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 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:
As a similarly ancient British institution (although not quite as old as us!) we can’t help but feel an affinity with Trinity House or, to give them their full title, the Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond. The House itself is situated on Tower Hill, not too far from our previous home at the Tower of London – indeed, there’s a wonderful view of the Tower from Trinity House.
As the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, it’s responsible for lighthouses, lightvessels, buoys, other navigational aids and communication systems in the seas that surround our shores, as well as providing deep sea pilotage in Northern European waters.
In this instalment of our Queen Anne blog series we move into the years of Queen Anne’s reign in which many political upheavals and cultural changes came about. On-going War with Spain, resolution of long-standing tension with Scotland and the development of a two-party political system are all notable issues Anne dealt with during this period. Anne’s confidence in dealing with and influencing such matters increased, evidenced by her vetoing an Act of Parliament in 1708, the last time this has ever happened. It may be said that this was the period in which Anne truly ‘reigned’ in the full sense of the word.
We recently trialed the first of what we hope will become a regular feature for our Social Media fans – #AskaCurator. It is your chance to ask The Royal Mint Museum’s curators absolutely anything – from questions on a specific coin to how to stop silver from toning.
Here is a selection of our favourite questions, picked and answered by one of the Museum’s curators, Chris:
Following our recent revelation about the rarest UK coin in current circulation – the Kew Gardens 50p – we’ve seen lots of comments about another, even rarer 50p. People have been talking about the 1992-3 50p that marked the UK’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers and completion of the Single European Market. And they are not wrong, as only 109,000 of that coin were minted. But don’t get too excited, because you’re never going to find it in your change these days. It was one of the larger, heavier 50p coins that, following a review of the UK currency in 1994, was withdrawn from circulation in 1997.
Following a recent look at updated mintage figures of circulating coins, we finally have the answer to the question: What is the rarest coin design in circulation today?
Last Thursday a press release was issued on The Royal Mint website that answered that very question. It revealed that the rarest coin design in current circulation is the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p design. What happened next saw the coin’s popularity exceed any expectations and catapulted this unlikely topic into the limelight.
Both these well-known beliefs are as true today as they’ve ever been, but we believe they can be combined, because coins as love tokens and gifts have long played their part in romantic rituals. There are many records of such traditions, some stretching back centuries. With today’s fashion for all things vintage, maybe now is a good time to resurrect them, so – how would you feel about that special person in your life demonstrating their love for you with the gift of a coin?
Before you answer too quickly, let’s take a look at some of the history and meaning behind such an idea. It is thought that in the 17th Century the love-struck King Charles II was so enamoured of Frances Stewart (ONE of his many loves) that he asked for the design of Britannia on his coinage to be inspired by her beautiful image – although there is no definite record that his wishes were carried out, the diarist Samuel Pepys remarked that the Britannia design did bear a striking resemblance to the future Duchess of Richmond. Her image has changed, but Britannia has remained a feature of modern British coinage ever since – lasting far longer than any marriage ever has!
The Chinese New Year is one of China’s oldest festivals, with records of it going back as far as the 14th century BC. As its date falls so differently to the New Year celebrated in the Western world, an explanation will help us to understand why that’s so. It’s believed that Emperor Huangdi introduced the lunar calendar, based on the lunisolar cycle. This observes the moon phases and solar years to determine the exact date that Chinese New Year falls on, which will always be between 21st January and 21st February.
Traditionally ‘Burns Night Suppers’ are held all over the UK on or around the 25th January to celebrate the life and work of The Bard, Robert Burns. The day is often referred to as Burns Night or Robert Burns Day and falls on the day of his birth; 25th January 1759. 2014 marks the 255th Anniversary of Burns’ birth and the 211th Anniversary of the Burns Night we celebrate today. During his short life, he was prolific in his poetry and writing, and also in his fathering of 14 children with 6 different mothers! While he is well known for his writing, a possibly less well-known and unlikely fact is that he was employed as a Tax Inspector from 1789 until his death in 1796, at only 37 years old. A particularly tragic fact is that his wife gave birth to their last child on the day of his funeral.