Australian Coin Obverses: Ian Rank-Broadley

December 3, 2010

Ian Rank-Broadley Effigy of Queen Elizabeth II

A coin has 2 sides, a reverse and obverse. The reverse is often called the "tails" side. Turn it over and all legal tender Australian coins must depict the reigning monarch on the "heads" side of the coin. There have been few obverse designs feature on Australian coinage, while on the flipside there have been many many many reverse designs. Since Elizabeth became Queen in 1952 there have been 4 standard portraits of HM featured and one special one-off portrait.

HM's portrait has been updated as the Queen has aged over the years. The current design is the mature portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by designer Ian Rank-Broadley. This portrait was first used on Australian commemorative coins struck in the later half of 1998 and on circulation coinage from 1999. In 1997 a competition was held to design a new effigy for use on British and Commonwealth coinage and Ian Rank-Broadley was the winner.

In keeping with tradition the Queen faces to the right (she faces the opposite direction of her predecessor King George VI) and she is wearing the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara which she was given as a wedding present by her grandmother Queen Mary. Below the portrait are Ian Rank-Broadley's initials IRB, this obverse description often being shortened to the "Queen IRB" obverse.

There are some slight variations to the portrait and the legends in sizing and font styles over the years with more details in Australian Coin Obverses: Ian Rank-Broadley Part 2 Eyeing the Details.

Posted by harrisk at December 3, 2010 11:38 AM
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