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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Father’s Day Traditions and Treats!

Will you be celebrating Father’s Day this year in a similar way to Mother’s Day? We all know Father’s Day is not celebrated on the same scale as Mother’s Day generally, and while I’ve read some articles that try to explain why, I think the reason is simple – it’s because Fathers and Mothers are so different! What delights your Mum may well not please your Dad so much, especially those sentimental and openly affectionate gestures usually welcomed by Mums.

bear hug

I’ve made a sweeping generalisation there, so let’s take a look at how Father’s Day started and see where it takes us…

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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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Gromit unleashed – the making of ‘The National Treasure’

When The Royal Mint was asked to take part in the ‘Gromit unleashed’ exhibition, we were excited by the opportunity to do something really special.

We knew we had a lot to live up to, being in the company of people like Aardman’s very own Nick Park and Peter Lord, iconic designers Sir Paul Smith and Cath Kidston, illustrators Sir Quentin Blake and Martin Handford (creator of ‘Where’s Wally’) and many more besides.

So what could we do? Well it had to include coins, of course, and with mosaic artist Stephanie Roberts involved the ideas quickly began to flow. To add a finishing touch to the masterpiece, the Royal Mint’s Chief Engraver, Gordon Summers was tasked with creating a medallion from a design crafted in plasticine by Nick Park himself!

Would it all come together? Read on to find out.

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Baby and Christening gifts – Coins as part of gifting traditions

Typical gifts for a new baby tend to be practical. Nappies, blankets, bottles, clothes, and toys are eminently sensible, but they lack a sense of occasion. Many new parents find they pass on clothes, extra bottles and accumulated toys to their friends without having made any use of them.

Christenings pose a different set of problems for the unwary gift-giver. What do you buy that balances the requirement to give something appropriately traditional with something that the recipient will value? Many people know that silver plays a traditional role in bringing luck to the occasion, but what to buy? Photo frames, jewellery, spoons and napkin rings are popular…but while they can be highly attractive and of excellent quality, we feel that nothing compares to a coin.

Silver coins from The Royal Mint capture all of our 1,100 year heritage and craftsmanship. Each is year-dated making them a contemporary way to mark the occasion of the birth forever. We offer a range of coins for all occasions, from Baby Journals, to silver coins and sets. Here we list some of our favourites.

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This Father’s Day give a gift that revives the passion for collecting Royal Mint coins

Many people are introduced to coin collecting by an older relative, often a grandparent who has rediscovered their own passion for ‘the hobby of Kings’ later in life. Some of life’s greatest memories of our parents and grandparents are those where they patiently introduce us to new and fascinating interests. This Father’s day, why not … Read more…

The Trial of the Pyx – a short video from the 2013 Trial

Thanks to The Telegraph for sharing this wonderful video from the 2013 Trial of the Pyx. The Trial of the Pyx is an annual event that tests the coins produced at The Royal Mint. It is often referred to as the world’s oldest continually running Quality Assurance process, and we are proud to say that … Read more…

The Royal Mint Guinea – an association with a right Royal sport

Horse racing is often described as ‘the sport of kings’, but did you know that coin collecting is called ‘the hobby of kings’?

This year marks 200 years of the horse races most commonly and most closely connected to a Royal Mint coin, The 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

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Inside The Royal Mint – Part one – through the gates

As we go about our daily business here at The Royal Mint, we sometimes take for granted the historic and even quirky practices and sights we experience every day. 

In this short series we share some of them with you, to give you a flavour of our lives at the world’s largest export mint and the UK’s oldest manufacturing company. So, first of all, let’s make our way in…

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London Underground anniversary – tributes both minted and printed

The London Underground is a British icon and it’s only fitting that iconic British brands The Royal Mint and Penguin Books should choose to produce commemorative coins and books to mark the occasion.

The London Underground has contributed far more than just convenient transport, it has come to represent what is best about British design, ingenuity, innovation and culture. The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on 150 years through which British society  changed immeasurably.

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