Alfred the Great was King of the West Saxons and Anglo-Saxons during the 9th Century, who spent several years fighting Viking invaders before becoming the dominant ruler in England.
It is for his valiant defence of the kingdom under Viking threat and for securing peace, as well as his visionary reforms, that Alfred – out of all the English kings and queens — is known as ‘the Great‘.
2021 marks the 1,150th anniversary since the Coronation of King Alfred and to commemorate this visionary monarch, a BRAND NEW UK £5 has been released.
Inspired by the Alfred Jewel, sculptor John Bergdahl has perfectly recreated this historical artefact onto the reverse design of this £5 coin.
The Alfred Jewel is made of enamel and quartz enclosed in gold and inscribed “aelfred mec heht gewyrcan”, meaning “Alfred ordered me made”. It’s thought the jewel was once attached to a handle and used as a pointer stick for reading.
This exceptional and unusual example of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship now features on this new UK £5 in a fitting tribute to Alfred the Great, who had a reputation as a learned man who encouraged education.