Royal Mint


the historic Royal Mint building at the Tower Hill
the historic Royal Mint building at the Tower Hill, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Royal Mint is the oldest mint in the world and produces all the coinage for the United Kingdom. That includes circulation coins, precious metal bullion coins, numismatic and commemorative coins. It also produces military and commemorative medals as well as coins and coin blanks for many other countries. The Royal Mint prides itself for being the largest and most advanced minting facility in the world. As the world's leading export mint it manufactures coins for about 60 countries each year. The Royal Mint is registered as a limited company that is wholly owned by the United Kingdom's Treasury (HM Treasury).

Minting Facilities

The Royal Mint is located in a 13-hectare (35 acre) facility in Llantrisant (Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan) in South Wales. Guided tours of the Royal Mint Museum at this location need to be pre-arranged. Individual visits of the museum will be possible in the future once construction of a new visitor center has been completed. The mint mark of the Royal Mint in Llantrisant is a cross crosslet but it is rarely used.

historic coining press used in the Royal Mint
historic coining press used in the Royal Mint, via Wikimedia Commons.

History

A London mint started operating sometime after 650 AD. During the reign of Alfred the Great (871-899 AD) it started to become more important. By about 1279, the mint had moved to the Tower of London where it remained for the next 500 years. Between 1810 and 1812, the Royal Mint gradually moved to newly constructed buildings on Little Tower Hill. This new site was reconstructed and extended in the 1880's and then again at the turn of the century. Increasing demand for coinage necessitated nearly constant rebuilding and expansion of the mint facility. Even before the Tower Hill site of the Royal Mint had reached its production capacity in 1971, a new Royal Mint in Llantrisant had already been opened by the Queen on the 17th of December 1968. The Royal Mint in London continued to operate until November 1975 when its last coin, a gold sovereign, was struck. The new mint in Llantrisant ran a full range of minting activities by then. The Royal Mint in Llantrisant was registered as a limited company on the 31st of December 2009. Royal Mint Ltd. is wholly owned by the United Kingdom's Treasury (HM Treasury).

Popular Gold Bullion Coins

The Royal Mint's most popular coin is the Gold Britannia. It is available in the denominations of 1 oz (100 Pounds face value) and 1/4 oz (25 Pounds face value). In 2014, the Royal Mint started a new coin series (the Shēngxiào Collection) in gold and silver that is dedicated to the Chinese Lunar Year. It depicts the Chinese zodiac animal for the year of mintage and is sure to become a favorite with investors and collectors alike.

The Royal Mint's most famous historic coin is undoubtedly the English Gold Sovereign. It was minted from 1489 until 1604. The Sovereign was revived as a British gold coin in 1816/1817 and is still being produced today.


British Gold Britannias

produced since 1987
in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz
99.99% gold

reverse side of the British Gold Britannia coin
obverse side of the British Gold Britannia coin

British Gold Sovereigns

modern Sovereign minted since 1817
denominations of ‎£5, ‎£2, ‎£1, ‎£0.5, ‎£0.25
91.67% gold and 8.33% copper

reverse side of the British Gold Sovereign coin
obverse side of the 2015 British Gold Sovereign coin

British Lunar Gold coins

limited annual mintage
in 5 oz, 1 oz and 1/10 oz
99.99% gold

reverse side of the 2016 British Lunar Gold coin
obverse side of the 2016 British Lunar Gold coin