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THE LONDON MINT OFFICE ANNOUNCES A NEW REMASTERED VERSION OF PISTRUCCI’S ORIGINAL COIN DESIGN FIRST SEEN ON THE MODERN SOVEREIGN 200 YEARS AGO DESIGNED BY ANGELA PISTRUCCI - DESCENDANT OF THE ORIGINAL ARTIST

Press Releases   •   Jan 09, 2017 09:00 GMT

​To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the world’s most famous gold coin design, Saint George and the Dragon, which has appeared on many modern sovereigns, The London Mint Office Ltd has launched a classical masterpiece, reborn and redesigned by a family member of the original designer of the modern sovereign.

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Battle of Waterloo Commemorative Medals Raise £200,000 Pounds for Waterloo 200 Charity

Press Releases   •   Jan 22, 2016 11:20 GMT

The London Mint Office is proud to present Waterloo 200 with a donation cheque for £200,272.73.

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GUIDE TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE- The London Mint Office

Press Releases   •   Nov 01, 2017 10:33 GMT

Key findings taken from ‘The Changing Face of Weddings in the United Kingdom’, a study carried out by The London Mint Office in 2017

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WHAT’S ALTERED AT THE ALTAR SINCE THE QUEEN WED PRINCE PHILIP SEVEN DECADES AGO?

Press Releases   •   Nov 01, 2017 10:11 GMT

• ONLY A THIRD OF BRITONS BELIEVE MONOGAMY IS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE • WEDDING TRADITIONS ARE CHANGING, WITH FAMILY ROLES LOSING RELEVANCE AND ONE IN TEN MEN TAKING THEIR WIFE’S SURNAME • ONLY 30% OF MEN NOW ASK FOR PERMISSION FOR THEIR BRIDE’S HAND IN MARRIAGE

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COMIC CON AUDIENCE WILL MARVEL AT NEW LONDON MINT OFFICE COMICOINS

Press Releases   •   Oct 26, 2017 10:11 BST

This weekend’s MCM London Comic Con at the ExCel October 27-29 will feature an absolute must for fans with a limited number of free, official MARVELlous ComiCoins struck by The London Mint Office, the company famous for selling commemorative coins celebrating global historic events and milestones.

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COIN GIFTED TO NATION TO MARK CENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF YPRES

Press Releases   •   Aug 02, 2017 09:53 BST

The London Mint Office is offering a free coin to mark the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele, which began on 31 July 1917 and ultimately became one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

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Pocket Change: Could you be sitting on a small fortune?

Blog posts   •   May 05, 2017 09:00 BST


It is time to check your piggy banks, empty your change jars and look in your wallets

Over the past few weeks we have shared stories of amazing discoveries with you, everything from finding rare coins in toy boxes to digging up hordes of roman treasure in a field. But you also may be carrying something rare without even knowing it. Here are 5 coins that may be in your pocket right now that could brighten your day:

1. The Kew Gardens 50 pence piece.  Struck in 2012, the Kew Gardens 50p is one of the lowest minted of its kind in history.  Totaling a minuscule 200,000 (compared to the average 2 million!) the Kew Gardens 50p was only discovered to be rare in 2015, when collectors cottoned on to its remarkably low mintage. Now high grade examples of this piece can reach highs of up to £50 per coin – 100 times their face value.

2. The ‘undated’ 20 pence piece.  In 2009, 200,000 ‘undated’ 20 pence pieces accidentally entered circulation due to an error.  The date had changed sides of the coin, and coins were accidentally produced using two dies of which neither bore a date.  These coins are famous and popular and can command prices upwards of £100 in good condition.

3.  The ‘silver’ two pence piece is not silver at all.  In actual fact, a small number of two pence pieces were struck in the copper-nickel alloy of the 50p, 20p, 10p and 5p.  This happened by mistake at the Royal Mint.  Only a handful is known.  One sold at auction in 2016 for over £1350.        

                         

4. The early decimal coins (half penny, penny and two pence) of Great Britain featured the word ‘New’ before their denomination – e.g. Two New Pence. All 2p pieces struck before 1982 feature this title.  However, in 1983, a few were minted with the title ‘New Pence’ rather than ‘Two Pence’.  It is not certain how many of these were struck, but they are known to reach highs of over £500 at auction.


5. The 2009 Olympic 50 pence has recently entered the news with reports of this coin being more rare than the Kew Gardens 50 pence coin. The design of this coin  was by Florence Jackson the 9 year old winner of the Blue Peter Competition. Do you have this coin in your collection?


6. The Upside down Queen on the Britannia £2 coin. It has been confirmed that a small handful of these are in circulation, caused by an issue during the striking of the coin. The Britannia is already considered a rare coin as only 650,000 were originally put into circulation with some going for £300+ on various auction sites. Although no offers have been made public, for anyone who possess's the upside down queen it will no doubt bring great interest along with a bigger price tag.- Watch this space!

7. The Jane Austen £5 note. In late 2016, artist and micro-engraver Graham Short engraved a miniature portrait of Jane Austen onto the transparent section of the new Churchill £5 note. It was to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of her death in 2017. Four of these notes have been entered into circulation. It is claimed that each is worth upwards of £50,000. Two have been discovered to date, one of which was given in a Christmas card.

To see if you have a £50,000 fiver - Check the transparent section of the note, with the £ sign!

So what are you waiting for? Go take a look! 


Don't forget to:
 tweet us @mint_office 
Instagram us @mintoffice
to tell us your coin story

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Did a Roman Coin Inspire The Brilliant Design of the British Sovereign?

Blog posts   •   Apr 28, 2017 15:25 BST

Pistrucci’s George and the Dragon – A Classically Inspired Composition?

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Britain’s most famous gold coin, the modern Sovereign. 

With only a few exceptions, every UK Sovereign struck since 1817 has featured the same depiction of St George slaying the dragon. This now iconic design was created by Italian sculptor and engraver Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855) who went on to became Chief Medallist at The Royal Mint.  

St George and the Dragon by Pistrucci appeared on the first modern Sovereign struck in 1817

Pistrucci recalls in his autobiography that he was introduced to Lord and Lady Spencer by Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Royal Society. During their meeting, Pistrucci recorded that;

“Her ladyship … showed me a large model in wax of a St. George, done by Marchant, and said to me: " My husband would like you to make a model in wax, of the same size and subject: but I should like it in the Greek style” as that was the style in which naked figures were done; and the mantle in this beautiful white, would have a superb effect.”

Pistrucci was delighted to accept the commission and produced his first design of Saint George and the Dragon in the ‘Greek style’ as requested.    

Cameo of St George by Nathanial Marchant (left) and the  Cameo produced by Pistrucci in the ‘Greek style’ (right) 

Later, when considering a suitable design for the proposed new gold Sovereign, Pistrucci suggested that the patron Saint of England would be a fitting subject, and this was met with the approval of William Wellesley Pole, Master of The Royal Mint. In addition to appearing on paintings and statues, the legendary battle had featured on coins before. In the twelfth century, for example, a depiction had appeared on coins issued by Roger of Salerno, Regent of Antioch.

However, there is little evidence that Pistrucci was inspired by these medieval depictions of the famous confrontation between the saint and the dragon. Pistrucci’s passion was for the classical, and it was said that he liked to “study Greek originals day and night”.

It is likely that the artist drew inspiration from the collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures from the Parthenon that were saved from destruction by Lord Elgin and are still displayed today at the British Museum.                                          

Detail from the Parthenon marbles depicting riders on horseback

However, the London Mint Office’s new Research and Development Manager Justin Robinson has proposed the theory that another classical work from the ancient world may have inspired the composition of Pistrucci’s iconic design for the Sovereign. 

Between 350 and 353AD much of Western Europe was controlled by the Emperor Magnentius, a former military leader who had seized power from his predecessor Constans in in a coup. Largely forgotten today, Magnentius ruled over Britain, France, Germany and Spain for three years and, in the spirit of most self-made Roman Emperors he began to strike coins bearing his own image. 

It was while Justin was examining ancient coins with numismatist Dominic Chorney that they realised that one of Magnentius’ reverse designs bore a startling resemblance to Pistrucci’s famous masterpiece created 1,500 years later.                     

 Gloria Romanarum, struck during the three year reign of the Emperor Magnentius (350-353AD)

“Gloria Romanorum” (the Glory of Rome) depicts a helmeted rider on horseback fighting a barbarian.   Even to a casual observer the similarities in the composition to Pistrucci’s design for the Sovereign are remarkable;            

  • Both coins depict three figures, a soldier, a horse and a vanquished enemy
  • The soldier is depicted on horseback wearing a helmet with striking plumage
  • The soldier wears a long flowing cloak that billows out behind him
  • The horse is depicted wearing a bridle and rearing up on two legs before the enemy
  • The soldier holds a spear in his right hand
  • The vanquished enemy appears to be falling on his back under the horse
  • The enemy is facing upwards and looking directly at the soldier above him
  • Both coins have a diameter of 22mm

Whilst there is no definitive evidence that Pistrucci saw Magnentius’ Gloria Romanorum, the ancient coin was minted in large quantities and many fine examples have survived to the present day. This means that it is possible that the coin featured in at least one of the private collections of classical antiquities that Pistrucci was shown by his wealthy customers. 

Pistrucci’s autobiography records a meeting he had shortly after arriving in London with a Mr. Knight, “a great connoisseur in gems, cameos, and intaglios, bronzes, statues, medals, and antique vases” who had a “cabinet full of precious things”. This particular meeting ended badly, as Pistrucci identified one of Knight’s prized antiques, “the finest Greek cameo in existence" as being his own work created just six years previously! A furious Knight refused to accept this even though Pistrucci happily prepared new, superior versions to demonstrate his mastery of the craft.

We may never know for sure exactly which elements inspired Pistrucci to create arguably the most famous coin design in history. However, the striking similarities in composition between Magnentius’ Gloria Romanorum and Pistrucci’s St George and the Dragon make it an intriguing possibility that the brilliant nineteenth century Italian artist was inspired on some level by the largely forgotten fourth century Roman emperor to create the enduring masterpiece that still appears on UK Sovereigns struck to this day.

This Year the London Mint Office Commemorated the 200 year anniversary of Benedetto Pistrucci's design with a NEW design by his very own great great great Grandniece Angela Pistrucci- Click here to find out more

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You Drink Fair Trade Coffee, Eat Fair Trade Chocolate- But is your gold Fair Mined?

Blog posts   •   Apr 28, 2017 09:00 BST

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'Quid's In' With The London Mint Office

Blog posts   •   Apr 01, 2017 09:00 BST

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P.R & Events Manager for the London Mint Office

About The London Mint Office

Expert in Coins

The London Mint Office was established in 2006 and since that time has become the UK market leader in the provision of collector coins and medals.

Situated in the heart of London’s business centre and managed by Greg Prosser, The London Mint Office aims to provide its customers with a comprehensive range of products, ranging from world-renowned Sovereigns to the innovative Changing Faces collection of circulation coinage, and an unparalleled level of collector service.

The London Mint Office is a member of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) in the UK and is an official distributor for many national mints, including the Royal Mint.

The London Mint Office has helped to support a number of UK charities through the sale of numismatic products including Help for Heroes, The Diana Award and The Imperial War Museum and was also an official licensee for The London 2012 Olympic Games.

Address

  • The London Mint Office
  • 1 Carew Street
  • London SE5 9DF
  • England