- The Royal Mint has remastered one of the rarest coins produced in its 1,100-year history, the Petition Crown created by renowned engraver Thomas Simon over 350 years ago.
- The Petition Crown was produced by Thomas Simon to showcase his exceptional technical, engraving, and artistic ability and is one of the rarest coins ever made with only a handful being produced.
- Combining modern minting techniques with traditional engraving methods, The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have faithfully remastered the Petition Crown for the modern-day collector, available as a two-coin set.
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The Royal Mint, the official maker of coins for the United Kingdom, has unveiled a two-coin set featuring a remastered design produced by Thomas Simon: the Petition Crown – one of the rarest coins produced in The Royal Mint’s 1,100-year history. The two-coin set will see the Petition Crown’s obverse and reverse design remastered to appear on two individual collectible coins.
The Petition Crown is a fine example of Simon’s technical, engraving, and design capability and with a design that features one of the best portraits produced in The Royal Mint’s history.
The remastered Petition Crown two-coin set, forms part of The Royal Mint’s popular Great Engravers Collection, which celebrates the finest artists and engravers who have worked on British coinage. Thomas Simon is the next engraver to be celebrated with a remastering of the well-known Petition Crown, one of the rarest coins ever produced by The Royal Mint. Other engravers, such as William Wyon RA, have been featured as part of the collection.
The two-coin set pays tribute to the Petition Crown’s beautiful reverse design and its masterfully created obverse, which features a life-like portrait of Charles II. The two-coin set offers collectors across the globe an opportunity to own a remastered edition of one of the rarest coins produced by The Royal Mint. Only a handful of the original coins were produced, as they were pattern pieces struck for King Charles II by Simon to demonstrate his skills and abilities as an engraver.
Thomas Simon produced the Petition Crown during the reign of Charles II to regain favor after John Roettier, a Dutch engraver, was brought over to produce coinage designs. Simon created the Petition Crown to showcase his technical and artistic ability. Despite his efforts, Thomas Simon was unsuccessful, and the Petition Crown was never formally issued, making it extremely rare to own the original coin. However, in 2007 an original example sold for £207,100 (approx. $420,000), setting a new world record price for a British silver crown at the time. More recently, an example sold in New York in 2018 for a reported $649,000.
The Royal Mint’s engraving, design, and Master Tools team ensured that Thomas Simon’s original design of the Petition Crown was remastered authentically to stay true to Simon’s idea and design. Combining traditional engraving and craftsmanship skills with modern minting technology, The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have successfully remastered the Petition Crown for collectors across the world to admire. Remastering a coin of this caliber required specialist tooling to recreate some of the intricate details that appear on the original coin design such as the edge inscription.
While the Petition Crown features a beautiful numismatic design appearing on both the obverse and reverse, the edge inscription that appears on the coin highlights Simon’s extraordinary talent as an engraver. Featuring a direct appeal to Charles II, this unique raised edge inscription consisting of 200 letters etched across two lines, which says ‘THOMAS SIMON MOST HVMBLY PRAYS YOVR MAJESTY TO COMPARE THIS HIS TRYALL PIECE WITH THE DVTCH AND IF MORE TRVLY DRAWN & EMBOSS’D MORE GRACE: FVLLY ORDER’D AND MORE ACCVRATELY ENGRAVEN TO RELEIVE HIM’.
The Royal Mint cannot be certain exactly how Simon, during the 17th century, was able to produce the two lines. Even with the benefit of modern minting technology, recreating the raised edge lettering proved challenging for The Royal Mint’s team of craftspeople, who relied on traditional engraving techniques combined with innovative laser technology to produce tooling that would achieve the same effect.
Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint, said:
“The Royal Mint has been striking coins for over 1,100 years and has been a home to some of the greatest engravers in the world. The Royal Mint’s Great Engravers collection pays homage to these historic engravers and their career masterpieces. Our talented team of designers, master toolmakers, and engravers have worked together, combining the best of British craftsmanship, modern striking techniques, and original methods to breathe new life into these iconic designs. More than 350 years after the original Petition Crown was produced, collectors now have the chance to own one of the world’s most sought-after coin designs as part of an extremely limited UK coin set.”
Gordon Summers, Chief Engraver at The Royal Mint, said:
“As the current Chief Engraver of The Royal Mint, I am passionate about preserving and continuing traditional minting and engraving techniques when creating coinage for collectors to admire and treasure. The Great Engravers collection highlights the exceptional skills of our craftspeople and is a wonderful tribute to some of the finest engravers that have worked for The Royal Mint over the centuries. The remastered Petition Crown is no exception, capturing and highlighting the technical abilities of Simon as an engraver during the 17th century. Utilizing traditional engraving techniques combined with modern minting technology and innovative laser technology, the remastered Petition Crown featured is a modern interpretation of Simon’s design while also staying true to his original idea.
“Thomas Simon’s work is not only remarkable for his obvious ability as an artist and as a highly accomplished engraver but also for his incredible ability to innovate. Even from our advantage perspective, following 350 years of … industrial and digital revolutions, producing raised edge inscription by the methods Simon conceived is still a huge challenge.”
Serving under Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, and Charles II during his time at The Royal Mint, Thomas Simon is one of the finest engravers that Britain has ever known. Producing intricate works on the small canvas of a coin, particularly during an era before powerful coining presses or advanced minting technology, Simon possessed outstanding engraving skills and artistic talent; his work was even acknowledged in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Simon’s Petition Crown is the coin for which many know him best.
The two-coin set will be available to purchase from The Royal Mint’s website.
There will also be a Masterwork 5kg gold two-coin set available for collectors to purchase. Both 5kg gold coins as part of the set have been produced by hand by our uniquely titled Master Toolmaker and presented in bespoke packaging. It would take a total of 400 hours for our master craftspeople to create both coins, using a combination of traditional hand engraving and minting techniques as well as relying on modern precision engraving machines to carefully cut the design into each 5kg solid gold coin. There will only be one set available, making it extremely rare to own and highly sought after.