United Kingdom: “The Griffin,” Second of the Queen’s Beasts Gold and Silver Bullion Coins


On December 9, 2016, the Royal Mint will release the second of 10 coins in the “Queen’s Beasts” series. The first coin was released in March 2016.

The original Queen’s Beasts were a series of statues representing the lineage of Queen Elizabeth II. For her coronation in 1953, a temporary annex was built at the entrance to Westminster Abbey. Guarding the west wall of the annex were 9 of the 10 heraldic statues, each about 2 meters tall and bearing the shield of the family in her lineage that the beast represented. The 10th statue, the Lion of England (which appears on the monarch’s current arms and has appeared on British coinage), was placed at the entrance that the Queen would use to enter the abbey. After the coronation the beasts spent time at Windsor Castle and in storage, then were sent to Canada, where they’re currently in the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec. Replicas of the beasts carved from Portland stone range along the front of the Palm House at Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom.


The first coin in the series, depicting the Lion of England, is shown above. The lion and the other nine beasts are the work of Royal Mint sculptor Jody Clark, who reimagined the original statues for the coinage. The Queen’s Beasts provided a first to the Royal Mint’s line of bullion coins: a 2-ounce silver issue (shown here) with a face value of £5, alongside the 1-ounce (£100) and 1/4-ounce (£25) issues.


The griffin was a chosen emblem of Edward III, who had it engraved on his private shield with the Round Tower of Windsor Castle, above which flies the Royal Standard, all embraced by two oak branches and surmounted by the Royal Crown. On the reverse of the bullion coin, shown above, the griffin’s wings are spread as it proudly guards the shield of Edward III before a background of chain mail. The legend GRIFFIN OF EDWARD III along with the weight, fineness, and date of issue, surround the central device.


The obverse of the coin features the fifth definitive portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, by Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark. The denomination appears in the surrounding legend.

Denom. Metal Diameter Weight Strike
£100 .9999 gold 32.69 mm 1 oz. Brilliant Unc.
£25 .9999 gold 22 mm 1/4 oz. Brilliant Unc.
£5 .9999 silver 38.61 mm 2 oz. Brilliant Unc.

The other coins in the series, whose release dates are to be determined, are:

  • the Falcon of the Plantagenets
  • the Black Bull of Clarence
  • the Yale of Beaufort
  • the White Lion of Mortimer
  • the White Greyhound of Richmond
  • the Red Dragon of Wales
  • the Unicorn of Scotland
  • the White Horse of Hanover

You can read more about the Queen’s Beasts, both the statues and the coinage series, here, as well as on World Mint News Blog’s sister site, Coin Update. The coins can be purchased directly from the Royal Mint’s bullion division. International orders re dispatched where applicable. The 2016 and 2017 Queen’s Beasts coins can also be purchased from APMEX.

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  1. gatortreke says

    JM Bullion also offers all versions of these coins for sale as well (I have no ties to any of these dealers, just reporting what I’ve seen). I see they have the new Griffin coins available for pre-sale now.

    I really like both of the first two designs, hope the milk spot comments noticed by ErikH on his 2 oz silver Beasts is an aberration.


  2. Ernesto says

    @gatortrke The only issue with JM Bullion is that they have a $100 minimum for any order that pays with checks, credit cards, bit coin, or pay pal. For bank wire the minimum is even higher. So if that’s the only coin you’re going to buy you’ll need to buy it elsewhere.

  3. Xena says

    Hat’s off to the Royal Mint and the sculptor Jody Clark – these are BEAUTIFUL!

    Haven’t seen the 1/4 oz gold on pre-sale yet, so if someone sees it – please post. Thx.

  4. Mister Kairu says

    I had a bunch of milk spots on my Beast coins when I had them. Due to that I sold them all off and unfortunately will not be continuing this beautiful series (but also for $ reasons)

  5. M Alexander says

    Hello Koichi,

    This series of coins is not available in proof quality, only in what is called bullion quality but normally, the strike is very good quality. The Royal Mint do sell them directly, but I do not see an option to purchase them for overseas customers, you may need to contact a distributor closer to where you live.

  6. Dave says

    For anyone interested in the Queens Beast 2 oz silver bullion coins, the forth beast will be the Unicorn of Scotland.

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