The Lord Mayor of the City of London has struck a special commemorative gold Sovereign during a visit to The Royal Mint’s operations in India as a lasting reminder of his first official overseas trip.
The Lord Mayor, the elected head of the City of London Corporation which supports the world-leading finance and business sector in the UK, had the opportunity to strike his own Sovereign during a tour of the Royal Mint licensee facility, operated by MMTC-PAMP, which formed part of a trade mission backed by the City of London and the UKTI.
He led a delegation from the UK-based finance and professional services sector on a five day visit to meet Indian Government officials, explore UK trade and investment opportunities and see some of the successful joint ventures already in operation.
The Royal Mint’s partnership with MMTC-PAMP India to strike authentic gold Sovereign commemorative coins in India for the first time in nearly a century was showcased as a demonstration of the benefits of Britain and India working together.
One of the world’s most famous coins, The Sovereign is globally recognised as a symbol of uncompromising quality standards and minting excellence.
Featuring the same classic Benedetto Pistrucci ‘St George and the Dragon’ design as the Sovereigns first struck in India in 1918, striking of the 2013 Sovereign commenced in MMTC-PAMP India’s world class facility near Delhi in February last year, and continued this year with The Sovereign 2014.
Using tools and techniques developed by The Royal Mint at their headquarters in South Wales, UK, and struck in India by MMTC-PAMP, these commemorative Sovereigns carry the special ’I‘ mint mark to indicate that they have been manufactured in India.
Residents of India had been unable to buy genuine commemorative Sovereigns since 1918, when The Royal Mint operated a branch mint in Bombay for a single year, during time which a staggering 1,300,000 Sovereigns were struck. Since then a high number of counterfeit Sovereigns have become available on the market.
The partnership with MMTC-PAMP was created to help re-establish The Royal Mint in this major market and allow the Indian public to confidently purchase authenticated Sovereigns from a British brand which is renowned for its heritage, high quality and integrity.
Mr Mehdi Barkhodar, Chairman of MMTC-PAMP and Managing Director of PAMP SA said “The Indian consumer deserves nothing but the best; the re-emergence of the highly prized authentic Sovereign coins has been warmly welcomed by those wishing to purchase the genuine article for national festivities, weddings or other special occasions. Following the success of the iconic Sovereign, the range manufactured in India has been increased to also encompass the Half-Sovereign. We are extremely honoured the Lord Mayor of London visited our plant to witness on-going production of The Sovereign. Full of praise for the initiative shown by The Royal Mint in enabling the Indian consumer access a genuine product with the same assurance as in UK, the Lord Mayor was enthused to personally strike a Sovereign. We fully understand the heavy responsibility that goes with this privilege and will cherish his visit for years to come.”
The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alan Yarrow, said, “Great coins like this Sovereign remind us that reliable money is at the heart of well-ordered and transparent trade, business – and human affairs. The dragon is of course good to see, as well, as it’s a famed guardian of the City, too.”
Shane Bissett, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin and Bullion, added, “The Sovereign is the oldest traded commemorative coin still manufactured today and is also the world’s most precisely specified gold coin. Its quality and specification is independently verified every year by the Trial of the Pyx, at over 750 years old the oldest quality control process still being used today. The commemorative coins struck in India go through this quality process in the same way as all UK coins. Our partnership with MMTC-PAMP India has enabled us to introduce genuine commemorative Sovereigns back into the Indian market, satisfying significant demand for the coin, and helping us to further expand our global offering.”
About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK.
While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, The Royal Mint produces coins that remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.
There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2014 ,with a total face value of over £4 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, nearly 2 billion UK coins were issued during 2013-14.
As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It has served more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and currently meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.
The Royal Mint has been making official military campaign medals since it was commissioned to make awards for soldiers who fought in the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The year 2012 was of particular significance for The Royal Mint’s medal-making team, with the manufacture of all 4,700 Victory Medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Royal Mint has recently introduced a new fineness of Britannia bullion coins and a highly-secure on-site bullion vault storage facility, building on the gold Sovereign’s long-standing reputation for integrity, accuracy. This positions The Royal Mint and its bullion products as a premium proposition in this marketplace.
In September 2014, The Royal Mint launched a new bullion trading website,www.royalmintbullion.com, enabling customers to buy, store and sell bullion coins at constantly updated prices directly from The Royal Mint quickly, effortlessly and securely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Construction is expected to be completed during 2016.
About MMTC – PAMP INDIA Pvt Ltd:
Incorporated in India on 18th January 2008, MMTC-PAMP India Pvt. Ltd. (MMTC-PAMP India) is a joint venture between PAMP SA, Switzerland and MMTC Limited, a Government of India Undertaking (www.pamp.com, www.mmtclimited.com). Established in 1977, PAMP is one of only three “Approved Good Delivery Referee” for both the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM). PAMP’s products are accepted as “Good delivery” by The Swiss National Bank; The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); The New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX); The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM); Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT); Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange (DGCEX) as well as The London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM). Incorporated in 1963, MMTC Limited is India’s largest public sector trading organisation, engaged in trading of several products including precious metals. It is India’s single largest bullion trader.
In 2008 MMTC, India’s largest international trading company in the public sector joined hands with PAMP of Switzerland for setting up a precious metals refinery and mint in Mewat district of Haryana. With an investment of over Rs 220 crore and annual refining capacity of 100 tons of gold, 600 tons of silver and minting 2.75 million pieces, the license for minting the Royal Sovereign for Royal Mint UK is yet another feather to the cap of MMTC-PAMP India. MMTC-PAMP India’s refining & minting operations should result in a turnover of approximately Rs. 14,000 crores in the current fiscal year. Adequate capacity exists to mint this iconic commemorative coin.