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Updated 19:58 01/03/21

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£5 commemorative coins

Since 1953, the Royal Mint has struck several commemorative £5 coins to mark special occasions. These take the form of a cupro-nickel £5 coin, similar to the circulating currency we carry in our pockets, or £5 commemorative coins struck in gold.

These coins commemorate historic events in British history or celebrate important people - usually members of the royal family - and the £5 coins have an often-confusing mixture of names; as well as being called £5 coins, they might also be known as a Crown coin, or even a Quintuple Sovereign.

Crown coins have a long history dating back to 1707, when they were common circulation currency struck in silver. The original gold Crown coin was struck in the 16th and 17th centuries for the Stuart kings. Crown coins are considered legal tender in Great Britain, with a face value of £5, but are no longer issued as common currency.

Commemorative £5 coins value

The true value of these commemorative £5 coins is as a ‘numismatic’ or collectible coin, rather than anything based on their legal tender value. Traditionally they were denominated as a quarter of a pound, 5 shillings before decimalisation, or 25p today. In 1990, the denomination of a Crown was revalued to £5. Therefore, crowns minted before 1990 have a legal tender value of 25p, and after this time their legal tender is £5. Ultimately this matters little because Crown coins, even those issued before 1990, will have a collectible value in excess of £5.

Commemorative £5 gold proofs

In addition to cupro-nickel £5 commemorative coins, it is usual for the Royal Mint to strike gold proof versions. These are generally 916.7 fineness or 22 carat, and contain 36.613g of pure gold, meaning they weigh slightly more than the traditional troy ounce bullion coins.

The precious metal content of these bullion coins far exceeds that of their face value, but as legal tender they enjoy tax benefits over precious metal bars of the same weight. The commemorative designs further add to their worth, which makes them highly attractive to both coin collectors and financial investors.

A selection of gold £5 commemorative coins.


The first commemorative Crown or £5 coin was issued in 1953, to mark the coronation of Elizabeth II. The second was not minted until seven years later, and celebrated the New York Exhibition. These were then followed in 1965 by the Winston Churchill Crown, a popular coin that marked the first non-royal to feature on a UK coin.

Since the first three, requests for commemorative coins have grown dramatically. Consequently, the frequency of the Royal Mint issues has increased to meet the demand from collectors. In 2019 alone, eight designs of £5 coins marking significant events were minted.

Not all collectible £5 coins can be classed as commemorative though. The 2oz silver Queen's Beasts coins, for example, are issued with face values of £5. The design changes each year, making them collectable, but they do not mark any specific event. These are therefore not classed as commemorative coins.

Gold Sovereigns have a face value of £1, but are also available in £5 denominations, referred to as Quintuple Sovereigns. These £5 denomination gold coins feature the same general design each year, and are also not classed as commemorative £5 coins.

Commemorative £5 coins list