Does Love or Money Make the World Go Around?

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?

Britannia
1672 Britannia 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!

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The Early Years of Queen Anne – Childhood and Girlhood

One of the 2014 Commemorative Coin themes is the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Queen Anne. Events during Anne’s reign have a significance that still resonates today, so we want to take you on a journey through the life of this Queen, whose death brought to an end the era of the Stuart monarchs. As today is the anniversary of Anne’s birth, we thought this was the ideal date to start at the very beginning…

The 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne 2014 UK £5
The 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne 2014 UK £5

Anne was born into the Stuart royal family at St James’ Palace, London on 6th February 1665. She was the 2nd daughter and 4th child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Of their eight children, only Anne and her elder sister, Mary, survived beyond childhood, with both becoming Queen of England in due course.

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Trial of the Pyx: Putting the Pyx on trial

When HM Treasury made the announcement; ‘The Trial of the Pyx will be held in Goldsmith’s Hall, London on 4th February 2014”, I’m sure this raised a myriad of questions to anyone reading it. Questions such as; what on earth is a pyx? and why is it on trial?

It’s actually an historic event dating from 1282 and it is, indeed, a judicial trial as most of us would recognise, complete with judge, jury and verdict. I think it’s now time, after more than 700 years of its history, that we put it under the spotlight and examine its history and proceedings. So let’s begin…

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2014 commemorative coins now available at royalmint.com

The first 2014 commemorative coins are now available at The Royal Mint website.

2014 is another big year for Britain, and here at The Royal Mint we will be commemorating some significant anniversaries, as well as celebrating another addition to our nation’s sporting heritage. In 2014 we will commemorate the 300th anniversary of the death of Queen Anne, 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War and the 500th anniversary of Trinity House. 2014 also sees us welcome a new addition to our sporting heritage when the Commonwealth Games returns to Glasgow for the 3rd time in its 84 year history.

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OUR TOP 10 FESTIVE FACTS

On Day 10 of our Facebook Advent Calendar, we’re opening the window (see what I did there?) on our Top 10 Festive Facts.  A Christmas quiz has become a fun tradition for many people, so I hope these will help you out!

1. Advent Calendars – the first ones appeared in Germany. The BBC History channel refers to printers in Munich being the first to produce them in 1908. Paper and cardboard rationing during the Second World War put an end to them until 1946. Chocolate advent calendars appeared in the UK in the 1950’s after food rationing ended and they soon spread across the globe, with something for everyone – here’s a trendy one and here’s a classical musical one.

The World’s Most Expensive Advent Calendar was a $1m version by Porsche Design in 2010 – there may have been others, but this one is pretty impressive!

Porsche Design's Advent Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life Inside The Royal Mint – History & treasures surround us!

It’s hard to be brief about the treasures held safely for the nation behind the anonymous door that opens to The Royal Mint Museum, but I’m going to try, so here are some snippets:

cabinetThe Museum holds a cabinet said to be Sir Isaac Newton’s when he was Master of the Mint from 1699-1727; pistols from the Tower of London that provided the security of those times and literally thousands of coins from all over the world. Plasters of coins and medals from the late 19th Century, wax impressions of the Great Seals of the Realm and other official Seals from the start of the 20th century, are all preserved here.

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A Lucky Silver Penny for some very special babies!

I’ve had a lovely task recently – looking at copies of Birth Certificates of babies born in the UK on the same day as Prince George of Cambridge. We offered a gift of a Lucky Silver Penny to any such baby, asking for applications through our Facebook page, and the response has been phenomenal.

Pennyontheday
The Lucky Silver Penny

From the details submitted, we’ve found all sorts of interesting facts to share…

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Some fast Friday coin facts

In our post yesterday we talked about some research we recently conducted into how much the population at large know about the coins in their pockets. We will share some of those results with you next week, but in the meantime we used some of the facts we uncovered to put together this great visual … Read more…

Royalty and St George & The Dragon – The Top 10 Facts

I’ve felt surrounded by Georges and Dragons lately! So my friends in our Museum have helped me pull together these Top 10 Facts about them, that I think you really need to know… Our flagship coin, the Sovereign, is known and recognised throughout the world. It’s our most famous coin and shows St George, the … Read more…

Baby and Christening gifts – Coins as part of gifting traditions

Typical gifts for a new baby tend to be practical. Nappies, blankets, bottles, clothes, and toys are eminently sensible, but they lack a sense of occasion. Many new parents find they pass on clothes, extra bottles and accumulated toys to their friends without having made any use of them.

Christenings pose a different set of problems for the unwary gift-giver. What do you buy that balances the requirement to give something appropriately traditional with something that the recipient will value? Many people know that silver plays a traditional role in bringing luck to the occasion, but what to buy? Photo frames, jewellery, spoons and napkin rings are popular…but while they can be highly attractive and of excellent quality, we feel that nothing compares to a coin.

Silver coins from The Royal Mint capture all of our 1,100 year heritage and craftsmanship. Each is year-dated making them a contemporary way to mark the occasion of the birth forever. We offer a range of coins for all occasions, from Baby Journals, to silver coins and sets. Here we list some of our favourites.

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This Father’s Day give a gift that revives the passion for collecting Royal Mint coins

Many people are introduced to coin collecting by an older relative, often a grandparent who has rediscovered their own passion for ‘the hobby of Kings’ later in life. Some of life’s greatest memories of our parents and grandparents are those where they patiently introduce us to new and fascinating interests. This Father’s day, why not … Read more…