The 1/4 oz Falcon of the Plantagenets gold coin is the 6th release in the 10-coin Queen’s Beasts series from The Royal Mint.
Gold falcon coins contain 1/4 troy oz of .9999 fine gold. These are sovereign coins fully backed by the British government.
The back of the coin features the Falcon of the Plantagenets along with the weight, purity and year-date.
The falcon’s origins are traced to Edward III, the legendary king who ruled for 50 years during the 14th century. He is recognized for transforming England into a formidable military power while overseeing the development of Parliament and navigating the ravages of the Black Plague.
An effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II adorns the front of the coin along with the face value of 5 pounds.
The Queen’s Beasts are inspired by centuries of history and royal heraldry. The ten coins depict the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II, with each of the heraldic beasts symbolizing the various strands of The Queen’s royal ancestry.
The original beasts were a series of 6-foot tall statues that stood guard outside The Queen’s coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
Today, they are re-imagined as beautiful, bullion coins.
Each proud beast was used as a heraldic badge by generations that came before Queen Elizabeth II. Centuries ago, these badges adorned the flags and shields of armies as they charged into battle -- not only to identify each side but also to serve as a symbol of royal lineage and title.
About the Falcon of the Plantagenets
The Falcon passed to The Queen from the Plantagenet king Edward III. He chose the symbol to embody his love of hawking but it is also closely associated with his great-great-grandson, Edward IV. The white Falcon at The Queen’s coronation held a shield with a badge depicting a second white falcon within an open golden ‘fetterlock’ or padlock.
The fetterlock and the falcon were popular emblems in the Houses of both York and Lancaster, as they had descended from Edward III’s younger sons John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley. The fetterlocks used by John and Edmund were always locked, perhaps to show they had no claim to the throne. Edward IV gave his younger son, Richard, the badge of a white falcon within an open fetterlock – the lock Edward forced to take the throne. Henry VII, who united the houses of York and Lancaster with his marriage to Elizabeth of York, often used a falcon symbol and it was said to be the favorite badge of Queen Elizabeth I.
Ancient Falcon of the Plantagenets heraldic badge.