PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 5, February 3, 2008, Article 23

LONG LIVE BRITANNIA: ROYAL MINT TO REMOVE CLASSIC SYMBOL FROM COINS

[The last British coin to feature the Britannia design is
the current 50 pence coin.  But a planned redesign would
eliminate Britannia, bringing a halt to a centuries-old
tradition.  -Editor]

The image of Britannia, which has graced British coins for
centuries, is to be removed from the 50 pence piece as part
of a redesign by the Royal Mint.

The overhaul of all coinage in April is set to be the biggest
change to British currency since the introduction of
decimalisation more than 35 years ago.

It will be the first time in more than 300 years that
Britannia is not featured on a British coin.

The redesign is the culmination of a competition launched by
the Royal Mint in August 2005 to find new reverse designs.

More than 4,000 designs were received from 526 designers.
After extensive consultation by the Royal Mint's Advisory
Committee, seven designs were chosen that will replace the
traditional designs on seven UK coins.

A Treasury spokesman said: "The new coins will be launched
in the spring in accordance with the end of a long process.
The Queen personally approved the designs, in accordance
with the Royal Mint, and there's a lot of excitement about
the project, for which I'm sure the nation will be equally
proud once they see the product."

The figure of Britannia, created by the Romans as a
personification of the British Isles, which they called
Britanniae, first made her appearance on a British coin
during the reign of Charles II on the copper farthing in 1672.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[The plan to remove Britannia triggered a storm of protests.
Below are excerpts from a story in The Daily Mail, which
sponsored a petition drive against the change. -Editor]

Gordon Brown was under massive pressure last night to reverse
his decision to remove Britannia from the country's coins.

More than 30,000 Mail on Sunday readers and dozens of MPs
have joined our campaign to save the centuries-old symbol
of Britishness.

We have received letters, emails and other messages from
all corners of the UK, as well as the US, Australia, New
Zealand, Thailand, France and Spain.

Yesterday, accompanied by our own "Britannia," we delivered
thousands of them to Downing Street so that Mr Brown could
see for himself the strength of feeling his decision has generated.

The fate of Britannia has struck a chord with people of
all ages and from all walks of life, dismayed at losing
such a potent British symbol.

Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey said: "Ripping up 300 years
of British history is simply not acceptable. I can't understand
why he's doing it and I find it quite depressing. Hasn't he
got anything better to do?"

However, Downing Street and the Royal Mint both insisted
last night that the design overhaul of seven coins, from
the 1p to the 1 coin, would go ahead as planned.

The Britannia for the 50p was designed in the Sixties by
artist Charles Ironside  father of agony aunt Virginia
Ironside. His second wife Jean inspired him by spending
hours posing in their living room clutching a ruler
instead of a trident.

She said: "It was an incredible honour to pose as Britannia.
Britannia and the designs meant everything to Christopher.
When you do a job like that you become part of the history
of the country."

The campaign to save Britannia is set to become one of
the most popular causes in The Mail on Sunday's history.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster