Is Your 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 Coin a Hidden Treasure?

The Royal Mint issued the highly coveted numismatic treasure, the 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin, to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the iconic monarch’s accession to the throne. As a limited edition commemorative, it presents collectors with a golden opportunity to own a piece of the Elizabethan era’s rich legacy.

This £5 coin transports us to 1558, when the “unwanted daughter of Henry VIII” triumphed, ushering in England’s golden age of art, literature, and economic prosperity, including the historic victory over the Spanish Armada.

Design and Features

The Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin is a true numismatic masterpiece, showcasing intricate design elements that pay homage to the iconic monarch’s reign. At the heart of the reverse design lies the majestic ‘Armada’ portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by George Gower, offset by four Tudor roses. Four decorative arches create a mandorla (an almond-shaped frame) that encapsulates this regal depiction, symbolizing the grandeur of the Elizabethan era.

The obverse features Ian Rank-Broadley’s fourth official coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, elegantly complementing the reverse design. Inscribed on the coin’s edge is the poignant phrase, “I HAVE REIGNED WITH YOUR LOVES,a testament to Elizabeth I’s enduring legacy.

DenominationThe Queen Elizabeth I – 2008 £5 coin
MetalGold Carat
Weight39.94 g
Diameter35.00 mm
Obverse DesignerIan Rank-Broadley
Reverse DesignerRod Kelly
  1. The reverse design, crafted by silversmith Rod Kelly, features a crowned portrait of Queen Elizabeth I within a quatrefoil shape, accentuated by Tudor rosesin the inner corners.
  2. The coin elegantly inscribes the years 1558 (Elizabeth I’s accession) and 2008 (the anniversary year) in Roman numerals, commemorating the historic occasion. The Royal Mint struck it in 28.28 grams of .925 sterling silver, with a diameter of 38.61 millimeters, and finished it to a proof standard, ensuring exceptional quality and detail for this limited edition £5 coin.

Historical Context

The 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin commemorates a pivotal moment in English history – the accession of Queen Elizabeth I to the throne on November 17, 1558. Her reign marked the triumph of the “unwanted daughter of Henry VIII,” who ascended to power against all odds.

The Elizabethan Era: A Golden Age

  1. Under Elizabeth I’s rule, England transformed from an impoverished nation into a global powerhouse, culminating in the historic victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588.
  2. The Elizabethan era is widely regarded as the golden age of English history, witnessing a remarkable flourishing of music, art, and literature.
  3. This period saw the rise of literary giants like William Shakespeare, whose works have left an indelible mark on the English language and culture.

The Royal Mint’s Legacy

The Royal Mint, with a history dating back to the reign of Alfred the Great around 886 AD, has long been renowned for its craftsmanship and innovative designs. To honor this momentous occasion, the mint issued several variants of the Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin:

Coin VariantDescription
Silver ProofStruck in 28.28 grams of .925 sterling silver with a proof finish.
Platinum Piedfort ProofIssued in platinum with a double-thick piedfort design.
Gold ProofMinted in 22-carat gold with a proof finish.
Brilliant UncirculatedStruck in cupro-nickel with a brilliant uncirculated finish.

Each variant showcases the exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail that the Royal Mint is renowned for, ensuring that these coins are not only historically significant but also highly coveted by collectors worldwide.

Specifications and Production

Coin Specifications

The 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin was issued in several variants, each showcasing exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Here are the key specifications for each variant:

Gold Proof Coin

  • Denomination: £5
  • Alloy: 22 Carat Gold
  • Weight: 39.94 g
  • Diameter: 35.00 mm
  • Reverse Designer: Rod Kelly
  • Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley
  • Edge Inscription: “I HAVE REIGNED WITH YOUR LOVES”
  • Quality: Proof
  • Year: 2008

Silver Proof Coin

  • Metal: 28.28 grams of .925 sterling silver
  • Diameter: 38.61 millimeters
  • Face Value: £5 / Five Pounds
  • Mintage: Limited to 9,216 pieces
  • Packaging: Original Royal Mint packaging with a numbered certificate of authenticity

Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

  1. Material: Cupro-nickel alloy (75% copper, 25% nickel)
  2. Weight: 28.28 grams
  3. Diameter: 38.61 millimeters
  4. Face Value: £5 / Five Pounds (crown)
  5. Finish: Brilliant uncirculated
  6. Mintage: 26,700 pieces
  7. Capital Gains Tax Status: Exempt
  8. Packaging: Original Royal Mint packaging, including a limited edition slipcase

Production Details

CompositionCupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Obverse DesignerIan Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse DesignerRod Kelly

The Royal Mint, with a history spanning over 1,100 years, has been at the forefront of economic, technical, and artistic innovation. This Queen Elizabeth I £5coin was issued as a limited edition presentation, further enhancing its collectibility and value.

Collecting and Valuation

The 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin is a highly sought-after numismatic treasure, with limited availability and increasing collectibility. Here are some key points to consider for collectors and investors:

Availability and Pricing

  1. This coin is no longer available from the Royal Mint, and stocks are incredibly limited due to the difficulty in sourcing this issue.
  2. The Britannia Coin Company currently offers the coin at a price of £25.00 (plus £2.99 for postage and packaging), with a limit of 9 items per household.
  3. The coin’s mintage was limited to just 9,216 pieces, making it a rare and valuable addition to any collection.

Investment Potential

  1. The Royal Mint exempts commemorative coins from Capital Gains Tax, which makes them an attractive investment option.
  2. The Royal Mint offers the 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin in its original packaging, complete with a numbered certificate of authenticity, thereby further enhancing its value.
  3. Experts estimate the Uncirculated (UNC) condition value of the coin to be around £7, with a mintage of 50,696.

Collecting Significance

  1. The Royal Mint has a rich history dating back to the reign of Alfred the Great around 886 AD, and has been at the forefront of economic, technical, and artistic innovation.
  2. The Royal Mint often mints commemorative and bullion coins to mark important national events and anniversaries, thus making them highly collectible.
  3. This coin celebrates the 450th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth I’s accession to the throne, a pivotal moment in English history.


The 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5 coin is a testament to the Royal Mint’s commitment to preserving historical legacies through exceptional craftsmanship. As a limited edition commemorative, it encapsulates the grandeur of the Elizabethan era and pays homage to one of England’s most iconic monarchs. Its intricate design, coupled with its scarcity, makes it a prized possession for collectors and investors alike.

While no longer available directly from the Royal Mint, this numismatic treasure remains highly coveted in the secondary market. Its investment potential, rooted in its limited mintage and exemption from Capital Gains Tax, solidifies its status as a worthy addition to any collection. As a celebration of Queen Elizabeth I’s enduring legacy, this coin serves as a tangible link to England’s golden age, reminding us of the nation’s rich history and cultural impact.

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