Odd Change. How odd can it be?

‘Odd change’, meaning a handful of ‘odd coins’ or coins that ‘break the mould’, doesn’t really apply to coins made at The Royal Mint. But, when thinking about the phrase, we pondered on current and historic coins that could be considered ‘odd’ in some way – both worldwide and in the UK – and the variety we’ve uncovered is amazing.

We’ve found coins that are: oval, scalloped-edged, triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal and hexagonal, polygon-shaped and even guitar-shaped. There are coins with colour; of weird material; even coins that glow! Then there are the odd designs – but which are the strangest ones? When does a coin stop being a coin? And, if it’s not the shape, what makes a coin a coin? Here’s just a few that we’ve found to get you started…

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10 interesting facts about Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill lived to the age of 90, and in those years he accomplished many things. Most of us will remember Winston Churchill, the politician, and he is certainly remembered for his contribution to the Second World War, but that is just one side of this great man’s story. His life and work are well documented, and too vast for a single blog post, so here are our top 10 interesting facts about Winston Churchill: Continue reading

The Evolving Effigy of Queen Elizabeth

Her Majesty The Queen’s portrait is on all current UK coins – that’s a fact we all know, isn’t it? Also referred to as The Queen’s effigy, it’s a sign of royal approval, but have you noticed that there’s more than one effigy of The Queen on the coins that we all handle every day? Take a handful of them and look more closely. You’ll find that there have been three royal coin portraits created since decimalisation in 1971.

There have, in fact, been four coin portraits of Her Majesty since she became Queen, if we include the pre-decimal period. The 2015 coin designs will be the last to bear the current royal effigy first introduced in 1998. So this seems a good moment to look back at the beautiful portrayals of Her Majesty that have graced the coins of her realm so far. We’ll consider the artists behind the designs and some of the events that have shaped Her Majesty’s long reign. And then we’ll ask the question “What might we see next?”

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The Royal Mint’s Christmas Advent Calendar is back

The Royal Mint’s Christmas Advent Calendar is back! And this year it’s bigger and better than ever! Behind each door is a new surprise: there are competitions, offers, exclusive content, firsts, sneak previews and much more! Each surprise will expire at midnight on that day, so be sure to check back every day otherwise you could miss a real Christmas treat! Click the picture below to open the calendar, then unlock today’s window!

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Could this be the best Advent Calendar you open this Christmas? #MintChristmas

Oh flower of Scotland – celebrating St Andrew’s Day

There is nothing like a country’s national emblem, flag or patron saint for arousing a passionate sense of belonging and national pride amongst its citizens. So, anyone in the locality of Scotland this weekend can expect to see some serious partying as the nation holds its annual celebrations for the St Andrew’s Day feast.

St Andrew’s Day is observed annually on 30 November in honour of the man who has been the nation’s patron saint since around the 10th century, and the festival also marks the start of Scotland’s season of winter festivals including Hogmanay and Burns Night. Those in the mood for a national St Andrew’s Day celebration can expect up to a week of culture, parades, music, lavish feasts of Scottish dishes such as ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’, and plenty of Scottish ‘ceilidh’ dancing to commemorate the saint.

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