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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Trinity House – a British Beacon

As a similarly ancient British institution (although not quite as old as us!) we can’t help but feel an affinity with Trinity House or, to give them their full title, the Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond. The House itself is situated on Tower Hill, not too far from our previous home at the Tower of London – indeed, there’s a wonderful view of the Tower from Trinity House.

Tower_of_London_at_night 3As the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, it’s responsible for lighthouses, lightvessels, buoys, other navigational aids and communication systems in the seas that surround our shores, as well as providing deep sea pilotage in Northern European waters.

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The Early Years of Queen Anne – Childhood and Girlhood

One of the 2014 Commemorative Coin themes is the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Queen Anne. Events during Anne’s reign have a significance that still resonates today, so we want to take you on a journey through the life of this Queen, whose death brought to an end the era of the Stuart monarchs. As today is the anniversary of Anne’s birth, we thought this was the ideal date to start at the very beginning…

The 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne 2014 UK £5

The 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne 2014 UK £5

Anne was born into the Stuart royal family at St James’ Palace, London on 6th February 1665. She was the 2nd daughter and 4th child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Of their eight children, only Anne and her elder sister, Mary, survived beyond childhood, with both becoming Queen of England in due course.

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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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OUR TOP 10 FESTIVE FACTS

On Day 10 of our Facebook Advent Calendar, we’re opening the window (see what I did there?) on our Top 10 Festive Facts.  A Christmas quiz has become a fun tradition for many people, so I hope these will help you out!

1. Advent Calendars – the first ones appeared in Germany. The BBC History channel refers to printers in Munich being the first to produce them in 1908. Paper and cardboard rationing during the Second World War put an end to them until 1946. Chocolate advent calendars appeared in the UK in the 1950’s after food rationing ended and they soon spread across the globe, with something for everyone – here’s a trendy one and here’s a classical musical one.

The World’s Most Expensive Advent Calendar was a $1m version by Porsche Design in 2010 – there may have been others, but this one is pretty impressive!

Porsche Design's Advent Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life Inside The Royal Mint – History & treasures surround us!

It’s hard to be brief about the treasures held safely for the nation behind the anonymous door that opens to The Royal Mint Museum, but I’m going to try, so here are some snippets:

cabinetThe Museum holds a cabinet said to be Sir Isaac Newton’swhen he was Master of the Mint from 1699-1727; pistols from the Tower of London that provided the security of those times and literally thousands of coins from all over the world. Plasters of coins and medals from the late 19th Century, wax impressions of the Great Seals of the Realm and other official Seals from the start of the 20th century, are all preserved here.

One of the great treasures, the Waterloo Medal Roll, lists the names of all those who fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Medal-making is an area of our work that is perhaps not very well-known. It began here in 1817 when we made the Waterloo Medals, and continues to this day with production of medals for the Armed Forces and many other organisations.

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The Great Pound Coin Quiz – the Winning Poems

We asked you to send in poems as a tie-breaker. Here are our favourites.

Thanks for entering everyone! Leave us a comment to let us know which ones you like.

The Winner, from Luke

Luke’s poem was our favourite, and he got all the questions right as well…so he wins! Congratulations Luke, enjoy your UK Floral £1 coins set!

I’ve heard it was written,
Of a coin in our kingdom,
Adorned with the Queen and her crown!
That symbol of Britain,
Forever we’re smitten,
With our Beauteous, golden pound!

From Bhavini,

I found a pound, it was super round, all coloured in gold, so big and bold.

From Elizabeth,

Pound
Plentiful
Old
Useful
Nickel Zinc Copper
Delightful

From Kimberley,

The one pound coin was here to join,
All the other coins in circulation, in our nation.
Since the first pound coin in 1983,
There have been many coins including the diamond jubilee,
Now it’s 2013 there have been 21 designs,
Is it a crime to want this design, I want it to be mine.

From Charlotte,

So here we are 2013,
The design has changed again.
From note to coin in ’83,
And now a floral design.
Alloy of copper, then some nickel,
And a little zinc too.
No one can deny that in everyone’s pocket, When it comes to the ‘1pound coin’ we all always carry a few.

From Michael,

Most people just see it as change
Foreigners see it as strange…
Some call it a pound, a quid, the dough, But not a lot of people know, That the pound coin is named after silver…
It won’t buy a lot today,
Just a Mars or 1/1000 of a car
But the £1 is worth collecting to me.
I wish I could write a proper Poem and win this competition… But unfortunately I am a numismatic not a poet.

From Gregory,

A royal head one side is found, One coin with British symbols bound, Within a golden circle round, Our noble currency, the pound!