• 5 Pounds 2020, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Tower of London, Infamous Prison
  • 5 Pounds 2020, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Tower of London, Infamous Prison

The Royal Mint issued the continuation of the epic story of London’s imposing royal palace and fortress with a second commemorative coin series. A set of four commemorative coins will mark four further fascinating aspects of the diverse history of the Tower of London, including some of the many institutions founded at the Tower and functioning there for hundreds of years.

The first coin in the series – The White Tower – will feature the iconic mace of office carried by the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London. Additional coins will feature The Royal Menagerie, The Royal Mint and The Infamous Prison.

The Tower of London was built as a secure fortress and a symbol of royal power. Behind the castle's walls were storehouses for weapons and the Royal Mint produced the nation's coins. It was also a royal palace with luxuriously furnished apartments and a menagerie of royal beasts. But the Tower was also used to contain people who posed a serious threat to national security.

The first prisoner of the Tower, Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham was also the Tower's first escapee. In 1101 he climbed through one of the White Tower's windows using a rope smuggled to him in a gallon of wine. Over 800 years later, on 15 August 1941, Josef Jakobs was the last person to be executed by firing squad at the Tower, having been found guilty of spying for Germany during the Second World War. In between, the Tower has held in custody Scottish Kings and French Dukes, young princes and princesses and lords, ladies and archbishops, alongside common thieves, religious conspirators and even a few politicians.


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



Depicts an actual inscription in the Tower, the ‘graffiti’ carved by prisoners hundreds of years ago, which has been preserved and can still be seen today. The Norman arched window is a distinctive feature at the Tower and it mirrored the curve of a coin, works as a device to unify the four coins in series.

A special Tower mint mark is on the bottom right.

This inscription signed by Thomas Miagh in 1581 is in the Beauchamp Tower: THOMAS MIAGH – WHICH LETH HERE THAT FAYNE WOLD FROM HENS BE GON BY TORTURE STRAUNGE MI TROUTH WAS TRYED YET OF MY LIBERTY DENIED. An Irishman Thomas Miagh was committed to the Tower in 1581 for leading rebellion against Elizabeth in his homeland.

Designer: Tim Noad

MY •
dENIEd •


5 Pounds (Crown)

5th portrait, Gold Proof Coin
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.916
Weight 39.94 g
Diameter 38.61 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Royal Mint

Related coins

5th portrait, Ceremony of the Keys

Tower of London

Cupronickel, 28.2 g, ⌀ 38.6 mm
5th portrait, Silver Proof Coin, Ceremony of the Keys

Tower of London

Silver, 28.28 g, ⌀ 38.61 mm
5th portrait, Gold Proof Coin, Ceremony of the Keys

Tower of London

Gold, 39.94 g, ⌀ 38.61 mm