By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Building on the success of the 2021 Mayflower 400th Anniversary medals and coinage, the United States Mint and The Royal Mint have announced a new collaborative product. The Chief Engravers of both mints have collaborated on coin designs for an upcoming 2024 Liberty and Britannia program.
As the name suggests, the new coins will feature depictions of both Lady Liberty from U.S. coinage and the personification of Britannia from English coinage together in the same design for the first time.
“This occasion marks the first time that the Chief Engravers of both mints have collaborated on a single design,” said United States Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “The combination of their artistic talents has resulted in a truly unique design that will surely be a collecting standout. Our hope is that this project expands the reach of both mints and leads to more opportunities for growth between our institutions.”
Interestingly, while both Liberty and Britannia are symbols of their respective countries, the pair seem diametrically opposed. Britannia typically is understood to represent imperial power while Liberty is usually interpreted as representing freedom from such tyranny.
But the artistic collaboration between U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna and Royal Mint Chief Engraver Gordon Summers is meant to symbolize the special relationship the two countries have nurtured since the end of World War II. Neither allegorical figure is depicted as dominant over or subordinate to the other. Design elements clearly identify Liberty and Britannia; Liberty holds the torch of freedom and enlightenment and is decorated with stars, and Britannia wears an ancient Greek military helmet and brandishes a trident to symbolize her naval power on the seas. Inscriptions have not been specified as of this writing, but they will be standard for each nation’s coinage.
“I am delighted that our two great institutions have collaborated on this project, resulting in such an exquisite design, and making numismatic history by collaborating on a reverse design for the first time,” said Royal Mint Chief Commercial Officer Nicola Howell. “The combined expertise of our Chief Engravers has resulted in something very special for customers across the world. Further to the design, the product available from The Royal Mint will be across both commemorative and bullion, offering customers the option to purchase a stunning collectable as well as offering an investment opportunity. As The Royal Mint grows its prominence in the U.S., this is an ideal opportunity for us to embrace the wants and needs of our international customers as we work with our counterpart across the Atlantic.”
Both mints will release exclusive numismatic products featuring this design later in 2024.
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