The Royal Mint on The Alan Titchmarsh show

The Royal Mint on The Alan Titchmarsh show

Below is yesterday’s Alan Titchmarsh episode. We’re on from 17.25 onwards if you want to skip ahead! The Royal Mint’s expert and Senior Research Curator Graham Dyer talks about some of the commemorative coins from The Royal Mint, both past and present. Richard Bishop from Spink shows some older coins, including a Queeen Elizabeth 1 … Read more…

Matt Dent, UK coin designer, answers your questions

We asked you to send in your questions for Matt Dent, the designer of UK coins. He answers them in detail and shares his thoughts on a variety of topics including whether we should have a 99p coin, how long his designs take to produce, and which is his favourite London 2012 50p! Matt’s designs … Read more…

29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 7: Cycling

The cycling 50p was designed by Theo Crutchley-Mack. Theo is at a college in West Yorkshire studying art and design. He has been a dedicated cyclist from a young age and is a member of a cycling club. Theo has tried a variety of cycling styles, which is where he found the inspiration for his … Read more…

Diamond Jubilee sweepstake – the winners

Diamond Jubilee sweepstake – the winners

We had over 500 entries to our Diamond Jubilee sweepstake, and did you know 95% of entrants feel that The Royal Mint makes the best coins in the world!

I hope you weren’t just saying that because you wanted to win!

If you didn’t win, the coin is still available from The Royal Mint’s secure website – Buy the Diamond Jubilee Silver Crown

So who won?

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29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 6: Boccia

The Boccia 50p was designed by Justin Chung. Sadly…unlike the other blog posts in this series…I haven’t been able to get in touch with Justin. This blog post serves a different purpose then…we must find Justin! If you know Justin Chung, who studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and designed the Boccia 50p, please get in … Read more…

Dickens in 140 characters – the results!

Click to view the Dickens coin close-up

Thanks to everyone who entered our Dickens in 140 character contest…it had an overwhelming response both on the blog, on Twitter and via email.

With over 100 entries to choose from, our judges from The Museum of London and the Charles Dickens Museum had to work long into the night to pick out their favourites…but the decision has now been made.

So…to the results!

Runners up

Runners up, who will each receive an uncirculated collector’s 2012 UK Charles Dickens £2 pack are:

Nell Darby @nelldarby tweeted her entry and used the thesaurus approach, listing words that capture the spirit of the novel rather than trying to describe it. We think it worked nicely!

@Royalmintuk Repression, dissatisfaction, drunkenness, recklessness, poverty, crime, grief, exile, remorse, and death. Bad luck. Hard Times.

Tarlok Meh posted on the blog to take second place with this effort that looks like a scientific formula! A definite favourite with The Museum of London’s judge!

Great Expectations*Pip(P) aids con(C)*loves Estella(E)*status-mad*has windfall*in debt*finds C is backer & E’s dad*fire*death*P & E reunite

And finally…the winner is…

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29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 5: Basketball

The basketball 50p was designed by Sarah Payne. Sarah is a designer from Cardiff who works full time for International Greetings PLC one of the world’s leading greetings card and accessories manufacturers. She also remains a freelance designer for Kids at Play, designing battery operated cars, bikes and ride ons that have been sold at … Read more…

Dickens in 140 characters

Dickens in 140 characters

Today we launch a contest to find the UK’s most concise Dickens expert! We’re giving away a silver proof Dickens coin to the lucky winner, with runners up prizes of the regular base metal version. We want you to summarise your favourite Dickens novel in 140 characters. It won’t be easy, but have a go … Read more…

Do you have a question for the designer of UK coins?

Matt Dent is the talented British designer behind the now famous ‘shield’ that adorns the reverse of the UK’s coinage. You will have seen it on coins in your change, and perhaps you have also bought the 2012 Collector Proof set. The design won the coveted D&AD Black Pencil award and saw Matt featured in … Read more…

Wedding gifts and traditions – A silver sixpence

These days it is common to associate diamonds with engagement rings, and wedding lists with wedding gifts from guests…but both of these ‘traditions’ are modern inventions.

De Beers, a diamond mining conglomerate, launched an advertising campaign promoting diamond engagement rings in the 1930s. The campaign, which used the slogan “A diamond is forever”, was devised by advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Son and was fantastically successful, changing the way the world bought diamonds.

Similarly, the idea of a bridal registry, or wedding gift list, was invented in 1924 by department store Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s). Although many people choose not to use a prescribed gift list it is a concept that has gained great popularity in recent times.

…coins are ‘the original wedding gift’

 

Against such recent innovations, it is interesting to reflect on the fact that coins are ‘the original wedding gift’, with a tradition stretching back over thousands of years. Roman grammarian Nonius Marcellus stated that,
…the Roman bride “by way of an old Roman custom” carried three coins: one for her husband, one for the Lares Familiares, and one for the Lares of the neighbouring crossroads.
(Source: The Roman Wedding: Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity By Karen K. Hersch, Cambridge, 2010)

There are a wealth of traditional opportunities to give coins as wedding gifts. Below we list some of the more common. If you have your own, please leave a comment below!

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