The new £1 coin bears on its reverse a rendition of the heraldic shield of the Royal Arms by Matthew Dent. Only the third version of the Royal Arms to appear on the £1 coin since 1983, while the obverse features the familiar portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS. The edge features lettering with the Latin inscription reading DECUS ET TUTAMEN, meaning 'an ornament and a safeguard, this first appeared on the edge of coins of Charles II to deter the unscrupulous practice of clipping and shaving precious metal from the coins. Struck in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, the £1 coin is housed in a full-colour presentation folder detailing the rich history of the shield of the Royal Arms design and the inspiration behind choosing this shield for the new UK coinage.
As a powerful symbol of royal authority, the Royal Arms in various forms have featured on the coinage of every monarch since the reign of Edward III (1327-77). Coins were, and still are, issued under the personal authority of the monarch and came to be regarded as vehicles for royal imagery, whether in the form of a portrait or a monarch’s personal coat of arms. As heraldry itself started to grow as a symbol of royal identity, it was a natural progression for the Royal Arms to appear on the coinage. It is not surprising therefore that Matthew Dent, the winning designer, chose the Royal Arms, and in particular a shield of the Royal Arms, as the theme for his innovative range of new designs, with all four quarters spread over the six coins from the 1p to the 50p. Completing the new range of coins is the £1 coin featuring the shield of the Royal Arms in its entirety, uniting the six elements into one design.
Alloy Nickel Brass
Weight 9.5 gms
Diameter 22.5 mm
Designer (Reverse) Matthew Dent
Designer (Obverse) Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Edge Inscription Decus et Tutamen