Royal Mint at Tower of London | Silver Coins

Royal Mint at Tower of London

Walking on Mint Street

WHEN most of us think of the Royal Mint we can be forgiven for conjuring up images of an industrial plant in Wales churning out shiny coins by the bin load, of BU sets given to proud new parents, of Proof sets eagerly bought each year or commemoratives celebrating this, that and every thing else. Today’s Royal Mint doesn’t just create the coin of the realm (or realms—they Mint coins for other nations also) but is a commercial business feeding a market that has gone far beyond simple numismatics and, as such, is usually not even deemed by these who don’t collect new concerns. Couple of of us cease to truly feel about the history of the Mint, what it has brought us more than the years and how it evolved into the coin production business it is in the 21st century. A new permanent exhibition at the Tower of London aims to change that.

The exhibition, the brainchild and passion of Dr Megan Gooch erstwhile of the British Museum (BM) and now of Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) and identified to numerous of us by way of her work with the British Association of Numismatic Societies and her excellent talks (most recently at the Harrogate Show in March), aims to show guests to the Tower of London that the fortress was far much more than a prison or a castle and that, in truth, it was the hub of English coin production for over 500 years, anything even devoted coin collectors at times forget. John Andrew’s post on page 35 provides a modest insight into the exhibition which I won’t spoil for you here but I would like to add to it by providing my private view point. The little space (in a creating on Mint Street, the street around the perimeter of the Tower that after rang to the sound of moneyers striking coins) that the Tower has given over to Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower does not enable this to be the biggest numismatic exhibition in the world, you won’t find vast numbers of coins on display and, as it is aimed at the common public, nor will you necessarily discover a lot numismatically that you didn’t already know. This is not the Funds Gallery at the BM, nor the Royal Mint Museum (even though each helped with this new exhibition by loaning some stunning pieces), even so, in my opinion it is nicely worth a go to. You will find out some factors, or at least far more about what you believe you currently know (Isaac Newton’s battle with counterfeiters for instance, or why the Mint lastly moved from the Tower) but a lot more than that you will get the opportunity to see some things few outdoors museums have had a possibility to see just before. The Petition Crown and wonderful accompanying video is an undoubted highlight, as is the marvellous pair of Charles II die punches and the trial plates. These are not pieces you will have had a lot opportunity to get close to up until now and I would suggest that you genuinely need to if you can. Sadly, it isn’t low cost to get into the Tower and if you do go then make confident you take in every thing not just this exhibition (the Crown Jewels can not be missed, the Armoury is gorgeous) but whatever you do don’t go to the Tower without checking out the small home and its treasures. I know I sound a lot like an advert for HRP right here and I don’t mean to (I’m not on a retainer right here honestly) but possessing observed some simply amazing numismatic pieces that in all the years I have been in this job I never thought I would get a opportunity to see I want to share that with our readers. As I stated this isn’t the most significant coin exhibition in the globe, it won’t necessarily take your breath away and as a coin collector you could properly bemoan the inevitable “tourist” really feel to some of it but if you pass up the possibility to see what is on show you will regret it—and if nothing at all else you will at least rediscover that the Royal Mint is far far more than baby sets and bullion, it is an institution with a lengthy and distinguished heritage that has given us some of the most lovely coins in the world—many of them created proper there in Mint Street over the centuries. Make a day of it, see the other things the Tower has to provide and you’ll come away happy—I’ll be quite surprised if you don’t!
Token Publishing

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