It’s been more than 10 years since Matthew Dent redesigned the UK’s definitive coins to create the Royal Shield of Arms design, but there are still some people who don’t actually realise that these coins can be pieced together to complete the shield.
Dent’s design was chosen by The Royal Mint Advisory Committee following a public competition which saw over 4,000 designs submitted. “I felt that the solution to The Royal Mint’s brief lay in a united design,” he explained. “United in terms of theme, execution and coverage over the surface of the coins.”
Using all the coins from the 1p to the 50p and fitting them together like a jig-saw, the complete shield is revealed, as seen on the £1 coin design issued from 2008 until 2015.
Of course, the old round pound has now been replaced by the 12 sided £1, featuring the Nation’s of the Crown design. But, the definitive 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p shield coins can still be found in your change, meaning the Royal Shield can still be collected and completed.
In fact, I bet if you were to check the change in your pocket right now, you’d be surprised by how much of the shield you’ll already be able to piece together!
So why not try collecting the shield, and if you’d like to give yourself even more of a challenge, how about collecting the whole shield for each year, starting with the coins issued in 2008.
As we’ve now come to the 10th anniversary of these coins, perhaps there will be a re-design on the horizon? If the reverse of our definitive coins were redesigned, what design would you like to see on the new coins?
Complete the shield with the Royal Arms Shield Collector Card!
Designed to fit neatly into your Change Checker Album, this Collector’s card allows you to assemble the Royal Arms Shield by simply using your loose change.
A survey by Gocompare recently found that as many as 21% of Britons would like to scrap copper coins, leaving the 5p as the lowest circulating denomination.
In fact, out of the 2,000 adults who participated in the survey, 68% claimed they prefer to empty their pockets of copper coins rather than carry them around or spend them.
And who can blame them?
To all intents and purposes, 1p and 2p coins are worthless because you can’t use them to buy anything.
Matt Sanders of Gocompare commented: “Our survey suggests that for many people, copper coins have had their day. In a world of higher prices, plastic cards and contactless payments, copper coins seem increasingly worthless and irrelevant.”
Other developed nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada have all taken steps to remove their minimum denominations, so why has Britain not yet followed suit?
Retaining the penny makes some sense because of the tendency for businesses to use a 99 pence pricing tactic. But why do we need a 2p coin? Would it be a problem if we were never to see it again?
The missing jigsaw piece
The answer is: probably not.
However, it would pose a problem for collectors.
The famous Royal Arms Shield jigsaw puzzle which has been a quirky design feature of British coins since 2008 uses the reverse design of every coin from the penny to the 50p – including the 2p.
Could this be the reason that the Royal Mint have been reluctant to scrap it?
What do you think should happen? Have your say in our poll below: