THE LAUREL ANNIVERSARY – 2019 1oz .9999 GOLD – ONE LAUREL COIN
In a very unusual change of protocol, but to keep to the historical context, Her Majesty has consented to change the portrait profile on the obverse of the coin from facing right to facing left. This unprecedented move creates a most interesting change and provides collectors with a unique and historical link to the coinage of 1619.
Laurel leaves had long been used to symbolise honour and victory, this stretched back to ancient times when in Greece, and later Rome, laurel crowns were given to the victors in sporting competitions or in battle. Roman Emperors are often depicted wearing or holding laurel crowns or wreaths and it was this that James was trying to recreate. It seems the new king rather fancied himself in the same mould as the Emperors. In fact his coronation medal had an inscription that translates as James I, Caesar Augustus of Britain, Caesar the heir of the Caesars, presents this medal!
The Laurel may well have been short lived as a coin (barely six years) but the symbolism wasn’t forgotten – James’ grandson Charles II, can be seen wearing a laurel wreath on many of his coins, as can monarch after monarch after him.