The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint traces its origins to 1279 when England’s mints were unified in the Tower of London. The Mint remained there until it moved across the street in 1812. It later moved to Llantrisant, Wales in 1968. Today, the mint continues to strike coins and medals for both collectors and for circulation not just for Britain, but for other countries as well. Notable contributions beyond those listed above include the medals for the 2012 London Olympics and the production of limited edition coins from the shipwreck of the SS Gairsoppa.
Queen’s Beasts Series
One of the great modern series of The Royal Mint is the Queen’s Beasts. The series began in 2016 with the Lion of England. Issued in gold, silver, platinum, and cupro-nickel, the ten-coin set celebrates the ten creatures that were present in statue form at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. One of the most popular issues in the series to date was the Unicorn of Scotland, a particularly poignant issue given the country’s recent pushes for independence. Many collectors find themselves attracted to this series not just for its stunning and changing designs but also because it gives them the opportunity to complete a diverse set within just a few years.
Wedding Anniversary Coins
In 2017, The Royal Mint celebrated the 70th anniversary of the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The two remain happily married in a storybook romance that is fitting of royals. Gold, silver, and platinum coins, including proofs and piedforts, were issued to mark the occasion. Some British territories, such as the British Virgin Islands, also struck coins for the occasion.
King Edward the Confessor, who ruled from 1042-1066, initiated a tradition in which the sovereign or one of their deputies would distribute alms in the form of coins to select elderly people on Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. The tradition is carried on to this day by Queen Elizabeth II. One of the most famous Maundy Sets was struck in 1900. The 1900 Queen Victoria Maundy Set consists of four coins, a Penny, a Twopence, a Threepence, and a Fourpence. The coins all share the same designs, which consist of an effigy of the monarch on the obverse and the coin’s face value along with a crown and open wreath on the reverse. King Edward VII succeeded Victoria and reigned for nearly a decade. Some King Edward sets are also available here at GovMint.com The sets are considered collectors’ items, as they are part of a tradition that is several times older than many other modern mints.