Coin and medal experts, The London Mint Office along with medallists to the Queen, Worcestershire Medal Service, will be providing a unique treasure chest as part of The New Waterloo Dispatch, a ceremonial re-enactment of the journey that the Duke of Wellington’s message of victory over Napoleon took from the Waterloo battlefield to the Prince Regent at St James’s Square.
The Waterloo Treasure Chest will contain gold and silver medals and coins, all of which have historic significance relating to the Battle of Waterloo. They will travel from the Waterloo battlefield on Friday 19th June, accompanying a presentation document celebrating the Battle of Waterloo’s lasting legacy of peace and replicas of the two Imperial Eagles and Standards that were captured from the French armies and brought to London in the original Waterloo Dispatch. The journey will be made by two accurately dressed re-enactors playing the roles of Major Henry Percy and Commander James White RN who carried the original victory message, travelling in a horse-drawn post chaise.
Once the Waterloo Treasure Chest arrives at St James’s on Sunday 21st June, each medal and coin will receive a certificate signed by Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter and Tim Cooke, Co-Chairmen of Waterloo 200, to confirm that they travelled on the New Waterloo Dispatch to London, exactly 200 years after the original journey. These limited edition medals and coins will then be available for purchase by the public, with a proportion of the sales being donated to Waterloo 200 to fund its ongoing education programme.
Amongst the historic products in the Waterloo Treasure Chest are:
- Benedetto Pistrucci’s world famous Waterloo Medal made in pure 99.9% silver and weighing 2kg. This medal is a Waterloo legend, having been designed by master engraver Pistrucci for the sovereigns of the Allied Forces that ended Napoleon’s reign. It was so complex and large (139mm diameter) that it was never produced in its intended size and given to the planned recipients – until The London Mint Office and Worcestershire Medal Service produced it for the first time as part of the Waterloo bicentenary commemorations. One of these medals has been received by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her private collection.
- A stunning £10 coin in pure gold, featuring the two opposing generals that fought at Waterloo – the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte – forms the centrepiece of the strictly limited edition Philatelic Numismatic Cover (PNC). The PNC also includes the official Belgian stamp for the commemoration depicting the Iron Duke and will be stamped at the Waterloo battlefield on 18th June 2015, the 200th anniversary of the Battle.
- The Waterloo Campaign Medal, probably the most important British medal of all time, in both silver and bronze. This medal has historical significance as it was the first medal produced whereby soldiers of every rank were to be given the same medal made out of the same metal. Prior to this medals had been made to reflect military hierarchies, with gold medals given to generals down to tin medals given to privates. The Duke of Wellington originally commissioned it to be created in bronze, but it was eventually made in silver.
James Deeny, Managing Director at The London Mint Office, says, “It’s very exciting to have our Waterloo Treasure Chest on board The New Waterloo Dispatch. So far, the medals we have produced for the Waterloo bicentenary have really captured the imagination with hundreds of thousands ordering them to date. The limited number of coins and medals taking part on this historic journey will provide collectors with a one-off opportunity to buy a real piece of history.”
The New Waterloo Dispatch is one of a number of initiatives around the Waterloo bicentenary which has seen Waterloo 200, The London Mint Office and Worcestershire Medal Service working in partnership. This has included 500,000 bronze Waterloo Campaign medals being given away free to UK households. There are still a number of these medals available here and limited to one per household, providing another way for UK citizens to own their own piece of Waterloo history and remember the soldiers who fought for them two hundred years ago.
About The London Mint Office Limited: The London Mint Office is a trusted and respected partner for a large number of British coin collectors. Gold, silver and other precious metals have fascinated mankind for many centuries, making coin collecting a popular hobby the world over. The London Mint Office is at the centre of British numismatics, bringing the fascinating world of coin collecting to both existing and new collectors. Together with our sister organisations across Europe, The London Mint Office provides a wide range of coins from ancient to modern, originating from virtually every country in the world. Visit www.londonmintoffice.org for more information.
About Waterloo 200: Waterloo 200 is an umbrella organisation approved and supported by Government to oversee the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It can bestow official status upon organisations that it feels would make a valuable contribution to the commemorations and, indeed, the general good of the countries involved. In 2009 Waterloo 200 Ltd was granted charitable status. Waterloo200.org.
About New Waterloo Dispatch: The New Waterloo Dispatch is part of Waterloo 200. Its website can be found at theNWD.org.uk.
About Worcestershire Medal Service: Worcestershire Medal Service is one of the largest suppliers of State Honours in the UK. Granted a Royal Warrant as Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen in 2008, it is best known for the Diamond Jubilee Medal issued in 2012. Its sister organisation, Gladman & Norman, designed and produces the Elizabeth Cross. It currently supplies UK insignia ranging from the GCB to the BEM as well as awards to countries in Asia, Middle East and the Caribbean. It is this production heritage that lead Waterloo 200 to choose Worcestershire Medal Service as its production partner. Visit www.worcmedals.com for more information.