2021 Alfred the Great £5 Silver Proof
Celebrate 1,150 years since the coronation of legendary Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great with this beautifully designed 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds.
Alfred the Great
Alfred became King of Wessex in 871 while his kingdom was threatened by marauding Vikings. 1,150 years later, we remember Alfred for his success in pushing back his Danish rivals, becoming the dominant ruler among the small kingdoms that dominated the British Isles in the ninth century.
It’s not just for his dominance on the battlefield that Alfred – alone of all the English monarchs – is called ‘the Great’. Alfred is also renowned for his peace efforts, legal improvements, support for learning, and military reorganisation, as well as his reputation for piety and fairness. Here at The Britannia Coin Company we’re also big fans of Alfred for his coinage reform.
Veteran British Designer
The reverse design of the 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds is the work of John Bergdahl: the artist behind a number of recent Royal Mint commemorative issues, including coins for royal events and historic anniversaries. Bergdahl’s design for the 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds bears some similarities to his 2015 Magna Carta £2 and the 2016 Battle of Hastings 50p, taking inspiration from prized medieval artworks.
The Alfred Jewel
Bergdahl based his design on the renown Alfred Jewel, the star of the Ashmolean Museum’s collection. Found in a field in Somerset in 1693, the jewel is the masterpiece of early medieval goldsmithing, crafted around a vividly coloured piece of enamel work. It is thought that the treasure was originally the handle of a pointer stick, used for following words when reading a book.
It’s the design on the enamel part of this creation that is replicated on the reverse of the 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds. In this instantly recognisable motif a man, thought to represent Christ, holds two ecclesiastical implements in his raised hands. The stylised figure is beautifully rendered in the central roundel of John Bergdahl’s design.
The outer circle of the reverse design, separated from the inner by a beaded outline, bears the inscription ‘ALFRED THE GREAT · 871 · 2021’, clearly connecting the design to the King. The legend is presented in stylised lettering, copied from original medieval documents.
Alfred Ordered Me To Be Made
The 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds bears an edge inscription in Old English: the language spoken in England from the mid-fifth century through to the Norman Conquest. This inscription, ‘AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN’ means ‘Alfred ordered me to be made’ and also appears on the Alfred Jewel. It’s these words that unambiguously connect the jewel to the legendary Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great. On the jewel, the words appear in openwork gold and form the fixture that attaches the rock crystal to the base.
The medieval-inspired reverse is paired with a modern coinage portrait of Elizabeth II, introduced to British money in 2015. This effigy of Her Majesty is the work of Jody Clark, a Royal Mint engraver.
Limited Edition Presentation
As well as appearing on the 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds, John Bergdahl’s reverse is also available on Brilliant Uncirculated, Gold Proof and Silver Proof Piedfort editions. The 2021 Alfred the Great £5 Gold Proof is the most limited of the collection with just 160 available.
Your 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds comes in its original packaging from The Royal Mint which includes a premium presentation box in which the untouched, encapsulated coin is positioned. Also provided with your coin is an illustrated commemorative booklet and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Invest in Commemorative Silver Coins
While we don’t often find £5 coins in our change, they are legal tender in the UK. That means that the 2021 Alfred the Great Silver Proof Five Pounds is exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
We’ve seen great demand for Royal Mint commemorative five-pound coins, particularly these silver proof editions. Between the masterfully rendered design and the unusual choice of subject in Alfred the Great – well known among coin collectors – we predict that this one will get snapped up quickly.
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