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ROYAL ARMS REVISITED: National Symbol Redesigned on 2015 United Kingdom £1 Coin


The Royal Mint has issued a new £1 coin for 2015 portraying Timothy Noad’s contemporary reworking of the Royal Arms, in a heraldic celebration of the United Kingdom.

Featuring Jody Clark’s ‘fifth portrait’ of Her Majesty The Queen on the obverse, this new commemorative The Royal Arms 2015 United Kingdom £1 coin is being issued in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort and Gold Proof editions.

The Royal Arms has featured on the coinage of the United Kingdom for centuries, and is an emblem that is trusted and respected all over the world. Once displayed on the medieval battlefield on shields, banners and dress, the Royal Coat of Arms has always been – and remains to this day – a national symbol.

Signifying authority, approval and allegiance, it identifies The Queen in her capacity as Head of State and is a well-known motif displayed in government buildings, in churches and on official documents.

Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals Shane Bissett said “Since the £1 coin’s introduction in 1983, it has represented a celebration of the UK through a variety of designs inspired by architecture, bridges and floral symbols of the home nations, interspersed with interpretations of The Royal Arms. For 2015 we welcome The Royal Arms back in the form of Timothy Noad’s contemporary take on the emblem.”

The public can expect to see the new design in their change from November this year.

It will be the first new commemorative design on the current £1 circulating coin to feature the fifth portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, by The Royal Mint designer Jody Clark. It is also significant in that it will be one of the last designs to appear on the ‘current’ £1 coin, as a new, highly-secure £1 coin will be released into circulation in 2017.

The Range

The Royal Arms Explained

The Royal Arms is an ornate emblem with a quartered shield at its centre, supported on the one side by a crowned English lion and on the other a Scottish unicorn. Just below sit the rose, thistle and shamrock representing England, Scotland and Ireland respectively. The older union with Wales is not usually symbolised here, although more modern designs add the leek to restore the balance of the home nations.

Beneath the lion and unicorn is the motto of English monarchs – ‘Dieu et mon droit’ (God and my right), while around the shield the insignia of the Order of the Garter display the Order’s own motto – ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (shame upon him who thinks evil upon it).

The Coin’s Design and Its Designer

The reverse of this commemorative £1 coin for 2015 was created by Timothy Noad, whose floral designs also graced the £1 coins of 2013 and 2014. The acclaimed artist has a background steeped in calligraphy, heraldry and illumination and specialises in working with age old traditions and materials. As an Herald Painter (heraldic artist) at Her Majesty’s College of Arms, and Scribe and Illuminator to Her Majesty’s Crown Office at the House of Lords, Timothy receives multiple commissions each year which incorporate the Royal Arms device in its traditional form.

This design is especially important and meaningful to the artist as he had always harboured an ambition to create his own interpretation of the Royal Arms. Seizing his chance, he looked to the Hanoverian and Victorian periods for inspiration, and it was on a visit to the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich that he spotted an unusual variant on the Royal Coat of Arms on the side of a naval drum, dating from Nelson’s time, giving the supporters (the lion and unicorn) much more prominence than usual – a design he thought would work well on something as small as a coin.

About The Royal Mint

The Royal MintThe 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. Gold and silver minted bars bearing the historic marque became available for the first time since 1968, available direct to the public at www.royalmintbullion.com.

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.
The Royal Mint retains copyright ownership © of all images. These may only be used for editorial purposes and cannot be sold or used for other marketing purposes without the permission of The Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint
The Royal Minthttps://www.royalmint.com/
The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,100 years. Based in the Tower of London for over 500 years, by 1812 the Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on Tower Hill in London. In 1967, the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK, to accommodate the minting of UK decimal coinage. Today, the Mint is the world’s largest export mint, supplying coins to the UK and overseas countries.

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