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1997 Pound Coins Pound Coins IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Third Portrait Used From 1985 to 1997
The Last Year of Use of the Third Portrait

Three Lions Design on Reverse of 1997
Three Lions - The Symbol of England

1997 England Design One Pound Coin
It was decided that from 1984, British £1 coins would feature different reverse designs for each of the four parts of the United Kingdom.
All £1 coins dated 1997 feature on the reverse three lions symbolising England.

Three Lions
The one pound coin for 1997 represents England with a new reverse depicting the Royal Crest of England, for centuries the proud emblem of English Kings and Queens.
It is thought that the three lions may have come to England from Normandy but it was Richard the Lionheart (1189 - 1199) who, especially during the Crusades, used the three golden lions on their scarlet background as a powerful symbol of the English Throne.
The Crest appeared on his second Great Seal and thereafter three lions passant guardant have been known as "England".
As such, the Crest has appeared on the Royal Arms of every succeeding monarch and, today, is even employed to represent England in the sporting world.

Lions or Leopards?
You may also hear the three lions described as leopards. Most mediaeval artists painting knightly coats of arms had never had the opportunity to see either lions or leopards, yet were expected to produce a picture of them. They must have worked partly by oral description, possibly from other pictures. It is likely that they could not easily distinguish between lions and leopards. We believe this is the source of the confusion between the two in heraldry. Anyone with better information is welcome to contribute it!

The obverse bears the third portrait of The Queen introduced in 1985, and used for the last time in 1997.

The English one pound coin features three lions passant guardant.
The design is modelled by Norman Sillman from a drawing by the College of Arms.

The edge is not only milled but also inscribed. The inscription in Latin reads:-
Which may be translated as "an ornament and a safeguard". This inscription dates back to the first machine-struck coins minted in 1662 and was a device to prevent "clipping", and was used on the first pound coin in 1983.

Llantrisant Mint Mark
On the milled edge of the coin is the Llantrisant mint mark - a cross crosslet. The shape of the cross alluding to Llantrisant, which translated from the Welsh means "Church or Parish of the Three Saints".

Technical Specifications
Uncirculated in Folder22.509.50Nickel-brass  
Silver Proof22.509.50Silver0.925 Silver0.2825
Piedfort Silver Proof22.5019Silver0.925 Silver0.5650

Diameter = Diameter in millimetres
Weight = Weight in grams
Alloy = Proportion of precious metal
AMW = Actual weight in relevant precious metal content in troy ounces.

VersionMintageIssue Price £
Ordinary Circulation  
Uncirculated in Folder56,996£5.95
Silver Proof, Box & Certificate20,137£27.50
Silver Piedfort Proof, Box & Certificate10,000£49.95

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Ordinary Circulation

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Uncirculated in Folder

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Silver Proof

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Piedfort Silver Proof

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Silver Proof Pounds & Silver Piedfort Pounds
1997 Coins Index
1997 Coin Sets

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