Before and during the First World War very little of the general public had the opportunity to have their political voices heard. After decades of struggling to be heard a 100 years ago their voices were finally listened to and the 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed through Parliament with an overwhelming majority. A century later the act’s legacy lives on and democracy remains to be a crucial part of the lives of the general public of the UK. We mark this political milestone on a 50p coin designed by Royal Mint designer, Stephen Taylor. We recently caught up with Stephen to discover more about the story and inspiration behind the design of the Representation of the People Act 1918 50p coin.
It’s been an exciting week for UK coin collectors and if you missed the announcements on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then not to worry, we’ve got all the information you need to bring you up to speed. As we welcomed in the new year, new coins for 2018 were also announced! In total, five 2018 UK coins have been revealed, so far…
Anniversaries for the Representation of the People Act, the RAF and Frankenstein are all marked on UK coins in 2018, with a £2 coin for Armistice bringing our First World War ‘story through coins’ to a close. We are also celebrating Prince George’s 5th birthday this year, with a fresh interpretation of St George and the Dragon by Jody Clark. So, here’s a closer look at the first reveal of coins for 2018:
Matt Curtis grew up immersed in the world of numismatics. His father, a director of a London-based numismatic dealer and auction house, and the General Secretary for the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN). Amongst Matt’s earliest memories are his visits to the IAPN Annual Congress as a six year-old and then again aged 10. Later, as a teenager, Matt earned summer holiday pocket money working alongside his father.
Matt’s combined experiences in the numismatic industry have contributed to his considerable skills and expertise in the world of historic coins – knowledge that he brought with him to The Royal Mint when he joined us in 2017.
In his new blog series, Matt will be taking us through the journey of collecting; from buying old coins and beginning his collection, to adding to his collection through scouting out specific coins. In this first installment, Matt tells us about the moment he realised he was a coin collector.
Ever since Remembrance Day began in 1919, the nation has fallen silent on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.
In 2012, The Royal Mint started to strike a special Remembrance Day £5 Coin, in honour of servicemen and women who have lost their lives in times of war. This year, for the first time, a Remembrance design has been struck on an official UK coin. Bearing poppies, synonymous with Remembrance Day, the coin has been designed by Royal Mint designer, Stephen Taylor. We caught up with designer, Stephen to find out more about his 2017 Remembrance Day design.
At the outbreak of the First World War few people believed that aircraft would play a major role in the conflict. Hot air balloons had been used for observation and reconnaissance for almost 100 years and it was thought aircraft would serve a similar purpose. As the war developed the race for superior air power began, shaping the history of human flight as we know it. Alongside the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) grew from a force of a few hundred aeroplanes in 1914 into a huge, independent air arm of thousands of combat and support aircraft.
Pilots, observers and aircrews risked their lives testing the new technology to its limits. Deployed above the battlefields, often beyond the call of duty, they suffered the previously unknown effects of altitude, G-forces and freezing temperatures. Later, they also faced great personal danger presented by enemy guns and combat fighters. In this guest blog post, Charlotte Czyzyk from Imperial War Museum tells the story of the First World War in the air.
Sir Isaac Newton was the towering intellectual giant of the ‘Scientific Revolution’ of the seventeenth century. He changed our understanding of mathematics and physics and redefined the way we see the world. But many people may not know that, for more than three decades, he also played a vital role at The Royal Mint.
As Master of the Mint he made a considerable contribution to our coinage and economy, helping to make Britain’s currency one of the most respected and admired in the world. His meticulous report of 1717, commonly known as ‘the valuation of the guinea’, was pivotal in establishing gold coin as the pre-eminent currency of the United Kingdom. It suggested establishing the gold guinea’s value at 21 shillings which paved the way for the introduction of the gold standard a century later. Newton remained Master of the Mint until his death in March 1727, by which time British coins could claim to be the best-made and most trusted in the world.
In 2017 we celebrate a pioneer of science, master of minting, Sir Isaac Newton on a UK 50p coin, with a design created by Royal Mint designer, Aaron West. We recently caught up with Aaron to find out a little more about his design.
On 28 March 2017, the nation welcomed a big change, the new 12-sided £1 coin! Since its arrival, the pound as most of us know it, round and single-coloured, has been replaced with a bimetallic coin that has 12 sides.
The round pound has been in and out of pockets for the last 34 years. Since the introduction of the pound coin in 1983 it has featured 24 designs by eight different designers, themes of heraldry and the Royal Arms have featured regularly along with floral emblems and regional landmarks representing England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But did you know that the pound has been around for much longer than that and by this, we don’t just mean the £1 note. The £1 coin made its first appearance in 1489 when the Henry VII Sovereign was struck, making it the largest coin ever made in England!
The new 12-sided £1 coin marks the latest stage in the pound’s history, which began over 500 years ago, here are few more facts and facets about the pound.
Jane Austen published her first novel anonymously in 1811 entitled Sense and Sensibility, ‘by a Lady’. Although she remained almost entirely unknown during her lifetime, readers across the world began a love affair with her fiction that has endured for 200 years. Years later, Austen’s Regency-era manners and settings continue to charm readers and viewers – though sometimes classed as simple romances, in many ways Austen’s novels were revolutionary in their treatment of subjects such as love, marriage and money.
Throughout 2017 Austen’s creativity and talents are being remembered far and wide; there are walks, talks, exhibitions, festivals, there’s even the chance to ‘sit’ with Jane on a Book Bench trail! We’ve joined the celebrations by featuring Austen’s portrait on a UK £2 coin, designed by Royal Mint graphic designer Dominique Evans. For 12 years Dominique, has brought her talents to her role bringing to life the rich and interesting stories behind coins and medals and for Jane Austen there has been no change. Ahead of Austen’s anniversary on 18 July 2017, we caught up with Dominique to find out a little more about the inspiration for her Jane Austen £2 coin design.
If you cast your eyes across The Royal Mint’s 1,100 years of history and catalog of commemorations, you’ll find stories of kings and queens, whose battles and conquests shaped Britain’s heritage, told on our coinage. Their remarkable stories live on centuries after their reign, passed down from generation to generation, retold and remembered on coinage … Read more…
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, we caught up with Wuon-Gean Ho, designer of The Royal Mint’s Shēngxiào UK Lunar Coin collection, to find out more about her Year of the Monkey coin design. This is now the third coin Wuon-Gean has designed for the Lunar coin collection, so we also took the opportunity to find out more about the lino cutting technique that she uses to create her designs.
We recently announced the commemorative themes for 2016, and what a response we’ve had. We’ve been overwhelmed by the fantastic feedback we’ve received on our Facebook and Twitter; it is safe to say that 2016 is set to be a bumper year for UK coins!
To recap, in total we have revealed eight new UK coins so far. These include one 50p, one £1 coin, five £2 coins, and one £5 coin. Anniversaries for The Great Fire of London, the Battle of Hastings and William Shakespeare are all marked alongside the last ’round pound’, a £2 coin honouring the role of the Army in the First World War and a £5 coin marking Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. But, have the recently updated collector albums revealed that there are yet more to come?