It’s customary to buy a present for the christening of a young baby but when you are an heir to the throne, the gifts are in a different league altogether.
The christening of Prince George, which took place on 23rd October, has been commemorated with the release of a new gold coin worth an eye-watering £50,000.
A rare honour
The coin is the first one to be released in order to celebrate a royal christening but received the blessing from proud parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The gold coin which contains 1kg of the precious metal is a limited edition collector’s piece but is being sold alongside more affordable mementos that the public can buy. Included in this is a silver coin worth £5, the choice of metal deliberate as tradition suggests that crossing the baby’s palms with silver will bring prosperity and good health. There is also a £5 coin available in gold as well.
The creator chose to use a Baroque pattern for the coins, a style which has been used in many pieces of classic design over the ages and is a popular amongst royals. However, the Lily Font from the Tower of London is also featured strongly, a deliberate and bold move from the designer, who opted to include this because of its significance in royal christenings.
The motto of the royal family scrolls across the bottom of the coin’s face: “Dieu at mon droit” – God and my right. On either side of the embossed words, there are two harp-playing cherubs keeping watch.
In the centre of the ornate wreath, the coin bears the words: To celebrate the christening of Prince George of Cambridge 2013.
A souvenir of historic changes
Designing a coin such as this is normally a long process which can take up to two years, but in this case the designer, John Bergdahl, was forced to cram all of the work into just seven months.
The reason for the rush was because details such as the sex of the royal baby and the name were not known, leaving Mr Bergdahl with a lot of work to do once it was announced. However, the designer says that he hopes the coin will “be timeless and it will still look as good in 100 years’ time as it does now.”
Mr Bergdahl went on to say that the coin was designed to represent a little slice of history, not just being the first one to be issued for a royal christening but also the changes in succession, explaining that it “…sums up the expectation carried by a young child, born to reign – regardless of gender – for the first time ever.”
Royal seal of approval
The Director of the Royal Mint Museum, Dr Kevin Clancy, described the coin as having ‘dignity’ and ‘symbolic’ and praised John Bergdahl for delivering something which “has done an excellent job of giving us something that is timeless.”
Dr Clancy said that the Duke and Duchess took an active role in approving the coin before its final release and said that they were happy with the result. The design was also shown to the Queen and Chancellor George Osborne for approval before being finalised.
The gold and silver coins will be available to purchase from just £5 including a limited number of the £50,000 coins too. Many people believe these coins have great investment potential, we guess only time will tell!
Image Credits: Daily Mail