Shield of Royal Arms to feature on first new design in 40 years
The Royal Mint today unveiled innovative new designs to feature on the reverse of seven of the United Kingdom’s coins.
Chosen through a public competition that attracted more than 4,000 entries, the coins feature different details of the Shield of the Royal Arms and when placed together, will reveal the complete shield of arms.
This is the first new design to feature on many of the coins in more than forty years, and the first time a single design has been used across a range of coins in this way. The coins are expected to enter circulation gradually from this summer, featuring alongside the current 27 billion coins currently in circulation, including the more than 800 million 50p coins featuring Britannia.
The reverse side of the £1 coin will also show the complete Shield of the Royal Arms, with the front of the coins continuing to bear the existing portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. The £2 coin will remain unchanged.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle MP said:
“The response to the public competition for new coin designs was overwhelming, and my congratulations go to Matthew Dent, whose innovative designs were chosen from over 4000 entries. His designs, which interpret the traditional theme of heraldry in a contemporary way, will be seen and used by millions of people across the United Kingdom.”
Andrew Stafford, Chief Executive of the Royal Mint said:
“I am delighted with the new coins which have been beautifully designed. They are contemporary yet retain the gravitas and reference to history required for the United Kingdom’s coins.”
The coins’ designer Matthew Dent, 26, is from Bangor in North Wales, and now lives and works in London as a graphic designer. He said:
“For designs of mine to appear on a medium as significant and prestigious as the United Kingdom’s coinage and to be produced and circulated in millions is a tremendous honour.
“I primarily want my new designs to intrigue, to entertain and to raise a smile. I love to think that they may be enjoyed as much by children at school as by folks in a pub.”
Sir Christopher Frayling, Chair of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the Design of Coins, Medals, Seals and Decorations said:
“Every designer’s dream is to make an impact on people’s lives and Matthew Dent has achieved this at a very early stage of his career. These designs are certain to become classics in the history of coinage and I predict that they will have a very long shelf life.”
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About the Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is a department of government and its primary responsibility remains the provision of the United Kingdom coinage. Its reputation, however, extends beyond this and internationally it has a reputation for making some fascinating coins for over 100 countries.
The history of the Royal Mint itself stretches back over 1100 years. There is an unbroken link from the scattered workshops of the moneyers of Anglo-Saxon London to a single mint within the Tower of London, from a purpose-built premises at Tower Hill to the huge modern coining plant in South Wales.
In April 1975 the Mint was established as a Government Trading Fund, operationally very similar to a government-owned company.