As the Royal Australian Mint unveiled its forthcoming collection of circulating and collector coins for 2019, it also launched its redesigned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
It’s only the sixth effigy to feature on Australia’s coins since the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952. It’s the first time the effigy has been updated since 2000.
Designed by Jody Clark, an engraver for the U.K.’s Royal Mint, the effigy depicts the Queen’s shoulders and neckline, both of which haven’t been shown on Australian coinage since 1966. The design is an adaptation of Jody Clark’s original drawings, which were chosen through a competition commissioned by the Royal Mint advisory committee and has been in use in the U.K. since 2015. The Queen is portrayed wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem, which was worn for the Coronation. In keeping with tradition, she continues to face to the right of the coin.
“The Government is upholding the tradition of periodically updating Her Majesty’s image on Australia’s coins,” said Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar. “This new effigy will replace the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy which has been in use since 1998.”
Australians can expect to start seeing the new effigy on 2019-dated coins.
Coins bearing previous effigies of the Queen will not be removed from circulation and will continue to be legal tender.
SOCIAL MEDIA RESPONSE
Before Clark’s design, the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II found on the obverse of Australia’s coinage was produced by Ian Rank-Broadley, who won a similar competition in 1997.
“There is no need to disguise the matureness of the Queen’s years,” said Rank-Broadley in 1997. “There is no need to flatter her. She is a 70-year old woman with poise and bearing.”
Despite the government’s approval of the new effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, it has drawn enormous criticism on social media.
The Australian government announced they're using a new pic of the Queen on all coins from next year, but I can't stop laughing at how much it looks like Prince Philip pic.twitter.com/UoMYqRlQoh
— Reid Parker (@ReidParker_) April 22, 2018