Well, what a year! As 2017 draws to a close, we thought we’d take a look back on a year packed full of new beginnings, royal celebrations, and of course, the milestone moments that have been marked on UK coins. It’s safe to say 2017 has been an exciting year here at The Royal Mint. In a year that saw 36 commemorative coin designs released, as a nation, we also welcomed a big change to UK currency with the introduction of the new one pound coin, and not to mention His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visiting The Royal Mint Experience!
Outside of events here at The Royal Mint, it’s been a very royal year; Her Majesty The Queen celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee, we marked the centenary of the House of Windsor, The Duke of Edinburgh retired from public duties, The Queen and Prince Philip reached their platinum wedding anniversary, celebrating 70 years of marriage, and most recently, it was announced that there will be another Windsor wedding in 2018 as His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales is set to marry Ms Meghan Markle.
The coins of 2017
Aside from the royal celebrations, 2017 has brought even more change to UK coins, perhaps the most significant being the introduction of the new, 12-sided one pound coin on 28 March this year. We also celebrated 200 years since the birth of Jane Austen on a £2 coin, 375 years since the birth of Isaac Newton on a 50p coin, added to our First World War series with the Aviation £2 coin, oh and added four more designs to the Beatrix Potter 50p series. We celebrated 200 years of the ‘modern’ Sovereign in 2017, with a design featuring Benedetto Pistrucci’s original royal garter border and introduced a new interpretation of the female personification of Britain, Britannia for the proof range.
As we continued our Queen’s Beasts series, 2017 saw two more heraldic beasts roar to life, as the Unicorn of Scotland and Red Dragon of Wales joined the Lion of England on UK coins. All in all, a pretty busy year don’t you think? To rejig your memory, here’s a list of the coins of 2017 – you can vote for your favourite design here.
A very royal visit…
We also welcomed a visit from HRH The Prince of Wales, as Prince Charles made a visit to The Royal Mint Experience – he even struck a coin, marking his father, Prince Philip’s contribution to public life. Take a look at this video below to see what happened on his visit…
The Queen’s baton relay
The Queen’s baton relay also made its way through The Royal Mint Experience on its travels around the UK, here’s the moment Olympic gymnast Francesca Jones took the baton through The Royal Mint’s Coin Press Room (CPR.)
Platinum wedding anniversaries
It wasn’t just The Queen and Prince Philip who reached a milestone wedding anniversary this year. Also celebrating 70 years of marriage were Cicely and Douglas, Alan and Nancy and Alun and Delphine, we had the pleasure of speaking to these three couples to find out their secret to a lifelong marriage. Find out more below.
Your coin of the year…
Almost 4,000 of you voted in our 2017 coin design poll, and we are delighted to announce that the winner is… The 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p coin, designed by Royal Mint designer, Aaron West. You can find out more about Aaron’s design in this behind the design blog.
And we’d like to thank YOU for being a BIG part of this fantastic year!
We’ve enjoyed all of the photos, comments and stories you’ve shared with us on social media. You’ve shared new additions to your collections, your #CoinHunt finds, visits to The Royal Mint Experience and much more, and we’ve enjoyed watching your collections grow and sharing your experiences throughout 2017. And if you think 2017 was a good year, just you wait and see what 2018 has in store…
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!