It’s common knowledge among Change Checkers that The Royal Mint strikes all the coins in the United Kingdom – and has done for centuries.
But what may come as a surprise to many collectors is The Royal Mint has historically struck coins for a variety of countries around the world!
Currently, outside of the UK, The Royal Mint provides services for over 60 different countries, including New Zealand and many Caribbean nations.
In the past, The Royal Mint has struck coins for North and South America, Africa and the Middle East!
In this blog, we take a look at our Top Five most interesting world coins struck by our very own UK Royal Mint and the stories behind them.
“From Norway to New Zealand, from Bermuda to Brunei, coins have been struck at The Royal Mint for countries all over the world.”
– The Royal Mint Museum
New Brunswick 1861 Half-Cent
Across the 18th and 19th centuries The Royal Mint, which was then based in London, minted several coins for North American states and the Caribbean.
Interestingly, in 1861 a half-cent coin, made of bronze, was minted for New Brunswick. More than 200,000 of these half-cent coins were struck, even though the denomination wasn’t actually needed.
It is said these coins were struck as a misunderstanding at The Royal Mint (that’s quite a misunderstanding!) and the majority of these were melted down. However, there has been reports that a lucky few coins have survived!
Norway 1942 25 Aurar
Many Change Checkers might be familiar with some of the coins struck by the UK Royal Mint throughout the Second World after reading our blog featuring coins struck in the UK for Iceland.
In addition to this a coinage was undertaken in the Second World War for the Norwegian government in anticipation of the country’s liberation from occupying forces.
Made out of Nickel-Brass and shipped to Norway ready for their liberation, this could have been one of the most exciting Norwegian coins in circulation.
However, the coin was never issued and the large majority of these were returned to The Royal Mint a few years later and melted down.
Nigeria 1959 Shilling
This Nigerian Shilling was made out of Cupro-Nickel, the same composition we are familiar with on modern United Kingdom 50 pence coins.
With an order of more than 1,000 million pieces for this new, distinctive Nigerian coinage, this is by far the largest international coin order The Royal Mint had ever received – quite the honour!
Hong Kong 1863 Mil
Introduced in 1863, the Hong Kong Mils were the first-ever perforated coins to be produced at The Royal Mint.
Perforated coins usually refer to coins which have a hole punched through the middle.
To date, although The Royal Mint have produced this style of coins for several other nations including East Africa, the United Kingdom has never had a perforated coin in their tender.
Australia 1951 Penny
Demand for Australian coinage in 1951 exceeded the capacity of the Brand Mints in Melbourne and Perth, and so the UK Royal Mint was approached for assistance.
Interestingly, the Australian coinage pieces struck in London are distinguishable by the addition of the tiny letters ‘PL’ which recalls a mintmark used by the UK Mint in Roman times.
So, there we have it! Our Top Five most interesting coins struck by the UK Royal Mint for countries around the world!
These coins tell quite the story of The Royal Mint’s long and important history in world coinage.
If you have any exciting coins from around the world or stories you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below!
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