If you follow The Royal Mint on social media, you will have noticed that last Sunday was ‘Stir-Up Sunday‘ – a day when families and groups get together to make their Christmas puddings. Traditionally the final ingredient to be stirred in to the mix is a silver sixpence – it is believed to bring the finder wealth and good luck for the year to come. Some families have used the same Christmas sixpence for as long as they can remember, passed down from generation to generation. As for others, this year’s Stir-Up Sunday marked the start of a new family Christmas tradition.
Shortly after the Remembrance Day ceremony here at The Royal Mint, we caught up with Glyn Davies, designer of the 2015 Remembrance Day coin, to find out more about his design. This is Glyn’s first appearance on our blog and we’ve got lots to talk about as he has also recently designed the Battle of Agincourt coin as well as the Portrait of Britain collection.
It’s been an exciting week for UK coin collectors and if you’ve not been following the announcements on Facebook or Twitter then this article should bring you up to speed! Those of you who have been collecting coins for a few years or more will know that November is normally an exciting time at The Royal Mint, as the coins of the following year are released. So, you’ll be excited to learn that on Monday the new coins for 2016 were announced! In total, eight 2016 UK coins have been revealed alongside The Sovereign for 2016.
This Sunday marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. A major English victory in the Hundred Years’ War, the battle saw England, led by Henry V, defeat a French army under a sky that was said to have grown ‘dark with arrows’. It is still regarded today as one of England’s and King Henry V’s greatest military victories and this year a number of events, exhibitions and an Alderney coin struck by The Royal Mint will mark 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt.
June 2015 marked the 200th anniversary of one of the greatest and most decisive battles in European history – the Battle of Waterloo. Fought on 18 June 1815, the Battle of Waterloo saw British and allied forces, led by The Duke of Wellington, defeat the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle lasted just one day, however it was part of a larger assault on Europe by Napoleon that led to a catastrophic loss of life. The eventual allied victory at Waterloo brought to an end the Napoleonic wars and over 20 years of conflict in Europe. The 200th anniversary of this significant battle is marked on the 2015 UK £5 coin, which was released earlier this year.
When David Lawrence, designer of the Battle of Waterloo £5 coin, recently came to The Royal Mint, we took the opportunity to find out more about his design, for the next instalment of our video series, the Designers’ Inspiration Series.
It’s safe to say that 2015 has been an exciting year for coin collectors and a historic year for UK coins! It’s been a year that’s seen the coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen change and Britannia return to UK coins on a new definitive £2 coin. There have also been several commemorative themes marked on UK coins in 2015, including the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the centenary of the First World War – all of which have been marked on circulating coins!
With so many exciting things happening to the coins we know and love, lots of you have been asking us ‘Just what will we find in our change this year?‘, ‘Which coins will feature the new portrait of The Queen?‘ and ‘How many coins will be struck in 2015?‘. So, we’ve created a handy fact sheet for you to keep track of your 2015 Coin Hunt.
On 15 September 1940 the German Luftwaffe launched a massive assault on Britain that it believed would pave the way for a successful invasion and bring an end to the Battle of Britain. However, a day of intense fighting saw the Germans suffer their highest losses since the ‘Hardest Day’, 18 August. It was an overwhelming defeat for the Luftwaffe and the action on 15 September would ultimately bring to an end the Battle of Britain. For this reason the day became known and celebrated in the United Kingdom as ‘Battle of Britain Day‘.
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, we caught up with the designers of the Battle of Britain 50p, Gary and Lee Breeze, at IWM Duxford, to find out more about their inspiration and how it felt to design the coin to mark this significant anniversary.