THE ASSURANCE OF ROYAL APPROVAL
From the moment its ships first set sail in 1601, the stories of the East India Company and the British Monarchy have been forever connected.
On the Company’s first voyage on 13th February 1601, Queen Elizabeth I had instructed Company merchants to carry with them Britain’s very first international trade coin, known as ‘Portcullis Money’.
Struck at the Royal Mint, the popular story at the time was this was intended to be a demonstration of Elizabeth I’s importance and power as the ships sailed eastward.
Later, in 1677, King Charles II awarded The Company permission to mint its own coinage and Company merchants began striking local coins with his permission. By 1835, King William IV had granted it permission to mint coins bearing the Monarch’s effigy. This was to continue until the year of 1873 and the reign of Queen Victoria, when the Company was absorbed into the British Crown.
Today our legal tender coins are issued under in partnership with and under the authority of the Government of St Helena. Continuing the privilege granted by William IV nearly 200 years ago, in 2012 The East India Company coins first carried the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as we embarked on a new modern period of history for The Company.
Each coin design and specification followed a strict process of approval, from the Currency Commissioners of the Government of St Helena to the Governor and finally, to the Royal Household and the Queen for the final approval.
After 10 years issuing precious metal coins, bearing two distinct effigies by sculptor Raphael Maklouf and artist Jody Clark, the death of the Her Majesty, our longest reigning Monarch, in 2022 ushered a new era for the Monarch and coinage across the world.
St Helena coins from 2023 now feature a new official portrait of our The King, Charles III. Created by acclaimed artist and coin designer, Glyn Davies, the St Helena portrait of His Majesty King Charles III was approved by His Majesty and the Royal Household in November 2022.
From 2023, all St Helena gold and silver coins issued will feature this elegant portrait and will continue to follow the same strict process of approval to provide collectors and investors with the same added assurance of authority.
As we embark on a new era as a nation and Commonwealth, we give thanks to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to her successor, King Charles III we look forward to creating unique coin designs and collections for future generations to treasure and admire.