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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 18, April 30, 2006, Article 10

COIN PORTRAITS OF THE QUEEN

Regarding the Queen's portrait on various nations' coins and
banknotes, Martin Purdy writes: "I guess they must have some
freedom - NZ had a "unique" (and not very successful) portrait
of the Queen by James Berry on its NCLT dollar coins from 1979
to 1981, before reverting to the Machin portrait.

The dates of changeover from one portrait to another are not
standardised, either.  The Machin portrait was introduced on
some "colonial" coinage before the UK itself made the switch
away from the Gillick portrait.  The UK adopted the Machin
version in 1968/71, while Machin was adopted in Rhodesia as
early as 1964 (I'm quoting from memory, I think it was the
first), Canada in 1965, Australia in 1966 and New Zealand in
1967.  Likewise, changes to later portraits have been staggered
from country to country."

Charlie Hosch writes: "As for Maundy money, traditionally the
monarch's portrait on the obverse is never changed throughout the
reign.  They are not  "circulating currency," so who really cares?
Maundy money is quite rare, but not collected by a significant number
of numismatists, and therefore the retail prices are quite low
compared to the mintage.

As for different images used by various British Commonwealth 
countries that do not "conform" to the UK image -- well, they 
(the Commonwealth countries) can do anything they want to do.  
It's not like the Queen can have their heads cut off if she doesn't 
approve.  Of course she will approve whatever a mint puts in 
front of her.  Is she going to cause a "stink" because she has a 
minor problem with the design?  Not hardly.  I'm sure Her 
Majesty has other fish to fry."

Kerry Rodgers writes: "Gary Dunaier queries the use on coins
of different EFFIGIES (NOT portraits) of Elizabeth the Second,
by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen,
Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

The Queen may be Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor
of the Church of England, Lord of Mann and the Duke of Lancaster,
but is also Queen of at least sixteen independent nations known
as the Commonwealth Realms, consisting of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon
Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The key
word is "independent". By the Statute of Westminster 1931 she holds
these positions equally; no one nation takes precedence over any
other. As such there is and never has been a "home office" since
1931, except where and when any of these countries were colonies.
All are now independent.

As such, each of these realms can do what it wishes with their
own queen's effigy, although the approval of HRH is sought as to
how she is depicted.  New Zealand did it own thing back in 1979-82
with a distinctive effigy of the Queen of New Zealand.  Canada has
its own effigy of the Queen of Canada.

I spoke to one mint about their use of the Maklouf effigy vs the
Rank-Broadley version and they said it depended on cost, convenience
and usage of the particular realm. Consequently, while the IRB
version may be "current" in one of Her Majesty's realms it may well
not be in another.  The situation is no different than it is with
bank notes or stamps.

I may be doing Gary an injustice but I presume he is from one
republic or another - or is an Australian! I used to struggle to
explain to such folk that Elizabeth is Queen of New Zealand quite
independently of being Queen of England.  These days I usually
don't bother - particularly with confused Australians.  Intriguingly,
I have found the California numismatists I know have no problem
with the concept. Many of them had it sorted out long before I hove
into view.

They point out that a number of countries use the currency of
another with which they are not politically connected.  For example,
Tuvalu uses Australian dollars. Consequently, having a Head of State
who doesn't live in your neck of the woods is no big deal. I had
always understood it was Bostonians who were the politically savvy
folk in the U.S. I now know it is the Californians - which may
explain a lot!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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