The Enduring Numismatic Legacy of Queen Elizabeth II

Posted on 9/8/2022

As the world mourns her passing, we look back at the extensive and elegant legacy she leaves behind in the numismatic realm.

Queen Elizabeth II brought a gentle and respected presence to the global stage for 70 years. For Great Britain and many Commonwealth nations, she was the face that graced their currency for decades, and her numismatic legacy is worth exploring in depth. She was the longest-reigning British monarch, an achievement that Great Britain honored with a special issue in 2015.

Great Britain 2015 Gold 1,000 Pounds - Longest Reigning Monarch graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo.
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The coin showed the various portraits that had been used on British coinage starting with 1953, the year of her coronation. NGC explored the fascinating evolution of Elizabeth II's coinage in a History Through Coins column, which can be viewed here.

Great Britain 1953 Penny graded NGC MS 65 RB
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Queen Elizabeth II's portrait also graced banknotes of Great Britain and Commonwealth nations, even before her accession to the throne. A 1935 Canadian note shows Elizabeth as a young girl. PMG took an in-depth look at how the queen was portrayed on banknotes from around the world over more than 80 years in a Collection Inspiration column, which can be viewed here.

Canada, Banque du Canada "French" 1935 $20 graded PMG 30 Very Fine EPQ
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Many coins have been issued in recent years to celebrate the long reign of Queen Elizabeth, including the commemoratives from Australia and Great Britain shown here. NGC created a dignified and dynamic Special Label to complement coins like these and to pay tribute to the admiration the queen had earned around the world. Learn more about the label here.

Australia 2018P Silver $1 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Anniversary and Great Britain 2022 Platinum Jubilee Proof Silver £5, both shown with NGC's Queen Elizabeth II Special Label
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Many collectors have taken up the challenge of assembling sets in the NGC and PMG Registries that focus on currency showing Queen Elizabeth II. Interestingly, her reign spanned a major transformation of British currency in the 1970s called decimalization, which recently marked its first 50 years. Here are some NGC and PMG Registry categories that are worth checking out:

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