New Issue: Ascension Island crown marks Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee

This August, Ascension Island issued a new crown coin marking the 65th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who acceded to the British throne on Feb. 6, 1952 at the age of 25.

The coin’s reverse design depicts the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II, which appears on the gates of the tower of London among other places. The cypher consists of the Queen’s initials surrounded by flowers and plants representing the U.K. The rose is for England; the Daffodil for Wales; the Thistle for Scotland; and the Shamrock represents Northern Ireland.

The obverse of the coin, which was issued on Aug. 30, features a right-face effigy of the Queen produced by Pobjoy.


This coin is available in a Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel version as well as a Proof version struck in Sterling silver and finished with selective gold plating on the cypher.

In order to represent the year Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, Pobjoy struck 1,952 Proof Sterling silver coins and 10,000 in cupro-nickel. Each of the Proof coins was struck four times to produce a “glorious mirror finish.”

Denomination Metal Weight Diameter Quality Maximum Mintage
One crown cupro-nickel 28 grams 38.6 mm Brilliant Uncirulated 10,000 pieces
One crown .925 silver 28 grams 38.6 mm Proof 1,952 pieces

The coin is also available in a Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel version.


The use of a Royal Cypher originates in the U.K., where the public use of the royal initials dates from the early Tudor period and is simply the initial of the sovereign with the addition of the letter “R” for Rex or Regina. This sovereign uses the same cypher throughout all of his or her countries.

Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952, and was proclaimed Queen by her various privy and executive councils shortly afterwards. Her coronation took place more than a year later because the tradition of holding such an event was inappropriate during the period of mourning following the death of a monarch. During the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the new Queen swore an oath to uphold the law and govern the Church of England.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reining monarch in 2015, when she overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. The recent death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej means Queen Elizabeth II is now the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.

The coin’s obverse (shown) features a right-facing effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Pobjoy.

The coin was produced by Britain’s Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the government of Ascension Island.

For more information about the coins struck by Pobjoy and issued by Ascension Island, click here.

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