2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for coin collectors. Two announcements in particular have many of us eagerly awaiting the coins of 2015 with much anticipation. In November, The Royal Mint not only announced the 2015 UK commemorative coin themes but also revealed plans for a fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen.
The new coins for 2015 have been announced and are now available on royalmint.com. The biggest reveal in today’s announcement is that these 2015 UK coins will be the last coins to feature the fourth portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. Next year the definitive portrait of Her Majesty The Queen is to be updated for the first time since 1998.
Included in the line up for 2015 are two commemorative UK £5 coins; one to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and one to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. There are two commemorative UK £2 coins; the Royal Navy First World War £2 and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta £2, and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is marked on the only commemorative UK 50p. 2015 also sees Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic St. George and The Dragon design feature once again on The Sovereign.
In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, The Royal Mint has released a beautiful and touching 2014 Remembrance Day coin that pays tribute to the brave service men and women who were lost in conflict.This year’s design builds on the iconic poppy image, with an evocative ‘falling poppies’ representation by Royal Mint Engraver, Laura Clancy. The design is also a further advance in The Royal Mint’s range of coloured coins, following the release of the ‘Portrait of Britain‘ collection to which Laura also contributed.
Laura’s Remembrance Day coin design is enhanced by the packaging, created by Royal Mint Designer, Dominique Evans, which builds on the falling poppies effect and the simplicity of the coin design.
Artwork for 2014 Remembrance Day coin – Laura Clancy. Image Copyright The Royal Mint
In an interview with Laura we’ve gone ‘behind the design’ to get to know a little bit more about her and to find out more about the coin, the design and her inspiration.
Talented Royal Mint Engraver, Lee Jones, is the artist behind the coin that honours literary giant Dylan Thomas and celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth. Lee’s design has elicited much comment so, in a recent interview with him, we’ve gone ‘behind the design’to find out what it was like to design the coin that commemorates one of his heroes.
Dylan Marlais Thomas was born on 27th October 1914 in Swansea, just after the outbreak of the First World War. No doubt, the social changes brought by the Great War impacted on his family and childhood, as it did for everyone in the UK during those years. His parents, fluent Welsh speakers who originated from Carmarthenshire, gave him his Welsh christian name, believed to mean ‘son of the waves’. However, in line with the thinking of those times, Dylan was not brought up to speak Welsh, which explains why one of the most famous of Welshmen wrote exclusively in English. Happily for the English-speaking world, this accident of destiny made his works internationally accessible.
Dylan Thomas statue at the Maritime Quarter, Swansea. Image Copyright Stu’s Images, via Wikimedia Commons
How many of us have ever asked ourselves the question – what’s in my change? Those of us who have will know the answer, of course, which is – more history, art and treasure than you could imagine! Let me elaborate…
Today is a hugely significant day in the 307-year history of the constitution of the United Kingdom, as we all now know the result of the Scottish referendum. The vote has come back in favour of No and the Kingdom remains United.
We thought it was worth looking back over those years into the mists of time to explore a key figure in the creation of that Union – the life and reign of Queen Anne, the last Stuart Queen and the first monarch of Great Britain. Events during Queen Anne’s reign have a significance that still resonates today and the Act of Union in 1707 could be considered the most significant, and a legacy that now lives on.
To find out more about her life, reign, death and legacy, read our Queen Anne Blog Series: Part 1 The Early Years of Queen Anne – Part 2 The Rising Years of Queen Anne – Part 3 The Reigning Years of Queen Anne – Part 4 The Final Years of Queen Anne.
On the reverse, a design by Mark Richards FRBS to commemorate Queen Anne. On the obverse, the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS. As such, The 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne £5 coin features portraits of both the first queen of Great Britain and the reigning queen of the United Kingdom.