World Coins: Great Britain 1953 Coronation Crown
Posted on 4/16/2013
A 1953 Great Britain Coronation Crown is considered a common coin; however, the pattern counterpart is extremely rare and maybe unique. In 1952, with the death of King George VI, Elizabeth ascended to the throne of Great Britain. Her Coronation would take place a year later, on June 2, 1953.
To mark this important event a commemorative circulating crown coin was to be minted. The obverse of the coin features the future Queen Elizabeth on horseback with crowned royal ciphers on each side of the horse. The reverse has a crown in the center surrounded by four arms and the English rose, Welsh leek, Scottish thistle, and Irish shamrock. Patterns of this coin were struck to get final approval. When Elizabeth was shown this pattern it is believed that she asked for the reverse to be modified to a simpler design with less relief to show the designs better. As a result, a design was adopted that utilized the same obverse and a reverse showing smaller shields, plants, and more field areas. The modified design was minted to the tune of over 5 million examples to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
NGC recently certified the pattern of the 1953 Coronation Crown. While the book English Silver Coinage Since 1649 (by P. Alan Rayner) gives the coin a rarity of R7, the plate from the book is currently the only known example. The coin originally had an inscription (added post-production) and was photographed as the plate coin for the English Silver Coinage book while the coin was still in this state. Since the time of the photo the inscription has been removed from the coin.
The 1953 Pattern Coronation Crown, with its history of being handled by Queen Elizabeth before her Coronation and the possibility that the piece is unique, makes it an invaluable specimen not only historically but numismatically as well.