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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Are UK £5 coins legal tender?

We get asked this question a lot… so let’s look at the big picture! Legal tender has a very specific meaning when taken by the letter of the law. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender. It does not mean that any ordinary … Read more…

Collect the shield!

If you’re not quite up for collecting the 29 London 2012 Olympic 50ps, or even completing the Coin Hunt, here’s a much easier coin collecting challenge! The United Kingdom’s latest definitive coin designs were created by Matt Dent in 2008, after a public competition. He created a design based on the Royal shield of arms, but few people … Read more…

Coin ideas – we asked you to tweet your best coin ideas at #coinideas

We had an overwhelming response with hundreds of brilliant entries! Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to ThePoke for their help in promoting this contest!

Ten tweets made it through to the final, and were shared on The Royal Mint’s intranet so that staff could vote for their favourites. The results are now in and we can reveal the winner…

#coinideas contest hashtag

Before we do that, let’s pay tribute to the other Tweets that made it through. In no particular order:

@AlllanFox77 #coinideas make all coins the same shape and size thus saving the mint money and confusing OAP’s at the same time!

@ivanelovanich #coinideas A dice shaped coin with a different value on each face…. You pay what you roll.

@SB_Murray A coin with a tiny hoover attachment so it cleans up mess it makes whilst using a scratchcard #coinideas #coover™

@RandomVitriol A coin made of a radioactive isotope that decays at exactly the same rate as inflation. #coinideas

@QuantumPirate Royal Mint, why not release scratch & sniff coins showcasing Great British smells? twitpic.com/86c639 #coinideas (@ThePoke)

@OujanikABolakov How’s about coining some great English phrases? #coinideas #abirdinthehand

@OujanikABolakov Insert GPS and create website where their paths can be followed #coinideas #excitementintheoffice

@sridout92 #coinideas #olympic50p Unofficial holidays in the UK such as Fireworks night and Halloween :D

@ronniekeir How about a Denman & Kauto Star commemorative £1 coin? A gold coin as both have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup #coinideas

And the winner is…(drumroll)…

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