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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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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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The London Mint Office- Taking The Fair By Storm

Blog posts   •   Feb 04, 2017 09:00 GMT

The World Money Fair 2017

Now the biggest coin event across the globe, World Money Fair is the ultimate event to visit for coin enthusiasts of any level. Whether starting off with your first coin or you 500th coin, it is a great chance to meet people from all walks of life interested in the fascinating world of coins.

But where did the World’s biggest coin fair start its journey?

History of World Money Fair

It All Started With the Silver Crisis in The 1960s...

With the historic boom in the price of precious metals in the mid-sixties, coin collecting attracted greater interest worldwide. True to the motto of the English economist Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579), “Bad money drives out good money”, coin clubs were founded worldwide and invited their members to collectors’ meetings and recommended hoarding coins whose metal value was above the market value, as a stable form of investment.

January 22nd 1972 in Basel Northwest Switzerland saw the first international coin event took place using the guidelines of the OEMB, later establishing itself as the Basel Coin Fair attracting a variety of visitors interested in classic coin exchange. This ran successfully for 10 years. To mark its 10th anniversary the Royal Canadian Mint was the first mint to take part in an international coin exchange in 1981 as a gap in the market was seen with there being no direct contact between international mints and European collectors. There is now a place for industry professionals to be able to communicate with coin collectors of all levels, and a place for people to come and learn about products and collecting. (Click here for more on the history of the fair

The Unveiling of the London Mint Office Sovereign: An Iconic Design Remastered


As leading industry professionals the London Mint Office attend World Money Fair each year to inspire, promote and interact with the coin world. 2017 however is a very special year for the London Mint Office as it was revealing its brand new 2017 Sovereign design of George & the Dragon by Angela Pistrucci, great great great grandniece to the late Benedetto Pistrucci who designed the original Sovereign.  

London Mint Office: Sovereign Design Cast
Cast of the London Mint Office Sovereign 2017 Design

As part of the Samlerhuset reception at World Money Fair we at the London Mint Office were very proud to reveal our new 2017  St George & the Dragon design, an iconic design remastered by artist Angela Pistrucci (Click Here to see the full story on the design).

The reception was kick started by a talk from one of the Samlerhuset founders Ole Bjørn Fausa who warmly welcomed everyone and went on to talk about the exciting development of the modern Sovereign Design.

Ole Bjørn Fausa at the Samlerhuset Reception

Ole interviewed a variety of guests on the amazing new design including:

Raphael Maklouf- Legendary Master Sculptor best known for designing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II used on the coins of many Commonwealth nations, spoke with Ole on the development of the Sovereign over the years:

The honorable Joseph Bossano MP then took to the stage with pure excitement over the design and love for the heritage of Gibraltar and its commemoration of coins:

During the Media Forum the Minister went on to say:

“We are very lucky that the coin that Gibraltar has issued 200 years later has been designed by a descendent of Pistrucci – Angela Pistrucci … There will now be a St George and the Dragon that belongs to England and a St George and the Dragon that belongs to Gibraltar”- The honorable Joseph Bossano MP. 

With so many kind words Angela Pistrucci  took to the stage, welled up with joy and a sense of pride, she talked about her journey of her heritage and design

"A truly wonderful evening for not only the London Mint Office but also an exciting event for the Coin industry with the first St George and the Dragon design from the Pistrucci family in 200 years"- Tony Chilcott Senior Project Manager London Mint Office. 


A Proud Moment for All Involved.

Later during the fair Angela was kind enough to talk more about her journey and even gave a heartwarming speech about her emotional time during the project as well as the future of the Pistrucci family within the coin world (Originally recorded LIVE to Facebook):


Other High lights from the World Money Fair:

The Kruggerrand 50th Anniversary

On July 3, 1967 the South African Mint in Pretoria issued the first Krugerrand coins. These coins could be used as circulation money; however, they did not bear a nominal value. Instead, the exchange rate at which South African banks traded Krugerrand coins was fixed daily, according to the price of gold. So, from the start the Krugerrand was conceived as a bullion coin of changing value (Click here to read more).

Rhys Williams- Project Manager London Mint Office

A particular highlight for me was meeting representatives from the South African Mint who I will be working with closely over the next few months as part of the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand. I attended the launch event at the South African Embassy and also the gala dinner celebrating the South African Mint as guests of honour at the fair”- Rhys Williams, Project Manager


The World Money Fair Media Forum

"The media forum on Friday morning took place in the Estrel’s large conference auditorium, and was well attended.  It presents the Mints attending the Fair with an opportunity to showcase their forthcoming coins and new technologies. This year, the Fair was honoured to have the Finance Minister for Gibraltar who spoke at length about the new Gibraltar Sovereign, I thoroughly enjoyed this and took a lot from it" – Justin Robinson, Research & Development Manager

The World Money Fair each year jumps from strength to strength and we at the London Mint Office are overjoyed to attend each year to network with other coin lovers from around the world.

Enjoyed this Blog? Click Here to find out more about our 2017 Sovereign Coin


By Scott Wilson
PR, Social Media & Events Manager

For more on the London Mint Office why not check out our Instagram Account?

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THE LONDON MINT OFFICE WINS A BRONZE STEVIE® AWARD IN 2016 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS

Press Releases   •   Aug 15, 2016 10:10 BST

James Deeny, CEO at The London Mint Office, said, “The Waterloo 200 campaign was successful thanks to tremendous support from our partners and incredibly hard work by many people from PR, design, marketing, sales and customer service, not only in the UK, but across many of the markets in which we operate".

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The London Mint Office Wins a Prestigious Award

Blog posts   •   Aug 12, 2016 16:27 BST

With most of the nation’s medal winning attention being focused on the Olympics at the moment, The London Mint Office are delighted to have found out that we have won our own ‘gong’ - a Bronze Stevie® Award in the 13th Annual International Business Awards.

This is the culmination of a huge year-long campaign which ran during 2014-2015 as part of the commemorations for the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.  You may remember that a fantastic selection of commemorative medals and coins were issued to mark the anniversary, many of which were produced by Worcestershire Medal Service, medallist of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The proceeds from the sale raised over £200,000 in much-need charitable funds for Waterloo 200, the government-backed organisation that was tasked with building awareness of this major historic milestone through educational programmes and events.

The official Waterloo 200 product range included the Pistrucci medal, a legendary medal in numismatic circles’ which was created for the first time, despite having been designed by renowned engraver, Bernadetto Pistrucci, almost 200 years ago.  Ambassadors representing the Allied Forces at The Battle attended a VIP event at Apsley House in London, home to the Duke of Wellington, where they were each presented with the Pistrucci medal on behalf of their countries.

500,000 free bronze Waterloo Campaign Medals were also released to the UK public, giving people the chance to own their own piece of history – the Waterloo Campaign Medal holds much historical significance as it was the first time in British history that a medal was issued by the British Government to all soldiers present in a battle, regardless of rank. Prior to this, medals presented to participants in battle maintained a sense of the army hierarchy in the metal used – gold for generals and senior officers, silver-gilt for field officers and general staff, silver for captains and subalterns, bronze for native commissioned and European non-commissioned officers, and tin for privates.

In addition, The London Mint Office created our own piece of history by creating and installing the Waterloo Memorial at Waterloo Station in central London on behalf of Waterloo 200. It was the first UK war memorial to honour all of the Allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo. As a fitting centrepiece, the Memorial featured a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal, depicting Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory and cast in solid bronze to a diameter of 65cm. 

We are enormously proud that our campaign has now received such prestigious international recognition as it was a major undertaking, with success coming from the tremendous support of our partners and incredibly hard work of all our staff.  This is especially true when we understand that there were more than 3,800 entries to the Awards from more than 40 nations and territories.

However, even more exciting than the Award was the incredible support we had from our customers who collected the Waterloo commemorative products. Without you, the campaign would not have been possible – so a particularly big thank you goes out to all our loyal collectors who bought our Waterloo 200 commemorative products.

And if you missed out last year, it’s not too late – there are still some medals and coins available HERE

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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