Family History

Posted on Thursday, April 02, 2020 by The Royal Mint Museum

Joseph Giardelli staff record

Staff record for Joseph Giardelli
The Royal Mint Museum has a number of staff records which make it possible for us to assist members of the public in their search for information about their ancestors. Whilst lists of names of Mint employees exist from the 16th century onwards, it is not until the late 19thth century that our records become more detailed and systematic, when establishment lists and staff records contain summary details for every member of staff.  ..

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The Pinnacle of Achievement: Mary Gillick's Portrait of the Queen

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 by The Royal Mint Museum

Mary Gillick

Mary Gillick
Mary Gillick found fame late in life by designing the first portrait for the coinage of Queen Elizabeth II. A 71-year-old widow, recently having lost her husband in 1952, who had never designed a coin before was an unlikely candidate to produce the first coinage portrait of the Queen. Fighting off stiff competition from the likes of seasoned numismatic artists such as Humphrey Paget and Cecil Thomas, Gillick’s graceful Italian Renaissance-style portrait was a marked contrast to what Humphrey Sutherland, described as the ‘looming heads of Edward VII and George V’. ..

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Britannia and the Royal Mint (extract from Britannia: Icon on the Coin by Katharine Eustace)

Posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2019 by The Royal Mint Museum

Penny of Queen Victoria

Reverse of a penny of George IV, 1826 by William Wyon.
The Gothic Revival of the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the dramatic stylistic change that most obviously in architecture loosened the grip of the Classical on the visual arts, had at first glance little or no impact on the overall design of the coinage. A contemporary commentator declared:  ..

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Counterfeits and Cautionary Tales

Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by The Royal Mint Museum

counterfeit sovereign 1887

Obverse of a counterfeit 1887 sovereign
For as long as there have been coins there have been counterfeits and here at the Museum we have a particularly fine collection of forged material which goes back as far as the 17th Century. The illegal nature of counterfeiting means that the origins of these objects are almost entirely unknown, but thanks to clues left behind by previous generations and research carried out by Museum staff, a few of their names and stories have been rediscovered. ..

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The Move to South Wales

Posted on Monday, February 26, 2018 by The Royal Mint Museum

Llantrisant Today

Main Administration Building at Llantrisant
The need to rebuild The Royal Mint had been recognised in the 1950s. A major programme of renovations at Tower Hill had been announced in 1955, but this had been delayed by economic circumstances and the view had increasingly gained ground that it would be more satisfactory to build an entirely new mint on a less confined site.  ..

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Women in the Mint

Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by The Royal Mint Museum

Women working in production

Women working in the Operative Department
Recently, whilst reviewing some photographic material, our Museum Assistant brought to light images of women working on the factory floor of the Royal Mint. These black and white photographs capture a time when the employment of women in coining operations was still relatively new. How did these women come to be working in production? What jobs did they do? And how has the role of women in the Mint changed over time? ..

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Voices from the Library: Royal Mint Swimming Club

Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by The Royal Mint Museum

Royal Mint Swimming Club Medal

Royal Mint Swimming Club Medal
The Royal Mint has long been home to a strong community of workers and the Museum cares for many items which reflect their shared passions and hobbies. Our archival material in particular records the involvement of Mint employees in a range of sports and social clubs. One of the earliest of these, the Royal Mint Swimming Club, had its first committee meeting 120 years ago on 4 August 1897, when the Mint was still located at Tower Hill in London. ..

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Object in Focus: Janvier Reducing Machine

Posted on Friday, March 11, 2016 by The Royal Mint Museum

reducing machine

The Museum's Janvier reducing machine on display at Llantrisant
In the Museum we have many objects that tell the story of coin and medal production. Some of the most fascinating are the reducing machines whose intricate mechanisms were once integral to the process of minting. ..

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Voices from the Library: Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2016 by The Royal Mint Museum

Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen outside the Royal Mint at Tower Hill.

Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen outside the Royal Mint at Tower Hill.
This month we completed a basic catalogue of nearly 12,000 items in the Museum library, comprising journals, auction, exhibition and museum catalogues, numismatic reference books and literature on events and persons central to the history of the coinage and economy. ..

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A Momentous Year for the Royal Mint Museum

Posted on Monday, January 11, 2016 by The Royal Mint Museum

Visitor Centre

The Museum staff on a tour of the Visitor Centre
Happy New Year and welcome to our 2016 blog. The Museum would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and to give you a brief summary of our Inventory Project along with a sneak preview of some of the exciting events coming up this year. ..

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Welcome to the Royal Mint Museum Blog. Here you’ll get to meet the faces behind the Museum and find out how our hard-working team cares for this exceptional and varied collection. You’ll find entries on our favourite objects, how we’re looking after the objects, and the work being done to interpret and research the collection. You may also from time to time get a sneak preview of exciting projects and future exhibitions.


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