The Royal Mint has unveiled the new coin designs for 2017 – with a strong pioneering theme linking them all. These are the themes that will not only appear in circulation in pockets and purses in the UK, but will also be available in annual coin sets in precious metal and base proof finishes. The sets will also feature the definitive coins, and two commemorative £5 coins that reflect on our royal history.
The headliner for 2017 is undoubtedly the new bi-metal 12-sided £1 coin. It incorporates ground-breaking technology and security features developed by The Royal Mint’s in-house team, and will be the most secure coin in the world when it makes its way into the nation’s pockets in March 2017. Its design, by David Pearce, features the flora of the four nations of the UK emerging from a coronet.
The Jane Austen £2 coin celebrates the Hampshire author who in 1811 at the age of 35 had her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, published anonymously, and went on to become one of the best-loved authors in the world.
The First World War Aviation £2 coin remembers The Royal Flying Corps and its contribution to the defence of Britain’s skies in the First World War using new aircraft technology.
The Sir Isaac Newton 50p coin marks the achievements of one-time Master of The Royal Mint, Sir Isaac Newton, who was pivotal in improving assaying techniques and refining weights and measures to an exacting standard never seen before, as well as undertaking pioneering work in the fields of physics and astronomy for which he is more widely known.
One of the two £5 coins in this years’ sets celebrates the House of Windsor – it is a century since our royal family changed their name to Windsor during the First World War.
The second £5 marks 1,000 years since the coronation of King Canute, the Viking Warrior who became the first King of a unified England. It is the first time that a 1,000-year anniversary has been celebrated on a Royal Mint coin.
Dr. Kevin Clancy, Director of the Royal Mint Museum, says: “This is a particularly significant year in Royal Mint history as we welcome in the new 12-sided £1 coin, with its innovative security features. This year we also mark the achievements of Jane Austen, Sir Isaac Newton and The Royal Flying Corps – all pioneers in their own field.
“The two £5 coins tell stories of both our ancient and more current royal history, from the coronation of King Canute 1,000 years ago to the centenary of our current royal family, the House of Windsor, two royal stories we are closely associated with, having made coins for both Canute and our current Queen, and every monarch in between.”
Each of the 2017 UK coins is featured in The Royal Mint’s commemorative annual sets in precious metal and base proof finishes, giving a complete overview of the anniversaries being marked during the year.
The Royal Mint’s 2017 coin designs
The 1000th Anniversary of the Coronation of King Canute 2017 UK £5 Coin – Viking Conqueror, English King
Designer: Lee R. Jones
Long before the Norman Invasion of 1066, Canute the Great crossed the North Sea and seized the throne of England. As a Viking warrior, son of King Swein ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark, Canute captured the English throne from Æthelred II’s son, Edmund ‘Ironside’, at the Battle of Assandun, and began a period of conquest across northern Europe. Canute’s ruling of the North Sea Empire and being crowned ‘king of all England’ are now largely forgotten, although his achievements paved the way for the nation of England we recognise today.
The Centenary of The House of Windsor 2017 UK £5 Coin – a Century of Royal Service
Designer: Timothy Noad
The House of Windsor came into being in July 1917 by proclamation of George V, when the Royal Family gave up the German name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which had come to them in 1840 with the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert. Since then the House of Windsor has produced four monarchs who have reigned over Britain and the Commonwealth for 100 years. From the devastation of the First World War and the break-up of the British Empire, through the Second World War and into the modern media age, they have remained leaders and ambassadors for British values at home and across the world.
The 2017 UK £1 Coin
Designer: David Pearce
This is a special year for UK coinage – it is the year that the new 12-sided £1 coin makes its way into the nation’s pockets. Made from two different metals and including ground-breaking technology developed at The Royal Mint, this new 12-sided coin will be the most secure circulating coin in the world, helping to re-define the world of coinage for the future.
More than one billion of the brand new £1 coins are being struck by The Royal Mint in readiness for the launch into public pockets in March 2017.
The 200th Anniversary of the Death of Jane Austen 2017 UK £2 Coin – A Revolutionary Romantic
Designer: Dominique Evans
The Jane Austen 2017 £2 coin celebrates one of the best-loved authors in the world, 200 years after her death. As a 35-year-old from Hampshire, she saw her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, published anonymously in 1811, after which readers began a love affair with her works which went on to include Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages with almost 100 film and television adaptions taking her works to new heights of fame across the globe.
The First World War Aviation 2017 UK £2 Coin – Before, Beyond, Above
Designer: Tangerine Design
At the outbreak of the First World War few people believed that aircraft would play a major role in the conflict. The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) grew from a force of a few hundred aeroplanes in 1914 into a huge, independent air arm. Its personnel risked their lives testing the new aircraft technology to its limits, and endured the previously unknown effects of altitude, G-forces and freezing temperatures as well as the dangers presented by the war. In 1918 the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force we know today and has defended the skies ever since.
The Sir Isaac Newton 2017 UK 50p Coin – The Pursuit of Truth
Designer: Aaron West
Sir Isaac Newton was an intellectual giant of the 17th century’s ‘scientific revolution’. He also played a vital role as Master of The Royal Mint for over 30 years, helping make Britain’s currency one of the most respected and admired in the world. Renowned for his zeal in tackling counterfeiters, improving assaying techniques and refining weights and measures to an exacting standard never seen before, his report of 1717 paved the way for the introduction of the ‘Gold Standard’ – a system for valuing a nation’s currency still referred to today. Newton used mathematics and rigorous experiments to provide universal descriptions of how nature worked. The coin design is inspired by the scientific theories relating to planets and bodies in space, detailed in Book One of Newton’s Principia Mathematica.
The Premium Medal
The 2017 Premium Medal has been created by Royal Mint coin designer Thomas T. Docherty. As an experienced member of the design team his commissions include the 2008 £2 coin commemorating the centenary of the 1908 London Olympics, his first United Kingdom coin design.
The medal has a strong focus on security, a key area of expertise for The Royal Mint with the introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin into circulation in 2017. The coin has in-built security features aimed at reducing counterfeiting and ensuring the integrity of the coins.
This bimetallic medal has a 12-sided inside edge reflecting the shape of the new £1 coin while the raised platform of the coin is decorated with the themes of 2017 commemorative coins in micro-text, with a frosted appearance.
The Royal Mint Medal
The 2017 Royal Mint Medal has been designed by Kerry Davies. An experienced member of the coin design team, Kerry has worked at The Royal Mint for 11 years. Her commissions include the 2007 50p coin commemorating the centenary of the foundation of the Scouting movement, her first United Kingdom coin design.
Kerry’s design for The Royal Mint Medal celebrates the United Kingdom’s circulating coinage. The simple lines have been created with the aid of computer-aided design (CAD) and each is an exact outline of one of the circulating or commemorative coins, from the 1p to the £5. The outlines are taken from each coin’s technical specification. The medal takes the form of an ingot, an oblong block of metal that is usually cast to create another form, frequently used in minting.
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