There is a great illustrated article in the June 13, 2013 CoinsWeekly about the new Royal Mint exhibit at the Tower of London. Here's an excerpt, but be sure to read the whole thing online.
Historic Royal Palaces in partnership with the Royal Mint Museum has launched on May 24, 2013 a new permanent exhibition at the Tower of London. Located on the historic site that was once the country’s Mint for over 500 years (c1279-1812), ‘Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower’, will explore the long history of this institution and its connection to London’s premier fortress.
Visitors will be able to explore five pivotal ‘moments’ from the history of the Mint, including Isaac Newton’s efforts to rid London of counterfeiters, when he was Warden of the Mint. Other stories will chart Edward I’s harsh punishments for people who tampered with his coins, Elizabeth I’s restoration of the coinage following her father Henry VIII’s disastrous meddling, and Charles II’s rejection of Commonwealth money.
Star objects include a rare silver Edward I groat (1279-1307), Henry VIII gold trial plate (1542), and a Charles II petition crown (1663); a coin that was never actually in circulation but was designed by Thomas Simon, formerly Chief Engraver to Oliver Cromwell. Simon was so determined to engrave Charles II’s currency that he sent the king one of these beautiful coins to demonstrate his skills. Yet, despite his efforts, Charles gave the job to Dutchman John Roettiers. Sadly, just three years later, Simon fell victim to the plague and died.
Charles II Petition Crown and Charles II portrait punch
Megan Gooch, Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said: ‘The Tower is widely known as a palace and a prison, and of course the home of the Crown Jewels, but it was also a hive of industry and The Mint was one of these industries, where most of the nation’s coins were made for over 500 years.
E-Sylum reader Philip Mernick sent the following report on the exhibit. Thanks!
Philip Mernick writes:
Regarding your item on the new Royal Mint exhibition at The Tower of London: It left the Tower around 1809 but only moved to Tower Hill, a few hundred yards away.
It didn’t completely leave London until 1975 although its new site at Llantrisant, Wales (10 miles north west of Cardiff) opened in 1968, for the manufacture of Britain’s new decimal coinage.
I saw the new exhibition on its preview day and it certainly is a huge improvement on the previous display in the White Tower. Coincidentally on the 11th Harry & I visited the Royal Mint at Llantrisant as part of a group from the Bexley Coin Club and the Worthing Numismatic Society. We had a comprehensive tour of the manufacturing facilities and also visited the Royal Mint Museum meeting both Dr Kevin Clancy and Graham Dyer.
Our small sub group got to see a variety of interesting items such as the original dies for Pistrucci’s Waterloo medal and dies for striking the 2012 Olympic Games award medals. Also those classic British rarities, 1933 penny and Edward The Eighth patterns.
To read the complete article, see:
Tower of London launches new exhibition on historic Mint
Wayne Homren, Editor
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