16 September 2021
Each day throughout the Festival of Coins we'll be looking into the collections at The Royal Mint Museum and selecting one item with a story to tell…
Florin of 1926
The Royal Mint collection is renowned for its patterns and proofs, unusual items that may seldom surface in the sale rooms and that few collectors will therefore have a chance of seeing.
Included in this fabulous array is an excessively rare uniface pattern florin of George V dated 1926 and which, being uniface, is not to be found in English Silver Coinage.
The coin owes its origins to the search in the mid 1920s for new reverse designs for the silver coins of George V.
As well as the traditional heraldic approach, serious consideration was also given to a series of designs showing floral emblems.
The strong and beautifully composed rendering of the rose on the florin of this series was modelled by Humphrey Paget, then at the start of his brilliant career, from designs supplied by Francis Derwent Wood, Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
The Royal Mint Advisory Committee thought it a promising alternative to heraldry and requested that pattern pieces be struck. Support eventually faded but the survival of this delightful pattern rose florin shows what a series of designs based on flowers could have looked like.