Alderney is one of the Channel Islands (situated in the Channel between England and France), and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey - a British Crown dependency. As such, it is not a sovereign country, but has operated as a quasi-sovereign entity since the Middle Ages. The island has issued commemorative coins since 1989, denominated in the Alderney Pound - which is a variant of the Pound Sterling and is legal tender on the islands, but not in the United Kingdom.
Apart from the British Royal Mint, the island has also authorised some private mints to issue coins under its jurisdiction, which come in a variety of sizes - including in the very large silver kilo (1 kg silver) format, usually denominated as £100.
This coin (denominated as £5) is part of a two-coin set, which is the second release of the Heritage Series by the Commonwealth Mint, following the Una and the Lion series.
This release commemorates the Gothic Crown, an 1847 Queen Victoria design by former Royal Mint engraver William Wyon. Only 8,000 of the original Gothic Crowns were ever struck many remain firmly in the hands of delighted collectors.
This 2021 issue features a unique young effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in Gothic styling by Jody Clark. Queen Elizabeth II has never been styled in this way before, and the effigy was approved by the Palace exclusively for use on the 2021 Alderney Gothic Crown.
The first coin in the series features the reverse of the Gothic Crown; this second coin is dedicated to Queen Victoria's Gothic portrait, which was on the obverse of the original crown.