The image, which was revealed at the National Portrait Gallery in London, features the beloved Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem she donned for her 1953 Coronation, drop earrings and a hint of a warm smile.
Designer Jody Clark did a lot of research of crowned jewels worn by her majesty before deciding which one to depict. "The Diamond Diadem was worn by the Queen to her Coronation and was featured in the portraits designed by Raphael Maklouf and Arnold Machin, so it's a real nod to the past," said Jody. "I think it's the most familiar and I wanted to make some clear distinctions between the portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, as Her Majesty really hasn't aged too much in the years since."
At just 33 years old, Jody is the youngest artist of the four before him. The Royal Mint Advisory Committee chose his design from several anonymous submissions in a closed competition, but it ultimately had to get approval from the Queen herself.
"The news that my design had been chosen was quite overwhelming, and I still can't quite believe that my royal portrait will be featured on millions of coins, playing a small part in the Royal Mint's 1,000-year history," said Jody. "I really liked the four previous coin portraits — each one is strong in its own way. I hope that I've done Her Majesty justice and captured her as I intended, in a fitting representation."
This marks the fifth coin to be produced during the Queen's reign starting in 1952 and the newest since 1998. The Queen's image has changed over the years, but she continues to face right. This tradition can be traced back to the 17th century where successive monarchs face alternate directions on coins.
Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint, said. "This change of royal portrait will make 2015 a vintage year for UK coins, and it will be hugely exciting for us all to see how the new design appears on the coins we use every day."
The new coins went into production on Monday, but the public won't likely see them until later this year when they are put into circulation.