Behind the design: Britannia 2017

Britannia is arguably the oldest and most famous symbol of Britain. Her image has appeared on the coinage for centuries, reflecting the spirit of the nation throughout shifts in art and politics, technology and popular culture. In 2017 we mark two important moments in the history of the Britannia coin, looking back to the moment the icon took up a new role as the face of Royal Mint Bullion on gold and silver coins.

The story of Britannia continues to evolve every year, she has been depicted in many forms, providing different meanings throughout the ages; from a voluptuous figure on the coins of Charles II to the ‘Queen of the Seas’ when our naval power was challenged in the eighteenth century. Each design is of its time, revealing the mood of the era and conveying the values of the nation.

Each year, we invite a designer to create their own interpretation of the icon on our coins, Britannia and for 2017 it is the turn of Louis Tamlyn. We recently caught up with Louis to find out a little more about his design.

 

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Behind the Design: Jane Austen £2 coin

Jane Austen published her first novel anonymously in 1811 entitled Sense and Sensibility, ‘by a Lady’. Although she remained almost entirely unknown during her lifetime, readers across the world began a love affair with her fiction that has endured for 200 years. Years later, Austen’s Regency-era manners and settings continue to charm readers and viewers – though sometimes classed as simple romances, in many ways Austen’s novels were revolutionary in their treatment of subjects such as love, marriage and money.

Throughout 2017 Austen’s creativity and talents are being remembered far and wide; there are walks, talks, exhibitions, festivals, there’s even the chance to ‘sit’ with Jane on a Book Bench trail! We’ve joined the celebrations by featuring Austen’s portrait on a UK £2 coin, designed by Royal Mint graphic designer Dominique Evans. For 12 years Dominique, has brought her talents to her role bringing to life the rich and interesting stories behind coins and medals and for Jane Austen there has been no change. Ahead of Austen’s anniversary on 18 July 2017, we caught up with Dominique to find out a little more about the inspiration for her Jane Austen £2 coin design.

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Sitting with Jane: The Royal Mint book bench

For 200 years, Jane Austen has delighted readers across the world with her Regency-era romances. Now we celebrate her life and works by featuring her portrait on a UK £2 coin, designed by Royal Mint graphic designer Dominique Evans. But, we are not alone in the celebrations, Jane Austen’s creativity and talent is being remembered across the country, from walks to talks, festivals to exhibitions and even a book bench trail!

Sitting With Jane is a unique public art trail honouring Jane Austen’s connections with Basingstoke and her birthplace, Steventon. The trail brought to us by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke combines local culture and history with a creative, modern interpretation for all to see – 24 ‘book benches’. Each bench has been designed and painted by a professional artist and features a personal interpretation of a Jane Austen theme, and, just like we have previously done with Shaun-Xiào and Gromit Unleashed, The Royal Mint has sponsored and designed their own book bench.

Picture by Stewart Turkington

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Behind the Design Series: The 2017 Lunar Year of The Rooster coins

Behind the Design Series: The 2017 Lunar Year of The Rooster coins

The Royal Mint’s Shēngxiào Collection combines centuries of Chinese tradition with British minting craftsmanship, celebrating the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Each animal has their own unique characteristics and qualities and this year is the Lunar Year of the Rooster! The rooster is the fourth animal in The Shēngxiào Collection to be brought to life … Read more…

Behind the design: The 2016 Army £2

Behind the design: The 2016 Army £2

In 1914, as Britain mobilised for war, the call went out to enlist. The response to Lord Kitchener’s call to arms was astonishing, with much of the whole country swept by patriotic fervour. Team mates, friends, neighbours and colleagues were encouraged to serve side-by-side in ‘Pals Battalions’, proudly defending their country; a recruitment tactic that, while highly … Read more…

Behind the design: The 2016 Beatrix Potter Series by Emma Noble

Behind the design: The 2016 Beatrix Potter Series by Emma Noble

Throughout 2016, The Royal Mint has been celebrating the wonderful world of Beatrix and her most-loved characters, marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter. Earlier this year, we announced that we would be marking the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter with a series of five coins, the first time that characters from children’s … Read more…