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Sapphire Jubilee coins to mark 65th anniversary of Queen's accession

The Royal Mint is to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne with a range of specially designed Sapphire Jubilee commemorative coins.

The milestone - which falls on February 6 and is a first for a reigning monarch - has seen coins struck in a range of metals and denominations from £5, £10 and £500 to £1,000.

The recommended retail prices for the commemorative coins range from £13 for the brilliant un-circulated £5 piece to £49,995 for the £1,000 UK gold proof kilo coin - expensive but not to be the most valuable coin produced by the Royal Mint.

All the coins feature the Queen's image in profile on the main side but the £5 range has the imperial state crown on the reverse, and an excerpt from Princess Elizabeth's famous speech where she dedicates herself to her future role as Queen.

It reads: "My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."

Glyn Davies, designer of the £5 range, said: "I drew inspiration from the regalia associated with the Queen's coronation.

"As opposed to many traditional designs, I've rotated the crown to make a feature of the Stuart sapphire.

"I have also included a quotation from Her Majesty's 21st birthday speech, which makes the design more personal. I used computer-aided design to create the inscription, but sculpted elements of the crown in clay."

Gregory Cameron designed the £10, £500 and £1,000 coins which feature the royal coat of arms on the reverse.

A keen artist and coin collector he is also a Bishop of the Anglican Church in Wales, serving the Diocese of St Asaph.

He said: "The arms in my design are shown in an oval cartouche, surrounded by flourishes that reflect the celebratory mood of the coin.

"The shield is supported by two branches. On the left, as we look at the shield, is the olive branch, a symbol of faithfulness and reconciliation, and on the right, a branch of oak, representing stability and loyalty in service.

"These are all qualities that we can associate with Her Majesty."

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond was present at the Royal Mint when the Sapphire Jubilee collection was struck.

Commenting on the edge lettering on the precious metal £5 coins, the broadcaster said: "I particularly love the inscription around this coin. It reads 'shine through the ages' - taken from the Queen's coronation speech.

"She was talking about how the ancient ceremonies shine through the ages of course, but for us, I think this also reflects how the Queen herself has shone, and continues to shine, throughout her wonderful long reign."

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