The Royal Mint is to issue a specially compiled historic coin set uniting four decimal crowns celebrating a decade of royal occasions – an anniversary, a Jubilee, a landmark birthday and a royal wedding.
Coins have long played an important part in celebrating special events in the history of the nation. Commemorative crowns as we know them today (in terms of special designs marking specific events), were issued from 1935, with the Silver Jubilee Crown of George V. Originally five-shilling coins, they were often issued in connection with significant royal occasions, and the tradition continued following decimalisation but with the denomination of twenty-five new pence instead of five shillings. Only four crown pieces were released with this denomination – in 1972, 1977, 1980 and 1981 – before the crown was re-valued in 1990 as five pounds, and it is these four pieces that are united in this commemorative set.
The Silver Wedding Crown 1972
In 1972 Arnold Machin – known for designing the royal portrait featured on UK decimal coins from 1968 to 1984 – created the crown struck to commemorate the silver wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, who had married on 20 November 1947. The 1972 Silver Wedding coin bears the initials of the royal couple on a background of foliage with the figure of Eros between them, surmounted by a royal crown.
The Silver Jubilee Crown 1977
Issued five years later, Arnold Machin’s 1977 design for Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee depicted the Ampulla and Anointing Spoon, sacred objects used in the Coronation ceremony for centuries, encircled by a floral border and above a Royal Crown. It was coupled by Machin’s equestrian portrait of The Queen, seated side-saddle and in uniform as for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony.
The Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday Crown 1980
In 1980 the baton passed to Richard Guyatt, Rector at The Royal College of Art. In honour of the 80th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Mother he produced a magnificent portrait, complete with radiating bows and lions to reflect her maiden name – the Honourable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon.
The Royal Wedding Crown 1981
Philip Nathan, known as the designer of the classic Britannia featured on The Royal Mint bullion coins, created the reverse of the 1981 crown celebrating the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. His distinctive conjoined portrait of the royal couple commemorated their marriage in St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 July 1981.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals for The Royal Mint, said “These four historic coins represent a decade of royal celebrations. Individually they are each a work of art, but together they are a wonderful reminder of occasions that will be remembered by many with great nostalgia.”
|The Silver Wedding Crown 1972||The Silver Jubilee Crown 1977||The Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday Crown 1980||The Royal Wedding Crown 1981|
|Obverse designer||Arnold Machin||Arnold Machin||Arnold Machin||Arnold Machin|
|Reverse designer||Arnold Machin||Arnold Machin||Richard Guyatt||Philip Nathan|
|Quality||Brilliant Uncirculated equivalent||Brilliant Uncirculated equivalent||Brilliant Uncirculated equivalent||Brilliant Uncirculated equivalent|
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 January 2015, The Royal Mint announced the revival of The Royal Mint Refinery bullion brand offering gold and silver minted bars bearing the historic Royal Mint Refinery marque on www.royalmintbullion.com – the first time since 1968 that they had been available direct to the public from The Royal Mint.
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.