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.
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.
In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, The Royal Mint has released a beautiful and touching 2014 Remembrance Day coin that pays tribute to the brave service men and women who were lost in conflict.This year’s design builds on the iconic poppy image, with an evocative ‘falling poppies’ representation by Royal Mint Engraver, Laura Clancy. The design is also a further advance in The Royal Mint’s range of coloured coins, following the release of the ‘Portrait of Britain‘ collection to which Laura also contributed.
Laura’s Remembrance Day coin design is enhanced by the packaging, created by Royal Mint Designer, Dominique Evans, which builds on the falling poppies effect and the simplicity of the coin design.
In an interview with Laura we’ve gone ‘behind the design’ to get to know a little bit more about her and to find out more about the coin, the design and her inspiration.
Talented Royal Mint Engraver, Lee Jones, is the artist behind the coin that honours literary giant Dylan Thomas and celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth. Lee’s design has elicited much comment so, in a recent interview with him, we’ve gone ‘behind the design’to find out what it was like to design the coin that commemorates one of his heroes.
Britannia, a flagship coin of The Royal Mint, returned in 2014 with a new design by one of The Royal Mint’s very own engravers, Jody Clark.
The image of Britannia first appeared on Roman coins nearly 2,000 years ago and has been synonymous with the coinage of Britain for centuries. It was in 1672 that her image was first struck on the coins of Britain, and it has appeared on the coins of every British monarch since. The Royal Mint’s flagship Britannia coin was launched in 1987 and Jody’s design is the eleventh in the collection. In an interview with Jody, we’ve gone ‘Behind the design’ to find out what it’s like to portray such an iconic figure…