best-known ceremonial tradition of the Tower.

Between 40 and 50 visitors are allowed access to the ceremony each night, under escort. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance from Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation that looks after the Tower. The event is usually sold out at least 12 months in advance.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewelry has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Jody Clark

ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·5 POUNDS·2019·
JC

Reverse

Depicts a lantern and the Queen’s Keys, and a plan of the walls of the Tower which is split over the four coins in the collection unifying their designs.

At exactly 9.53 pm, the Chief Yeoman Warder, dressed in Tudor watchcoat and bonnet, and carrying a candle lantern donated by the Honourable Artillery Company in 1919, leaves the Byward Tower and falls in with the Escort to the Keys, a military escort made up of armed members of the Tower of London Guard. The Warder passes his lantern to a soldier, and marches with his escort to the outer gate. The sentries on duty salute the Queen’s Keys as they pass.

A1 2 helps to identify the keys, as others have A1 1 on them.

A special Tower mint mark features on an official UK coin for the first time (on the left).

Engraver: Glyn Davies

TOWER OF LONDON
A1
2
GD

Edge

5 Pounds (Crown)

5th portrait, Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof Coin

Tower of London
Ceremony of the Keys

Subscribe series
KM#
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.9999
Weight 7.8 g
Diameter 22 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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