Queen Elizabeth II accomplished a lot during her 70-year reign. She met thirteen US presidents; she was the first British monarch to visit China. She supported over 600 charities and formally agreed to Acts of Parliament to help her constituents.
She was also the longest-reigning UK monarch in history. It's no wonder that they commemorated her on so many coins.
But how much is a Queen Elizabeth coin worth in 2023? The answer is complex. Read on to learn the coin value of these collectibles, what makes the designs so appealing, and why they're a great investment.
The Basics of Queen Elizabeth Coins
Queen Elizabeth coins come in many shapes and sizes. Their common thread is that they feature a portrait of the late queen.
Many of these coins are circulated throughout the UK as Great British Pounds. Others are currencies in commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are currently about 29 billion coins switching hands in these areas that feature her likeness.
However, these basic coins are no longer being minted for circulation since her passing-the likeness of her son Charles III is being minted instead.
Still, the Queen Elizabeth currency isn't going to be removed from circulation, and it will likely be a staple of British life for many decades to come. Pound coins usually circulate for about 30 years, so this is a low-end estimate for how long they will be used as currency.
Why Queen Elizabeth Coins?
There are several reasons that Queen Elizabeth II coins are so prevalent in multiple countries. The primary one is that she was the British sovereign when they were minted, so she was the obvious choice for currency.
However, her likeness was also popular for many reasons:
- The British Empire holds a lot of sway and power worldwide
- She is a symbol of British patriotism and independence
- Her likeness symbolizes the historical influence of the UK
- She is an inspirational figure to many
There is also a reason that Queen Elizabeth faces the right side in her portraits. Every king or queen faces the opposite direction as the one that ruled before them. So, George VI faced leftward, as does Charles III now.
For these reasons, there are also some Queen Elizabeth collector's coins that were minted during her reign. Some of these were unintentionally valuable coins, such as the 'undated 20p.' '20p' means that it was worth 20 pence.
Because of a minting error, a batch of 250,000 such coins were minted without a date. There was never another batch made after they went into circulation in 2008. Today, these coins go for about £52 (about 66 USD).
However, other collectible coins were minted purposely during the Queen's reign. The Kew Gardens coin was released in 2009, and it was worth 50p and celebrated the landmark. The front showcases the Garden's Chinese Pagoda and has the Queen Elizabeth portrait on its obverse side.
Other coins like this include the 92/93 Hemima Puddle Fuck 50p (1992-1993), Olympic Football 50p (2011), and the Isaac Newton coin (2018).
Upon the Queen's passing, a new kind of Queen Elizabeth coin came onto the scene: commemorative coins.
These coins aim to pay tribute to Her Majesty's 70-year reign and serve as collectible items. They are not circulated as UK currency. However, these coins are highly coveted as collector's items and are made from precious metals.
Most of them, including 2022's Gold Sovereign coin and 2023's Gold Britannia coin, are made from pure gold. There are also silver Britannia coin options that feature the same design. The precious metal type and content are critical when determining the coin's worth.
How Much Is a Queen Elizabeth Coin Worth?
Several factors contribute to the worth of a Queen Elizabeth coin. The main ones include:
- Authenticity (frauds are always almost worthless)
- Type of coin
- Where the coin was minted
- Coin rarity (and age)
- Condition (circulated vs uncirculated)
- Appearance (luster, shine, color, etc)
- Mint grade (given by a qualified entity)
The most expensive Queen Elizabeth II coin was a commemorative coin minted in late 2023. This coin, minted to mark the one-year anniversary of the Queen's death, is worth $23 million. It's called "The Crown."
This sum may sound like a lot, but the coin's size means that it makes sense. It's about the size of a basketball and made entirely of precious materials. The coin contains eight pounds of gold as well as 6,426 diamonds that weigh 486 carats.
This one-of-a-kind coin has one large gold coin in the center with the queen's likeness and royal symbol. There are 10 smaller gold coins surrounding it that depict her virtues such as justice and bravery.
New 50-Pence Coins
The Crown is by far the most expensive Queen Elizabeth coin, but it's far from the norm. One recent development in these coins is a new 50-cent coin minted by the Royal Australian Mint.
This coin bears the likeness of Queen Elizabeth during multiple parts of her reign. She faces right in all of them, as she always does, but the six faces are all different. They go from left to right, beginning with her at her youngest to the way she looked right before death.
The other side of the coin shows the final likeness only along with her birth and death dates. The mint location and year are also on the back of the proof coin.
While the coin was only assigned a 50¢ value by the government, its collector's value makes the actual price much higher. They sell for about $200 in mint condition. As the Mint suspected, it because a "highly prized addition to any coin collection."
Tribute Sets for Collecting Coins
Coin collectors tend to know the value of a good mint-condition set. That's why those who love coins got lucky in 2022 when the Royal Mint produced a set of six gold coins commemorating the late queen.
The coins included in the 2022 Gold Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II Tribute 6-Coin Set PF70 are:
- A five-pound sovereign gold coin
- Double-sovereign gold coin
- Sovereign gold coin
- Half-sovereign gold coin
- Quarter sovereign gold coin
- One-eighth sovereign gold coin
All of them have a beautiful image of the British crown on one side sitting atop a bed of flowers. The words "Service & Devotion" line its edges because of the Queen's seven decades of serving the UK. The obverse shows the queen's likeness in bold, shining glory. The proof set is highly collectible for its clear image and shining surface as well as its rarity. You can purchase this set with or without a collector's box for $8,995.
If you're looking to own a reasonably-priced collectible coin that pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth, the 2022 Gold Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Proof is a great choice.
This coin, created by the Royal Mint, contains almost .92 of pure gold. It's great for both precious metals enthusiasts and coin collectors.
Unlike the other coins on this list, the coin does not showcase a likeness of Her Majesty the late queen. Instead, it shows the first portrait of Charles III on minted money, making it the perfect coin to enjoy the beginning of a new era.
However, this coin is a Queen Elizabeth memorial coin despite the likeness of her son. The reverse of the coin showcases the Royal Arms as a tribute to the late queen.
Britannia coins are a long-standing British tradition. These collector's coins are some of the most highly coveted in the world, and the 2023 coin shows a gorgeous likeness of Queen Elizabeth II on a textured background. The other side of the coin shows Lady Britannia holding her famous trident. The coin's other great features include surface animation that makes the background waves look as though they're moving. It also has a macro-text for protection as well as decoration.
Unlike other Queen Elizabeth coins, Britannia coins are IRA-eligible. This means that you can purchase them and place them into a precious metals retirement plan.
Since gold accrues value over time and numismatic coins become rarer, this is an investment that's sure to pay off. The gold content itself will grow in value by about 11% every year. This means that one ounce, while worth only about $2,115 right now, will be worth around $3,441 in five years. Silver Britannia coins are also available for as low as $32.83. They're also IRA-eligible and will accrue in value over time despite their lower value than gold options. If you're looking for a good investment with a low upfront cost, this is an ideal choice.
Grow Your Commemorative Coin Collection (or Make an Investment)
So, how much is a Queen Elizabeth coin worth? The answer to this question depends on what coin you're specifically looking at. Some are worth thousands, while others are just worth the 10p that the government minted them to have.
Now that you know the ins and outs of this coin design, it's time to begin making smarter collectible coin investments. The United States Gold Bureau offers a wide range of British collector's coins, including those commemorating the late queen. Download our precious metals investor's guide to learn how you can select the right coins for your individual goals.