The Royal Mint has released a commemorative coin with a design by former United States Mint Chief Engraver John M. Mercanti that features a British lion alongside an American eagle. As the designer for the Type 1 American Eagle bullion coin reverse, Mercanti has a lot of experience creating and engraving eagles on coins. Both animals are longtime numismatic symbols of their respective countries, and this coin represents the special relationship that has historically existed between our nations.
Private mint GovMint.com has paternered with The Royal Mint to produce this coin. In a Royal Mint press release, GovMint Chief Commercial Officer Ted Smetana said that the company is “thrilled and honored to partner with the Royal Mint on the creation and development of this program and also be the exclusive distributor for The Lion and The Eagle Program.”
In that same release, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin, Rebecca Morgan, said:
“We are delighted to unveil the commemorative coin featuring the British Lion and American Eagle, two icons of coin design which are recognised worldwide. It has been a pleasure to work with John Mercanti, one of the most prolific coin designers in United States Mint history, with over 100 coin designs to his name. John’s reverse design skilfully brings the two icons together in one harmonious composition.”
The lion is a time-honored heraldic motif in Europe but its use as a symbol of royal power goes back into deep antiquity. Similarly, while the eagle was chosen as a symbol of the United States (much to Founding Father Ben Franklin’s chagrin) in the 18th century, as a symbol it, too, reaches back into antiquity, even serbing as the avian symbol of the Olympian god, Zeus. Indeed, the depiction of eagles on U.S. coinage was originally based on Renaissance art that was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art, including that found on coins.
The Royal Mint has issued the new Mercanti coin in one-kilo, five-ounce, two-ounce, and one ounce gold and silver Proof editions, for a total of eight different product options.
More information on The Royal Mint Lion and Eagle commemorative coin by John Mercanti is available on The Royal Mint’s website.
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