Alternative History

The reverse of a 2008 gold Angel coin.

The Angel is a British coin reintroduced in spring 1984. It is a continuation of the traditional Angel coin of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries which was given as a touchpiece in the Maundy money ceremony. When the King reintroduced the ceremony of the healing touch after coming to the throne in 1983, he came to reintroduce the coin as part of Maundy money. It has a face value of thirty pence, and, since it is not a fraction of a pound, does not fit easily into decimalised currency, which has led to comments regarding the King's own role and his popular nickname "Gabriel". There are three types of Angel: ceremonial angels, over which the King performs his "blessing" ceremony and which are believed by some, apparently including the monarch himself, to be imbued with special healing powers; general currency angels, which were part of the main monetary system before it was abolished in 2008; and bullion angels, which are made of gold, a form of investment and replace the Britannia and Sovereign.

The most controversial of these are the ceremonial angels. These are given as part of the Maundy ceremony, but are also gifted by the King on the opening of healthcare facilities, when they are cemented in place near an entrance and the public are encouraged to touch them. These are made of base metal due to the risk of theft. Whereas some people see this as a manifestation of the King's poor mental health or as grounds for revolution, others hold them in great esteem and see them as an important part of the healthcare system.

Like other currency, the angel is now used in the black economy as a way of avoiding tax or making illegal transactions.