Starting in 2014, the Portrait of Britain Collection is intended to be an annual series of coin sets that portray popular and recognisable landmarks, buildings and natural phenomena from all over the United Kingdom. The idea is that each set is linked by a common theme, and that over time those themed sets will combine to build what the collection promises; a complete ‘Portrait of Britain’.
The Portrait of Britain Collection
For this first Portrait of Britain set, the common theme is the recognisable landmarks and buildings of London. We’ve pulled together just three facts about each one for you, to set the scene. There are, of course, many more we will talk about in future articles, so stay with us!
When will we find the new coins in our change? It’s a question we are asked on a daily basis by those of you keen to continue your collections and get hold of those shiny, new designs.
As you’d imagine production of 2014 dated coins began on the turn of the year and they’ll continue to be produced right until 31 December 2014. However, accurately predicting when we’ll start to see these coins in our pockets isn’t an easy task. So I asked our circulating coin department for a bit of insight into it.
Will you be celebrating Father’s Day this year in a similar way to Mother’s Day? We all know Father’s Day is not celebrated on the same scale as Mother’s Day generally, and while I’ve read some articles that try to explain why, I think the reason is simple – it’s because Fathers and Mothers are so different! What delights your Mum may well not please your Dad so much, especially those sentimental and openly affectionate gestures usually welcomed by Mums.
I’ve made a sweeping generalisation there, so let’s take a look at how Father’s Day started and see where it takes us…
The 70th anniversary of D-Day, otherwise known as the Normandy Landings, is marked on 6 June this year. D-Day was a significant Second World War operation that saw the landing of Allied troops in Normandy and the beginning of the Allied invasion of occupied Europe – code-named ‘Operation Overlord’.
An international effort, the D-Day Allied invasion force of more than 150,000 consisted primarily of American, British and Canadian troops but also included Australian, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French, Greek, New Zealand, Norwegian, Rhodesian and Polish naval, air and ground support. Taking more than 7,000 ships and smaller vessels and 14,000 aircraft, it was the largest naval, air and land operation in history. Given the scale of D-Day, detailed planning was required – with the first operational plans submitted almost a year before, in July 1943.
Benedetto Pistrucci is a name closely associated with The Royal Mint and a familiar one among numismatists. However, I’m sure there are some of you left wondering just who is Benedetto Pistrucci?
Benedetto Pistrucci was born in Italy 231 years ago, in May 1783. Already established as a renowned gem engraver, he moved to London in 1815. His journey with The Royal Mint began the following year, when he was introduced to William Wellesley Pole, the Master of the Mint. Pole commissioned Pistrucci to create models of a portrait of King George III, which he created in red jasper – an unusual material for a model of a coin, but one which Pistrucci, as a gem engraver, preferred to use.
On Sunday The Queen’s Baton Relay visited The Royal Mint as it began its second day in Wales and continued its tour of the UK. The day began at 7.30am when the gates to The Royal Mint opened and the baton was carried over the threshold by Kate Hughes, a lucky employee chosen at random to be one of six employees to carry The Queen’s Commonwealth Gamesbaton during its visit. The six employees paraded the baton in front of a gathered crowd before handing it to Welsh 400m hurdler and European Champion, Rhys Williams.
Representing Team Wales, Rhys carried the baton through the mint, entering the coin production rooms where he pushed the button to begin production of the official circulating 50p that celebrates the 2014 Commonwealth games.
The Trinity House two pound coin appropriately features a lighthouse, so we’ve taken that to its logical conclusion by photographing it very near one! This coin is, in fact, resting on a rock at the site of the Beachy Head lighthouse, off the Sussex Downs coast.
We thought you’d enjoy some facts, figures and swashbuckling tales about Trinity House and the new £2 coin – so here’s our Top 10: