By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
The Royal Mint has an end-of-the-year surprise for you.
On December 27, the venerable institution unveiled a new, limited-edition £100 silver coin featuring the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London–otherwise known as “Big Ben”*–on the reverse.
This is the first time the Mint has issued a coin specifically for New Year’s. According to Director of Commemorative Coin, Bullion and Medals Shane Bissett, the iconic clock tower was a perfect fit for the coin since Big Ben is such a familiar part of many people’s New Year celebrations around the world.
The commemorative consists of two ounces of .9999 fine silver and is also the first coin from the UK with a face value of £100 that will be sold at face value. Additionally, it’s one of the last coins from the Royal Mint to feature the fourth main portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley (View Designer’s Profile) and first used in 1998. A fifth portrait is set for release later next year, with the design to be chosen by a competition supervised by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC). Select designers will be invited to compete.
Royal Mint engraver Glyn Davies created the portrayal of “Big Ben” on the reverse. His intention, he said, was to portray the tower from the street-level perspective most people have of the London landmark.
The coin is set to go on sale Monday, December 29. Click here or on the link below to visit the Royal Mint’s online store.
Only 50,000 will be made.
*Technically it’s called the Elizabeth Tower; “Big Ben” is the name of its bell.