Raphael Maklouf British Coin Engraver

Author: Lawrence Chard - Chairman and CEO

Published: 1 Mar 2019

Last Updated: 27 Dec 2022


Raphael Maklouf, famous for the 'Maklouf Portrait' of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II used on British coins from 1985 to 1997 inclusive.

We note that in recent years collectors have been showing an increasing interest in the engravers of British coins. Accordingly we have added this section to our website, and will add to it as time allows.

Raphael Maklouf

Raphael Maklouf was born in Jerusalem on 10th December 1937 and came to the United Kingdom after the Second World War.

He began sculpting at the age of thirteen, during a stay in hospital, and at sixteen became a student at the Camberwell School of Art, where he remained until 1958. For the next ten years he lectured in sculpture at a number of schools of art, including Camberwell, and in 1979 was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. In 1977 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. His work has been exhibited widely both at home and abroad, including the Royal Academy in London.

His effigy of Her Majesty the Queen approved for the United Kingdom coinage from 1985 was his first coin design.

On 8 August 1984 Her Majesty approved two new designs for use on United Kingdom coinage from 1 January 1985, one for circulating coins and one for large commemorative issues. Selected form thirty-eight models submitted by seventeen artists, both are the work of sculptor Raphael Maklouf. He set out with the intention of producing "a symbol ... regal and ageless" and following his selection was granted two sittings by the Queen.

His "Third Portrait" of Elizabeth II was used from 1985 to 1997 inclusive.

Portrait of Raphael Maklouf at The World Money Fair 2008 in Berlin

Raphael Maklouf's 'Third Portrait' on a 1990 Proof Gold Sovereign

London Mint & Tower Mint

Some year after the Royal Mint moved to Llantrisant, Raphael founded, with a partner, The London Mint. This, or at least the name, was sold some years later to MDM Crown Collections, part of the Samlerhuset Group, which then proceeded to advertise as "The London Mint Office". Meanwhile Raphael's company changed its name to "The Tower Mint", and continues to mint coins for Gibraltar, and possibly other countries.

World Money Fair Berlin 2008

The Tower Mint takes a stand at the prestigious World Money Fair, held in late January or early February each year. He posed for our photograph with some slight reluctance, not being entirely at ease with his celebrity status!

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