Part 3 – The Royal Mint in 1953 – The Coronation celebrations

In part 3 of our series of posts, the Coronation events take place and the event passes off beautifully. Royal attention turns to the people who made it happen, and official letters of thanks arrive at the Mint.

(Continued from Part 2 – The Royal Mint in 1953 – The Coronation approaches, excitement builds!)

For their role in the Coronation celebrations, many staff at The Royal Mint receive honours and letters of congratulations and thanks from the Royal family.

For those who don’t receive acknowledgement in the form of an official award, the Specimen sets and Crown pieces are available at a special staff rate so they can at least own a wonderful commemorative.

Read more…

Part 2 – The Royal Mint in 1953 – The Coronation approaches, excitement builds!

In part two of our series on the events of 1953 we move into February and March, just months away from the 2nd of June Coronation date.

(Continued from Part 1 – The Royal Mint in 1953 – preparing for the Queen’s Coronation)

Lots of things started happening across the Mint. We’ll leave you to read through the office notes to enjoy discovering them yourself, but we can’t resist sharing a few highlights:

Read more…

Part 1 – The Royal Mint in 1953 – preparing for the Queen’s Coronation

Hidden in a dusty corner of our Museum archives sat several files of unassuming looking ‘Internal Office Notes’.

Dated from 1926, many of these yellowing old papers had not been read for years. With the historic events of 1953 in mind, we delved into the files. To our delight, this ‘time capsule’ of stories from inside The Royal Mint shed light on the events of 1953. The notes paint a picture of a Royal Mint excited by the prospect of the coming Jubilee celebrations!

Read more…

The Trial of the Pyx – a short video from the 2013 Trial

Thanks to The Telegraph for sharing this wonderful video from the 2013 Trial of the Pyx. The Trial of the Pyx is an annual event that tests the coins produced at The Royal Mint. It is often referred to as the world’s oldest continually running Quality Assurance process, and we are proud to say that … Read more…

A badge of honour – our pride in making medals at The Royal Mint

Maybe we’ve been too modest about our medal making, or maybe we’ve just been doing it for so long that it’s become second nature to us, but our part in making the first batch of Arctic Star medals and Bomber Command clasps has inspired us to share some lesser-known information about this part of our business.

Arctic Star Medals in production at The Royal Mint
Arctic Star Medals in production at The Royal Mint

Medals are produced in a dedicated ‘Medal Cell’, staffed by highly skilled craftsmen and women who all have an inspiring passion for their work. The Royal Mint liaises directly with the diverse organisations that issue the medals, awards and honours. On occasion we are honoured to deal directly with Her Majesty The Queen or HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh both of whom take a keen interest in medals. Our Museum also holds historic documents and artifacts that add fascinating background to the story of medals at The Royal Mint.

Read more…

Coin nicknames – the British fondness for change

The British public give coins nicknames as if they are old friends.

Over the past few hundred years, many coins have taken on names that they were never originally supposed to have. Though many of these do not survive to the present day, we present to you a selection of our best attempts at referencing and researching the murky history of coin nicknames. Enjoy!

Read more…

The Romance of coins – bring a romantic tradition to your Valentine’s Day

Coins have been used as tokens of love and affection for thousands of years.

The earliest Wedding Vows even included reference to gifts of gold and silver. The coin you hold today may have already passed through the hands of your partner long before you met and equally your future husband or wife may be in possession of a coin that you will soon come to hold. Coins tell stories, and they are a part of our everyday lives like no other object. This gives them great significance, and gives them an inherent romantic quality.

Read more…

The Guinea – marking 350 years of one the greatest British coins in history

From the Restoration of the monarchy to the Napoleonic Wars, the guinea was the coin that characterised an increasingly wealthy Britain. It was one of the most popular British coins for 150 years, during which Britain became the world’s major colonial power.

Due to Britain’s influence on the international stage, the guinea became known all over the world, occupying the position of universal acceptance that the dollar occupies today. The guinea was, for almost 150 years, the standard gold coin of the British currency. It therefore stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Sovereign as one of the greatest British coins in history.

Read more…

Old Coppernose – Quantitative easing, the medieval way

In 1526 and Henry VIII was King. He needed money to pay for the wars against Scotland and France. 
His Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, decided to debase the coinage (mix the precious metals of silver and gold with cheaper ones) so that he could make more coins for the same amount of precious metal and therefore mint more money at less cost.

Read more…

Sir Isaac Newton – did you know?

Sir Isaac Newton. From a portrait by Kneller in 1689

Isaac Newton was appointed Master of the Mint between 1699-1727.

The title ‘Master of the Mint’ is held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer who, at the time of writing, is The Right Honourable George Osborne.

Isaac Newton is the most famous ‘Master of the Mint’ in our history – here are ten relatively little known facts about him:

Read more…