James Butler MBE RA is the designer of the obverse portrait of The Queen that appears for one year on some commemorative coins in 2015, and on the proof coins in The Sovereign 2016 Collection.
Born in London in 1931, James is a widely respected sculptor with a prolific portfolio. While renowned for his towering bronze sculptures, the artist has also earned a notable reputation in the numismatic world, creating several prestigious pieces for The Royal Mint. One such creation was the Great Seal of the Realm adopted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001, who granted a sitting with James to perfect his design. Undeniably worthy of the official and regal insignia, the design is respected worldwide as a numismatic work of art.
"I have been privileged to meet The Queen on a few occasions through various works I have created, including the Royal Seal of the Realm and more recently, a statue of Her Majesty as a young woman. You have an idea of how a person looks in your mind, but it is important to have actual images to work from, so The Royal Mint provided official photographs of The Queen’s profile. I wanted to show a likeness of her, an affectionate image, as this was a celebration rather than a circulating coinage portrait."
90th Birthday Portrait on a commemorative crown
As seen on this commemorative £5 Crown-sized coin, the portrait is not exactly at the centre of the obverse, and the inscription is not continuous around the rim. The value and denomination (FIVE POUNDS) face the opposite way as compared to the monarch's legend.
James Butler effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in gold
After the initial release in 2015, the effigy was only used again in 2016 on the proof versions of the sovereign denominations (bullion coins had the Ian Rank-Broadley obverse). The legend is longer, as the denomination is not indicated on the coin.
|United Kingdom||Gold Five Ounces 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch||180||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D · TEN POUNDS · 2015|
|United Kingdom||Silver Five Ounces 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch||1,499||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D · TEN POUNDS · 2015|
|United Kingdom||Silver Kilo 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch||278||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D · 500 POUNDS · 2015|
|United Kingdom||Gold Kilo 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch||15||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D · 1000 POUNDS · 2015|
|United Kingdom||Five Pounds 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch||48,848||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · F · D · FIVE POUNDS|
|United Kingdom||Five Sovereigns 2016 90th Birthday Portrait||575||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF|
|United Kingdom||Half Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait||1,995||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF|
|United Kingdom||Quarter Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait||1,727||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF|
|United Kingdom||Double Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait||925||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF|
|United Kingdom||Sovereign 2016 90th Birthday Portrait||7,995||ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF|
|Personal Information||Queen Elizabeth II|