Monarch Modernized

Queen's portrait gets update on Aussie coins

An updated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will be rolled out on Australian coins beginning next year.

The portrait of 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth II has received an update on Australian coins. The new profile is the work of British Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark.

The portrait, making its debut on coins dated 2019, depicts the right side of the Queen’s face, with the royal wearing a diamond diadem crown, a Victorian coronation necklace and drop earrings. The portrait includes the Queen’s shoulders, marking a difference to U.K. coins, which only show the monarch’s head and neck.

A $1 coin bearing the updated design was unveiled by Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia, in Canberra.

This latest design will replace the work of British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of the Queen has been used on new coins in Australia since 1998.

“The transition to a new effigy on all Australian coinage will begin in 2019 and continue into 2020,” said Ross MacDiarmid, chief executive of the Royal Australian Mint. “Coins carrying previous portraits of the Queen will remain in circulation.”

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Clark’s designs have previously been featured on a commemorative coin issued for the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding, as well as the latest image of the Queen introduced on coins in 2015.

However, his design could have a much shorter lifespan than its predecessor. The campaign to remove the Queen as head of state and appoint an Australian is seeking to have a national vote on the issue by 2020.

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