The Royal Mint in the United Kingdom has just released two unique coins to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the accession to the throne of the formidable King Henry the 8th. Henry VIII reigned for almost four decades and they were formative years for the monarchy, the church and the state. His greatest legacy is perhaps the establishment of the Royal Navy. However, his long term failure was dynastic: he left three children, but no grandchildren.
Two coins mark the 500th anniversary for the accession of Henry VIII, with a new reverse design inspired by the majestic standing portrait of Henry by Hans Holbein. The artist, John Bergdahl, explains: "not merely a monarch, during his lifetime Henry revolutionized our system of government, laying the foundations for our modern democratic society. He also reformed the Church in this country and created the Royal Navy. Above all, he was a man of his time, a renaissance man, an enlightened monarch in a age of enlightenment and this is how i have endeavored to portray him." In the coin, Henry is shown standing before a frieze of roses in the "antique" style, favoring the carvings and tapestries of the period. He is presented within a petal shaped device used frequently to frame portraits on medieval coins. The cipher HR (Henricus Rex) is taken from the an elaborately engraved gun barrel of the time and all is enclosed within a rope border representing the Royal Navy.
Official distributor Panda America is offering 2 different Henry VIII coins commemorating the 500th Anniversary of his accession to the throne: