12 October 2020
For the first time in its 1,100 year history, the Royal Mint has unveiled a special £5 coin in commemoration of itself, and the story of Britain’s coinage.
The coin was created in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity responsible for the care of the Tower of London and 5 other unique heritage sites - and is the third in a collection of four commemorative Tower of London coins documenting the iconic landmark’s history.
The Royal Mint is the original maker of UK coins and can trace its history back to the time of Alfred the Great, however in 1279 it found a home in The Tower of London when Edward I decreed that minting should take place at Britain’s most secure location.
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The Royal Mint coin design pays tribute to these origins, and features a replica Edward I penny - one of the first coins struck at the Tower - set against a Norman arched window from the White Tower.
The reverse design features a special Tower mint mark, which can also be found on the other coins within The Tower of London collection. The coin was designed by heraldic artist, Timothy Noad.
During its 500 year tenure at the Tower of London, The Royal Mint grew from a small workshop to factory buildings within the Tower’s Mint Street. With various monarchs reigning over the mint throughout the centuries, The Royal Mint was in the centre of some of the country’s biggest power struggles, as well as home to some of the countries most celebrated icons; such as Sir Isaac Newton, who was once ‘Master of the mint’.
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said:
“This is the first time that we’ve celebrated the story of UK coins on a coin, and it pays homage to centuries of designers, innovators and makers at The Royal Mint.
“Following on from our coins commemorating the White Tower and the Royal Menagerie, it feels fitting that the third coin in our Tower of London series honours the 500-year residency of The Royal Mint. During that time pioneers such as Sir Isaac Newton helped revolutionise the way we use gold and money, with techniques and innovations that are still used today.
“As the original maker of UK coins, we can trace our unique history back centuries, and although we call South Wales home today - the Tower of London will always hold special significance as the place our story began.”
Emma Saunders, Head of Brand Licensing and Business Development at Historic Royal Palaces commented:
“It couldn’t be more fitting for The Royal Mint to continue their successful Tower of London licensed collection with Historic Royal Palaces by celebrating the institution’s own past as a part of Tower life. It has been a pleasure for our curators and experts to collaborate on this project to commemorate a joint history of such national significance.”
Read more about Royal Mint coins