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Gold Laurel

  • Commemorating 400 years of the 1619 gold Laurel

  • Unique Queen Elizabeth II portrait change

  • 1oz solid gold

  • Bradford Mint Exclusive

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A numismatic first, this coin denomination is approved by Buckingham Palace to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous gold Laurel coin, first minted in 1619 by her ancestor King James I of England and Scotland.


When James VI of Scotland, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots was offered the throne of England and crowned King James I, the ancient Kingdoms of England and Scotland were at last united under one monarch. To celebrate this James introduced a new coin called the “Unite”. The new coin proved popular but soon an increase in the price of gold led to another 20-shilling gold piece being minted. Thinner and lighter than the Unite it was also different from the previous coin because for the first time the King was seen not wearing a crown but a laurel wreath on his head, it is from this that we get the coin name – the Laurel.


Laurel leaves had long been used to symbolise honour and victory, this stretched back to ancient times when in Greece, and later Rome, laurel crowns were given to victors in sporting competitions or in battle. Roman Emperors are often also depicted wearing or holding laurel crowns or wreaths and it was this that James was trying to recreate – apparently, he saw himself as the new Caesar Augustus “unifying” England, Scotland and Wales.


In a very usual change of protocol, but to keep to the historical context of this anniversary Her Majesty consented to changing her the portrait profile on the obverse of this coin, so instead of from facing right she faces left, as did King James I on the original Laurel. This unprecedented move creates a most unique change and provides serious collectors with a must have collectors piece that is historically linked to the coinage of 1619.


Such a rare and unique coin and portrait change of Her Majesty makes this solid gold 1oz coin a much have for any numismatic enthusiast.

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