Percy Metcalfe (often also spelled Metcalf without an "e") was an accomplished designer of coins. His designs (with some modifications) were used for the reverse and obverse of all coins issued by the newly founded Irish Free State, although he was an Englishman. He undertook the work for the Irish Currency Commission of 1926, which was chaired by the poet W. B. Yeats. The coinage depicted various farm animals, with a harp on the obverse. In 1938 he re-designed the obverse harp for all the coins to improve the reverses of the Penny and the Half Crown.
Metcalfe also designed the obverse of the 1935 Australian florin, showing George V. It was his only design for the Australian Commonwealth series, although the same design was used on Rhodesian, New Zealand and Fijian coinages.
He also designed an image of a crowned George VI used for the obverse of many British and colonial coins including the 1937 Canadian unofficial pattern dollar. A similar image was used for the Australian Service Medal in 1945.
In 1939 King George VI and the future Queen Elizabeth embarked on an unprecedented visit to North America. To commemorate the visit, the Royal Canadian Mint struck three series of commemorative medallions. The obverse, featuring the conjoined profiles of George VI and Elizabeth was designed by Percy Metcalfe; it was was also used on the 1937 British Coronation Medal.
Monarch effigies designed by Percy Metcalfe:
- King George V of the United Kingdom, Crowned Bust (used 1933 to 1936 in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand)
- Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria (used 1934 to 1937)
- King George VI of the United Kingdom, Crowned Head (used 1937 to 1952 in British Honduras, British West Africa and Fiji)