The Royal Mint is in the planning stage of producing a new effigy of the Queen to depict on the obverse of British coinage from 2015. A competition is being commissioned by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) albeit under a cloud of anonymity from those submitting designs and via invitation only. The new portrait will feature on coins of Britain from 2015 along with 2015 dated coins with the current Ian Rank-Broadley effigy which has been in use since 1998. It will first be seen on the 2015 Great Britain Sovereign.
The new portrait will be the fifth major portrait of Queen Elizabeth II used on British coins in her 62 year reign. Australia has also used these 4 portraits along with our own special issue portrait by Vladimir Gottwald on the Australian Royal Visit 50 cent in 2000). As well as marking her 63rd year as monarch in February 6th 2015 she will also overtake Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch on September 9th 2015 so this is a fitting time to make a change to the long-serving Rank-Broadley design.
We can only expect that this new portrait design will be rolled out to all of the Queen’s Commonwealth countries which includes Australia so this may also mean we’ll have 2 circulating coin portraits on 2015 coins or we may adopt the new design in 2016. There is yet to be a statement by the Royal Australian Mint.