(P.76) £5 heavyweight commemorates Victorian values

by Georgia Williams, Evening Standard 19 January 2001

A NEW £5 coin will be wearing a hole in our pockets when it comes into circulation this summer.

The Royal Mint is launching the coin, which is twice the weight of the £2 coin, on Monday as a commemorative souvenir to mark the 1OOth anniversary of Queen Victoria's death.

The limited edition £5 will be available to collectors in silver and gold prior to becoming part of our common currency as a gold-coloured coin. Designed by Mary Milner Dickens, the coin features the Great Exhibition of 1851, held at Crystal Palace and an engraved V surrounding a portrait of Queen Victoria.

Dr Ian Dungavell, director of The Victorian Society said:

"This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Victorian era and we are delighted that the Royal Mint is commemorating it with a new £5 coin.

"The Victorians introduced great social and technological advance and their ingenuity is seen in such astonishing buildings as the Crystal Palace. The coin is a fitting tribute to such achievements."

The £5 Victorian Anniversary Crown will initially be sold for £9.95. These limited edition coins will be a higher quality than the standard £5 coins which will be manufactured by the Royal Mint factory in Wales and come into circulation in May. The collectors items can be obtained through the Royal Mint Coin Club on 01443 - 623456 or www.royalmint.com.

The Queen will commemorate the death of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria at Castle Rising Church, near Sandringham, this Sunday. Also expected to attend is the Queen Mother born while Victoria was on the throne.

The Royal Mint writes, on their web-site:

"The 2001 crown presentation folder pays fitting tribute to one of the more dramatic periods in history - the Victorian era. An anniversary crown needs special attention, thats why the British Royal Mint has produced a splendid presentation folder to house the magnificent Victorian Crown. The Victorian age, ending with Queen Victoria's death at the dawn of the twentieth century, was one of industrial and social transformation. By the end of the nineteenth century people were enjoying the benefits of railways, telephones, electric lighting and motor cars, things that everyone, today, takes for granted. 

"This anniversary crown, with its beautiful reverse design showing Mary Milner Dickens' representation of the Young Head of Queen Victoria and Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of our present Queen, takes pride of place in this year's crown presentation folder.

"Just as Mary Milner Dickens was influenced by the Crystal Palace for her reverse design, the presentation folder, too, features a beautiful illustration of this spectacular glass building."

Editor: The presentation pack is available now and the coin from May much closer to home - The Crystal Palace Museum.

The Presentation pack is priced at £9.95 and I (Crystal Palace Museum) will be doing a '£5.00 for £5.00' promotion when the coin is released in May.

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18/03/01 Last updated 18/03/01;22/3/01