The Royal Mint has announced a new range of collectable coins in celebration of the ten royal Tudor Beasts.
The first coin in the collection will feature the Seymour panther, a heraldic symbol belonging to Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, the mint said on Tuesday 6 October.
The other Tudor Beasts include the royal dragon, the Tudor dragon, the black bull of Clarence, the yale of Beaufort, the white lion of Mortimer, the white greyhound of Richmond, the Seymour lion and the Seymour unicorn.
The Seymour panther coin was unveiled at Hampton Court Palace, where ten statues of the animals line the bridge over the property’s moat.
The mint said the full collection of coins will be released over a period of five years, giving customers the chance to build their own collections.
The news comes almost five years after it launched a collection of coins in honour of the Queen’s Beasts in 2016.
Following Queen Elizabeth’s succession to the throne in 1952, ten statues were created to form a guard of honour at the entrance to Westminster Abbey.
These included the lion of England, the white greyhound of Richmond, the yale of Beaufort, the red dragon of Wales, the white horse of Hanover, the white lion of Mortimer, the unicorn of Scotland, the Griffin of Edward III, the black bull of Clarence and the falcon of the Plantagenets.
The mint’s collection of the Queen’s Beasts also included an eleventh coin that featured all ten beasts.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coins at The Royal Mint said: “We are delighted to be introducing a new range of collectable and bullion coins celebrating The Royal Tudor Beasts – the ten beasts chosen by Henry VIII.
“To celebrate the launch, we felt it was only right to unleash the first beast, the Seymour Panther, at the original home of the Royal Tudor Beasts – Hampton Court Palace. We hope collectors across the globe are equally as excited as we are for the launch of our latest range of collectable and bullion coins.”
Emma Saunders, a senior licensing manager at Historic Royal Palaces, said the Seymour panther symbolises the union of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
She added: “As an independent charity, each sale of Historic Royal Palaces’ collectable coins helps support our cause and contributes to the future of the incredible buildings and collections in our care, which is more important now than ever before.”
The Tudor Beasts collection has been designed by UK artist David Lawrence, who described the project as a “huge challenge”.
“Each royal beast comes down to us with centuries of heritage and meaning attached to them, so my task was to find a new vision that is still true to the past,” he explained.