- Stack’s Bowers to offer Royal Mint Trial of the Pyx coins at auction in February 2024
- This is the first time that coins submitted to the 700-year-old Trial have ever been offered in a public sale
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In a historic first for The Royal Mint, the company is teaming up with Stacks Bowers Galleries for the February 2024 auction of coins tested in the annual Trial of the Pyx, a traditional British ceremony with over 700 years of history.
What Is the Trial of the Pyx?
The public Trial of the Pyx is among the oldest judicial ceremonies in the United Kingdom, dating back to 1282. The purpose of the Trial is to serve as an independent form of quality control of the nation’s coinage, ensuring compliance with the weight, diameter, composition, and design standards established by the Coinage Act 1971.
The Royal Mint submits a sample of the coins that it struck the previous year to a jury consisting of members of the Goldsmiths’ Company in the City of London. While in session, the jury is a formal court of law, summoned by the senior judge of the Royal Courts of Justice–otherwise known as the Royal Remembrancer. The coins are then weighed and counted, and a smaller selection is set aside for analysis by the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, which checks the purity of the precious metals the coins contain.
Final results are then reported to the Royal Remembrancer and a verdict is announced, either confirming or denying the quality of The Royal Mint’s output. The entire process has a deadline of two months.
The following video presents an outline of the process:
Highlights from the Stack’s Bowers Trial of the Pyx Auction
Included in this sale–the first time ever that coins submitted to the Trial of the Pyx have been sold at public auction–are various silver, gold, and platinum coins produced in 2022. Entries in the popular Sovereign and Britannia series will be offered, as will numismatic products honoring pop-cultural icons like Harry Potter, James Bond, and coins from the Music Legends series.
One interesting aspect of the sale is the fact that the coins involved span the changeover from one monarch to the next. Collectors will have a chance to obtain coins celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, as well as the gold 5 oz 2022 Britannia Proof, the gold 5 oz 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Proof, and the platinum £5 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Proof Piedfort coin.
Another aspect that bidders will appreciate is that every coin that undergoes the Trial of the Pyx is imprinted with an evaluation mark that immediately sets them apart from other coins in their respective series.
An Evolving Partnership
Of course, this is not the first time Stack’s Bowers and The Royal Mint have collaborated on a special offering. On August 21, 2023, Stack’s Bowers Galleries earned more than $5.1 million USD in their sale of the Royal Succession Sovereign and Britannia bullion coins representing the last coins struck with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II and the first coins struck with the effigy of King Charles III. High bidder interest resulted in 100% of the 690 total lots selling, with the very last gold 1 oz Britannia struck under Queen Elizabeth II garnering an auction high of $50,000.
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