Gromit unleashed – the making of ‘The National Treasure’

When The Royal Mint was asked to take part in the ‘Gromit unleashed’ exhibition, we were excited by the opportunity to do something really special.

We knew we had a lot to live up to, being in the company of people like Aardman’s very own Nick Park and Peter Lord, iconic designers Sir Paul Smith and Cath Kidston, illustrators Sir Quentin Blake and Martin Handford (creator of ‘Where’s Wally’) and many more besides.

So what could we do? Well it had to include coins, of course, and with mosaic artist Stephanie Roberts involved the ideas quickly began to flow. To add a finishing touch to the masterpiece, the Royal Mint’s Chief Engraver, Gordon Summers was tasked with creating a medallion from a design crafted in plasticine by Nick Park himself!

Would it all come together? Read on to find out.

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The Royal Mint Coronation 5oz and Kilo Coins

For particularly momentous occasions, The Royal Mint strikes 5oz and Kilo coins. These coins are large, precious metal coins with specially commissioned artwork designed to take advantage of the coin’s dimensions. The 2013 Coronation 5oz coin has been designed by Jonathan Olliffe, who was one of the people who won the competition to design a London 2012 … Read more…

Inside The Royal Mint – Part two – The Royal Mint grounds

Having safely passed security procedures at reception, known internally as ‘The Police Lodge’, we find ourselves outside again in a leafy, landscaped area with buildings all around us. As you leave the safety of the Police Lodge, you are immediately presented with a live digital noticeboard that displays up-to-the-minute Health & Safety statistics.  This serves … Read more…

Inside The Royal Mint – Part one – through the gates

As we go about our daily business here at The Royal Mint, we sometimes take for granted the historic and even quirky practices and sights we experience every day. 

In this short series we share some of them with you, to give you a flavour of our lives at the world’s largest export mint and the UK’s oldest manufacturing company. So, first of all, let’s make our way in…

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Top ten coin related videos

We’ve scoured Youtube to find ten fascinating and fun coin related videos.

If you have a favourite coin video, please share the link in the comments and if we like it enough we’ll add it to our playlist.

There’s quite a variety in here, so if you don’t enjoy one, just click next to skip and move on.

The videos are:

  1. Coin dominoes
  2. Coins skipping on water in slow motion
  3. How it’s made – Chocolate coins
  4. Coin stacking
  5. Amazing Chinese magician
  6. The world’s largest coin
  7. Amazing coin advert from Hong Kong
  8. Striking gold Sovereigns at The Royal Mint
  9. A brief history of money
  10. Coin throwing

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10 of our favourite worldwide coin facts

Here are ten of our favourite coin facts that we have compiled just for fun!

    • Space Invaders ate our coins
      The Space Invaders game was so popular when it was released in Japan in 1978 that it caused a national coin shortage!
      Japan suffered a nationwide shortage of 100-yen coins and had to increase coin production to keep up with demand.

      A space invader
      Space invaders ate my change!

      Space Invaders arrived in the United States in 1980 and by mid-1981, $1 billion of quarters had been gobbled up by the game.

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Striking facts – the art of minting coins

Proof coins are struck using special dies and using more labour-intensive methods, they are inevitably more expensive but they offer qualities than cannot be matched by other coins.

We can produce up to 750 circulation standard coins a minute at The Royal Mint. That enables us to deliver millions of coins a year both to the UK and to a large number of international customers. We are the world’s leading export mint, so we need to be able to produce high volumes with a high standard of accuracy to retain our reputation and standing. We are able to do this because we have sophisticated processes and machinery, and a skilled workforce with years of experience.

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The coins that never were – Christopher Ironside’s unseen designs

Designing Britain’s decimal coins began in 1961, far earlier than you may imagine.

Christopher Ironside was one of the talented individuals invited to submit designs as part of a competition The Royal Mint opened to Britain’s finest artists and designers. After 5 long years of work, Ironside was summoned to the Mint to be given the news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Callaghan, was about to announce that Britain’s new decimal coins would be designed through a new open competition.

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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.

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Dollar notes to be replaced by coins – The Royal Mint view

Debate in the US is heating up over the issue of replacing the country’s beloved dollar note with a coin.

Dollars - coin and notes

The United States’ Government Accountability Office (GAO) report suggests that switching to $1 coins could save $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

This sparks some interesting questions that are of great relevance to everyone here at The Royal Mint. We have over 1,100 years of experience in minting, and we are currently the world’s leading export Mint. Having been through the same experience some 30 years ago when we switched from the £1 note to the £1 coin, we simply had to respond to this fascinating debate.

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