Who Was Dylan Thomas?

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born on 27th October 1914 in Swansea, just after the outbreak of the First World War. No doubt, the social changes brought by the Great War impacted on his family and childhood, as it did for everyone in the UK during those years. His parents, fluent Welsh speakers who originated from Carmarthenshire, gave him his Welsh christian name, believed to mean ‘son of the waves’. However, in line with the thinking of those times, Dylan was not brought up to speak Welsh, which explains why one of the most famous of Welshmen wrote exclusively in English. Happily for the English-speaking world, this accident of destiny made his works internationally accessible.

Dylan Thomas statue at the Maritime Quarter, Swansea.
Dylan Thomas statue at the Maritime Quarter, Swansea. Image Copyright Stu’s Images, via Wikimedia Commons

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What’s In My Change?

Coins from change

How many of us have ever asked ourselves the question – what’s in my change? Those of us who have will know the answer, of course, which is – more history, art and treasure than you could imagine! Let me elaborate…

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Victoria to Elizabeth Penny by Penny

Most of us will be aware of the hugely significant nature of the length of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 inspired celebrations in streets across the UK and towns and cities all over the world, and with good reason; it was only the second time in our history that a British monarch had achieved a reign of 60 years.

The only previous such anniversary was enjoyed by The Queen’s great-great-Grandmother, Queen Victoria, who also went on to record the longest reign by any monarch in British history; 63 years, seven months and two days. Looking forwards, there is every chance that Queen Elizabeth II will surpass this record and, in September 2015, become Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

As we begin to look towards this historic date, we have uncovered some intriguing facts and figures about the royal effigies – from Victoria to Elizabeth – that have appeared on one of our most-loved and hardest-working coins, the penny.

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A PNC or a PMC? All you need to know!

If you’ve seen a PNC or a PMC on The Royal Mint or Royal Mail websites from time to time I’m sure you will have admired them. However, if you’re anything like me, you may not know much about these attractive and interesting products. So, I’ve spoken to my colleagues here and our partners at Royal Mail to gather some background for you to put that right. I hope filling in some of the gaps about what a PNC or a PMC is will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of them.

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Top Three Facts – the Portrait of Britain Coin Designs

Starting in 2014, the Portrait of Britain Collection is intended to be an annual series of coin sets that portray popular and recognisable landmarks, buildings and natural phenomena from all over the United Kingdom. The idea is that each set  is linked by a common theme, and that over time those themed sets will combine to build what the collection promises; a complete ‘Portrait of Britain’.

The Portrait of Britain Collection

For this first Portrait of Britain set, the common theme is the recognisable landmarks and buildings of London. We’ve pulled together just three facts about each one for you, to set the scene. There are, of course, many more we will talk about in future articles, so stay with us!

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The Reigning Years of Queen Anne – Great Change

In this instalment of our Queen Anne blog series we move into the years of Queen Anne’s reign in which many political upheavals and cultural changes came about. On-going War with Spain, resolution of long-standing tension with Scotland and the development of a two-party political system are all notable issues Anne dealt with during this period. Anne’s confidence in dealing with and influencing such matters increased, evidenced by her vetoing an Act of Parliament in 1708, the last time this has ever happened. It may be said that this was the period in which Anne truly ‘reigned’ in the full sense of the word.

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The Advent Calendar ‘Offside’ Competition

On Day 15 of our Facebook Advent Calendar, we asked our fans to send us their explanations of the notoriously difficult-to-explain Football Offside Rule.

50p Football Small

With 3 prizes on offer of a London 2012 Olympic Football 50p Brilliant Uncirculated coin for the versions that we found the most amusing, we had a great time judging them! Here are the 3 Winners; we hope you enjoy and learn from these versions as much as we did!

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Some fast Friday coin facts

In our post yesterday we talked about some research we recently conducted into how much the population at large know about the coins in their pockets. We will share some of those results with you next week, but in the meantime we used some of the facts we uncovered to put together this great visual … Read more…

How much do we know about the coins in our pockets?

Everyone who works here at The Royal Mint, and all you coin fans out there, know that the coins of the United Kingdom are beautiful, intricate works of art, everlasting storytellers of the great events and figures of our history and culture. But how wide does that knowledge go? How much do the general public … Read more…

10 of our favourite worldwide coin facts

Here are ten of our favourite coin facts that we have compiled just for fun!

    • Space Invaders ate our coins
      The Space Invaders game was so popular when it was released in Japan in 1978 that it caused a national coin shortage!
      Japan suffered a nationwide shortage of 100-yen coins and had to increase coin production to keep up with demand.

      A space invader
      Space invaders ate my change!

      Space Invaders arrived in the United States in 1980 and by mid-1981, $1 billion of quarters had been gobbled up by the game.

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Help us design the next Royal Mint coin collector folder!

We want to design a folder for collectors of coins from change that is the best it can possibly be! We have been working on designs, but we need your input. Which coins would you like to collect? How many should each collection contain? How can we improve on the London 2012 50p collector folder? … Read more…