The Royal Mint has revealed its key themes for commemorative coins in 2016.
As well as coins marking 400 years of Shakespeare’s literary legacy,150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter, and 950 years since the Battle of Hastings, the Royal Mint’s 5-year programme of commemoration marking the centenary of World War 1 continues with a £2 coin remembering the Pals’ battalions, when team mates, friends, neighbours and colleagues served side by side to defend their country (such as the City of London Battalion, Gazette issue 28881).
The notice of the proclamation (Gazette notice 2418760) describes the coin, pictured above right, as a ‘stylised silhouette of the heads of three soldiers and references the English cubism movement prevalent around the time of the First World War with the inscription “THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918”, and the date of the year. The said coin will have graining on the edge and in incuse letters the inscription “FOR KING AND COUNTRY”, save for the gold coin where the incuse letters will be accompanied by a plain edge’.
In addition, the Great Fire of London, an event that changed the face of Britain’s capital city, and described in Gazette issue 85 as a ‘lamentable accident of Fire’, is to have its 350th anniversary commemorated on a £2 coin.
In 1666, the Great Fire of London started in a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane. The Royal Mint, then based in the Tower of London, was saved from the flames by the demolition of houses that lay in the path of the fire. The £2 coin, pictured right, depicts ‘a view across the River Thames of the City of London in flames with boats fleeing the burning city with the inscription “1666 THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON 2016”. The said coin will have graining on the edge and in incuse letters the inscription “THE WHOLE CITY IN DREADFUL FLAMES”, save for the gold coin where the incuse letters will be accompanied by a plain edge’ (Gazette notice 2418760).
The Royal Mint has been making official military campaign medals since it was commissioned to make awards for soldiers who fought in the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The Queen’s 90th birthday will be commemorated with a £5 coin, inspired by the heraldic rose of England and the Queen’s own love of roses (Gazette notice 3418758).
2016 is also the year of the last ’round pound’, with the new 12-sided £1 being introduced in 2017.
Find out more at www.royalmint.com