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 Rising Years of Queen Anne – Making of a Monarch

The second part of our series on the life of Queen Anne looks into the events during the early years of her reign. If you missed part one you can read it here.

Anne ascended the throne on 8th March 1702 following the death of her unpopular brother-in-law, William of Orange. He had shared the throne with Anne’s sister Mary since 1689, and had inherited it for life following Mary’s death in 1694. He and Mary had no children so Anne was the undisputed heiress to the throne following his death in 1702. In contrast to many Kings and Queens before her, Anne came to the throne peacefully…

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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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Royalty and St George & The Dragon – The Top 10 Facts

I’ve felt surrounded by Georges and Dragons lately! So my friends in our Museum have helped me pull together these Top 10 Facts about them, that I think you really need to know…

  1. Our flagship coin, the Sovereign, is known and recognised throughout the world. It’s our most famous coin and shows St George, the patron saint of England for more than 650 years. We are thrilled that in 2013 this is a real tribute to the new Royal baby Prince George!
  2. The legend of St George and the Dragon symbolises the triumph of good over evil. It’s been familiar for many centuries, for instance in colourful wall paintings in medieval churches and on the badges of pilgrims.
  3. The St George and the Dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci was first used on gold Sovereigns in 1817. His neo-classical depiction is a masterpiece and has appeared on the coinage of every British monarch since George III, with the single exception of William IV (1830-1837).
  4. The Royal Birth £5 Crown is the first time in over 100 years that Pistrucci’s St George and the Dragon has appeared on a silver crown. It was last seen on a silver coin for the Coronation year of Edward VII in 1902.
  5. St George and the Dragon first appeared on the English coinage in the reign of King Henry VIII. These ‘George nobles’ are very rare and much desired by collectors.
  6. Six Kings have been named George, the first four reigning in succession from 1714 to 1830. George V was The Queen’s grandfather and George VI was her father, who died in 1952. Only Henry and Edward have featured more frequently as Kings’ names, both appearing eight times.
  7. George V was the founder of the Windsor Dynasty in 1917. He used a version of St George and the Dragon for his Silver Jubilee crown in 1935.
  8. With the personal approval of George VI (The Queen’s father) a version of Pistrucci’s design was used for the centre of the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian award for gallantry. At the same time another version of St George and the Dragon was used for the reverse of the George Medal, based on the bookplate used in the Royal Library at Windsor.
  9. St George and the Dragon also appeared in 1663 in the design on the reverse of the famous petition crown of Charles II (now on loan from our own collection to the exhibition at the Tower of London).
  10. St George and the Dragon is also familiar as the badge of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s oldest order of chivalry dating back over 650 years to the reign of Edward III. The link with the Royal Family is emphasised by the location of St George’s Chapel within the walls of Windsor Castle.

I hope you now feel much more enlightened about St George, his Dragon and how they relate to sovereigns and Sovereign coins!

To see the 2013 range of gold Sovereigns featuring the original Pistrucci design, take a look at The Royal Mint’s website

Old Coppernose – Quantitative easing, the medieval way

In 1526 and Henry VIII was King. He needed money to pay for the wars against Scotland and France. 
His Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, decided to debase the coinage (mix the precious metals of silver and gold with cheaper ones) so that he could make more coins for the same amount of precious metal and therefore mint more money at less cost. Continue reading

The Royal Mint bullion offering

The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest companies. The Sovereign is the oldest bullion coin still manufactured to this day. However, The world’s leading export Mint is still able to bring innovation to the bullion market.

New bullion coins and storage options announce our intent to become a serious player in the market. Watch our video to find out more.

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The Royal Mint’s bullion website caters for both personal and wholesale bullion buyers.

Visit the Royal Mint bullion website now

The Diamond Jubilee Kilo coin from The Royal Mint

When a grand coin containing a full kilo of gold was authorised in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it gave us a unique opportunity to do something truly special.

Such a coin must bear designs that reflect the splendour of the occasion, but also capture our rich royal heritage and go forward in time as symbolic of the nation during The Queen’s reign.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Silver Kilo

When an opportunity like this comes along, we seek out the world’s finest talents to provide their input. In this case we turned to Ian Rank-Broadley, the artist and sculptor
who has already provided several outstanding numismatic portraits of The Queen – most famously the faithful likeness that now graces millions of coins worldwide.

An exceptional opportunity – a real challenge.
Ian Rank-Broadley

The kilo is a flagship coin, limited to only 60 pieces in gold and 1,000 in silver. Each coin is struck with the highest levels of precision. Gold coins come in a wooden case made from sweet chestnut taken from the trees of the Great Windsor Park, the crown estate of Windsor Castle, one of The Queen’s private homes. The silver coins are presented in a royal blue case that perfectly complements the metal.

While many people will be denied the opportunity to own a coin of this stature, the same standards of craftsmanship and quality are applied to all our products, from the coins in your pocket to commemoratives in base and precious metal.

If you are interested in purchasing a kilo coin, you can make enquiries through The Royal Mint website at the link below.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee kilo from The Royal Mint