The origins of the British Gold Crown are traceable to the English silver crown, which was amongst the numerous silver coins that were introduced in the Sixteenth Century in numerous countries. They were first issued as silver in 1551 and the last circulated issue was in 1902. The first gold crown was minted in August 1526 during Henry VIII’s reign in sixpence and four shillings. Two changes were introduced to the crowns in 1990. First, re-tariffing was done to £5 from Shs. 5 or their decimal equivalent pf 25p. Second, proof the Mint began producing and marketing gold and silver proof versions for collection.
Although confusion looms over the minting and existing of denominations other than the £5 British gold crown because it is the most common, it is not the only one. The gold proof commemorative crown coins in the denominations of £5 have been produced over the years to mark different occasions especially from 1993 to 2016. All these mints have varied in terms of obverse and reverse features including images and inscriptions. Some are also made of varying gold carats such as 22-carat and 24-carat.
For example, the 1997 coin was a commemoration of jubilee wedding anniversary of H.R.H. Prince Phillip and H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. The obverse of the British Gold Crown is the work of engraver Philip Nathan. It features the conjoined heads of the couple facing to the right with the Queen’s effigy in the foreground. The inscription, “ELIZABETH II D G REG F D PHILIP PRINCEPS” surrounds them. The reverse is more detailed with St. Edward’s crown at the top separating the text, “1947 1997”, an anchor at the bottom, two shields in the middle combining the Prince Philip’s Coat of Arms and the Royal Arms right below the inscription, “20 NOVEMBER”. The inscription, “FIVE POUNDS” appears at the bottom. This coin measures 38.61mm wide and weighs 39.94g (0.916.6 fineness).
Investors and collectors interested in this coin will not pay VAT or sales taxes when exchanging the coins. The British Royal Mint, which the UK Government wholly owns, is the sole mint for the British Gold Crown coins.