2021 marks an incredible 150 years since Prince Albert’s vision to create a Hall for the nation was brought to fruition.
The Royal Albert Hall has since become one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings and is one of the most famous music and concert venues in the world.
In this very special anniversary year, The Royal Mint has issued a BRAND NEW UK £5 coin in celebration.
Designed by Anne Desmet, this brand new coin features an instantly recognisable design in an ode to the distinctive building.
First opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, the Hall has played host to some of the world’s leading artists and performances.
And, excitingly for collectors, The Royal Albert Hall now features on a UK coin for the first time!
Excitingly, this brand new coin isn’t the first UK coin to commemorate British landmarks…
2018 Royal Academy of Arts £5
In 2018, to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of The Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Academy (RA) and The Royal Mint collaborated to issue a £5 coin.
The reverse of this £5 was designed by celebrated architect Sir David Chipperfield RA, and features the historical facade of Burlington House, home to the Royal Academy since 1867.
There is a strong historical link between The Royal Mint and The Royal Academy of Arts, as Richard Yeo, who was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy, was also the chief engraver at The Royal Mint.
This version, struck to base metal specifications, was initially made exclusively available to Change Checkers!
2014 Trinity House £2
Since being granted a Royal Charter by King Henry VIII in 1514, Trinity House has provided maritime safety on the UK’s waterways and coastal areas by providing nearly 600 Aids to Navigation ranging from lighthouses, buoys and beacons to satellite navigation technology.
The reverse of the 2014 £2 coin commemorates the 500th anniversary of the organisation and depicts a lighthouse lens – an enduring symbol of the seas and the safety which Trinity House continues to provide.
3,705,000 of these coins entered circulation – let us know if you’ve found one in your change!
2018/2019 Houses of Parliament 10p
The Royal Mint sparked great excitement with the surprising announcement of the release of 26 BRAND NEW 10p coins into circulation in 2018. Their theme is the A-Z of Great Britain and these were the first ever commemorative UK 10p coins.
This 10p features the letter ‘H’, which sits above the official logo for the Houses of Parliament. The House of Parliament is the meeting place for the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of Great Britain.
220,000 of these coins were issued into circulation in 2018 and 84,000 were issued in 2019, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve found one in your change!
Paddington’s Adventures of London 50p Coins
In 2018, for the first time ever, Paddington Bear made an appearance on a series of UK 50p coins!
These coins were issued to mark the 60th anniversary of Paddington’s first appearance in Michael Bond’s classic childhood tale and they quickly became a collector favourite!
Two designs were issued for circulation in 2018 and they saw Paddington visit Paddington Station and Buckingham Palace. Excitingly, Paddington’s tour of London continued in 2019, as he visited a further two landmarks – the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral!
Do you have a favourite Paddington 50p? Let us know in the comments below!
Tower of London £5 Coins
Built during the Norman Conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.
In tribute to the Tower, The Royal Mint issued a four coin series throughout 2019 celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions. The series included coins depicting the following:
- The Legend of the Ravens
- The Yeoman Warders
- The Ceremony of the Keys
- The Crown Jewels
The collection continued into 2020 with four new £5 coins featuring original designs, each exploring a different element of the Tower of London’s history. This series included designs of the following:
- The Infamous Prison
- The Royal Mint
- The Royal Menagerie
- The White Tower
You can find out more about these coins here.
2009 Kew Gardens 50p
The Kew Gardens 50p hit the headlines in February 2014 when it was revealed as the rarest 50p in circulation, with just 210,000 issued. It’s since been unbeaten at the top of our Scarcity Indexes as the UK’s most sought-after 50p.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boast 4.5 acres of gardens under glass as well as a soaring treetop walkway. One of the garden buildings is a Chinese Pagoda built in 1761 which features on the design of this scarce commemorative 50p.
This coin was re-issued in 2019 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p Celebrations. The 2019 version of this coin was a commemorative-only issue and did not enter general circulation.
Are you lucky enough to have one in your collection? Comment below!
2005 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII £2
On 8th May 1945, Winston Churchill announced VE Day – Victory in Europe, which marked the end of World War Two and followed Germany’s surrender about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide.
The reverse design of this £2 features a depiction of St. Paul’s Cathedral which survived the Blitz to become a great symbol of hope to a war-torn nation.
The edge inscription reads – IN VICTORY: MAGNANIMITY, IN PEACE: GOODWILL – part of the famous maxim that prefaces Churchill’s history of the Second World War.
We’re thrilled to see The Royal Albert hall join an incredible series of UK coins celebrating famous British landmarks.
Will you be securing one for your collection? Let us know in the comments below!
Secure the brand new 2021 UK Royal Albert Hall £5 for your collection!
Your coin will come in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality presented in official Change Checker packaging.
2021 marks 50 years since our UK coins turned decimal, in the biggest numismatic change seen in centuries.
In celebration of this significant anniversary, The Royal Mint issued not one, but TWO Decimal Day 50ps in 2021. The reverse designs are the same, but that certainly can’t be said for their obverses…
The first version of the Decimal Day 50p, available exclusively in the 2021 Annual Coin Set, features the original Arnold Machin portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on the obverse – the same obverse used for the UK’s very first decimal coins.
However, the individual coin which was released later in January, featured Jody Clark’s fifth portrait of The Queen instead.
So why did The Royal Mint revert back to the Queen’s first decimal effigy for this new issue? Join Change Checker as we take a closer look…
Spot the Difference
The 50p available in the Annual Set which features the original Machin portrait on the obverse, quickly caught the eyes of collectors as this was the first time we have seen The Royal Mint revert a previous portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II on a base metal UK coin.
Marking 50 years since our UK coins went decimal, it seemed only fitting that this coin should include Machin’s obverse design.
But, when the Decimal Day 50p was individually released later in January, collectors had the opportunity to get their hands on a second version of this coin, as Jody Clark’s portrait of The Queen featured on the obverse.
So with two versions of the 2021 UK Decimal Day 50p out there, this coin is set to become a real talking point among collectors!
Arnold Machin Portrait
The significance of this anniversary and the fact that the Machin portrait of HM QEII was the first to be used on the UK’s 50p, makes for the perfect excuse to revert back to this previous effigy on the exclusive Decimal Day 50p within the Annual Set.
The UK’s very first decimal coins (5p, 10p, followed by 50p) actually entered circulation before 1971 and as they were circulating together with pre-decimal currency, a new portrait of The Queen was commissioned to help the new coins stand out.
Arnold Machin’s new portrait showed The Queen wearing a tiara given to The Queen by her grandmother, Queen Mary.
We love the fact that collectors have the chance to see this previous portrait reused on this brand new 50p and it certainly makes for interesting collecting!
Have you secure both versions of the 2021 Decimal Day for your collections? Let us know in the comments below!
But that’s not all, as this is not the first time we’ve seen different obverses used on the same coin…
2015 Battle of Britain 50p
In 2015, The Battle of Britain 50p shot to fame as collectors were quick to spot that there were THREE different versions of the coin, with different obverses on each of them.
The Brilliant Uncirculated 50p was issued early in 2015 and was quickly dubbed an ‘error’ coin. The coins, which were sold in presentation packs, had been struck without the denomination in either numbers or writing anywhere on the coin. Chancers were quick to play to this, with some managing to sell on the coins for near to £100 each on the secondary market.
After the controversy surrounding the coin erupted, the Royal Mint confirmed that the 50p intended for circulation later on in the year would have the ’50 PENCE’ denomination. But was this after they had realised their mistake?
So how did this coin end up with three different obverses?
Each version of this coin has caused a stir in the collecting world. Not only does this Battle of Britain 50p fail to feature a denomination on the Brilliant Uncirculated version, but the obverse is different for each finish used for the coin – a first for a UK commemorative coin.
In 2019, a brand new re-issued Brilliant Uncirculated version of the Battle of Britain 50p (from the 2019 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military Set) saw Jody Clark’s portrait and the 50 PENCE denomination – making this the FOURTH version of this 50p!
Do you have any of the Battle of Britain 50p coins? Let us know in the comments below!
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Cast your imagination back to the 19th century… Queen Victoria ruled 400 million people in an empire that covered almost a quarter of the world’s surface!
With a name and title famous across the globe, it may come as a surprise to you that Queen Victoria never actually stepped foot in many of the countries she ruled over.
India was held with such high regard in Victoria’s heart that it became known as the Jewel in the Empire’s crown. In 1876, India awarded her the title of ‘Empress of India’ in a gesture of appreciation.
Although having never stepped foot in the country and living 4,500 miles away, Victoria’s portrait was minted on to the currency of India (the rupee) from 1840, so people could recognise their empress!
The rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, so to feature a British monarch for the first time was an important moment in numismatic history.
The later portrait issued on rupees, similar to the Gothic Head effigy, can be considered one of the most beautiful coins of the empire.
A 22hr flight to Australia seems a long journey now but for Queen Victoria, a trip to this corner of the world would have taken her almost two months to get there!
So, there’s no surprises this was also a country that she never visited. However, the need for a British presence in the country was growing with the empire; as the empire grew, so did the need for coins. The Royal Mint opened branches in Australia and in 1855, a sovereign was minted outside of the UK for the first time – the Sydney sovereign.
It featured a portrait of Victoria that was based on the Young Head effigy, but with a sprig of banksia weaved through Victoria’s hair, giving the portrait a distinct Australian feel.
The Sydney sovereign became incredibly successful and a number of Royal Mint branches were opened throughout Australia as a result. To identify the Mint that sovereigns were produced in, mintmarks were added to the coins, with a small ‘P’ for Perth, and an ‘M’ for Melbourne.
The sovereign became legal tender in the majority of British colonies in the 1860s, and its importance in British trade, and worldwide circulation earned it the title “the King of Coins”. By the final years of the British Empire, the sovereign was minted in four continents across the globe.
India and Australia weren’t the only countries that saw Victoria’s portrait. Her image also reached as far as Hong Kong, Ceylon, East Africa and New Zealand. In 1870 the first Canadian dollar with Victoria’s portrait was issued, taking Victoria’s image to a new side of the world for people to see.
Despite never leaving Europe, Queen Victoria’s portrait and image stood strong on coins around the world. Whilst she never stepped foot in many of the countries that she ruled over, that didn’t stop people recognising her image around the world.
The coins that they used every day provided a link to the empire that they were a part of, despite the miles between them.
If you’ve found this blog informative and have enjoyed reading, let us know in the comments below!
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