The Value of Small Change

Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

1908 one cent coin

1908 Circulated aluminium East African one cent coin in a corroded state
During the course of the inventory project we have catalogued 17,500 overseas coins. Many of them are large and impressive but, as we have discovered, it is important not to overlook even small coins in poor condition as they can also tell a fascinating story. Recently we came across an intriguing collection of aluminium one cent coins from East Africa, dated 1908. They are light weight with a perforated centre and some of them are covered in a thick powdery white corrosion layer. These aluminium coins are the first of their kind produced by the Royal Mint and, although they appear to have little value, they represent adaptability, innovative science and a commitment to continuous improvement that had gained pace when Charles Fremantle was Deputy Master of the Royal Mint (1868-1894). ..

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Collection in Context

Posted on Friday, August 14, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

reducing machine

A Janvier reducing machine at work making a George VI half crown punch
If you have read previous blog posts about the Royal Mint Museum Inventory Project you will be familiar with the types of objects we have been handling, but you might not know how they were originally used. The plaster models, rubber moulds, electrotypes and punches in the Museum store each represent a stage in the process of transforming a design from a concept into a coin, medal or seal.  ..

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Pistrucci's Bench

Posted on Friday, August 07, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

Pistrucci's work bench

Pistrucci's work bench in the Museum
There was an air of excitement about the Royal Mint Museum this week as we prepared to receive a very special object into the collection. As part of a reorganisation of the Royal Mint engraver’s workshop we were to transport a large wooden work bench into the Museum space. The work bench stands at approximately one metre high and one and a half metres wide. It is constructed of mahogany and pine and has evidently seen much use. There is nothing ostentatious about this bench. It is simple, elegant and above all, practical. So why is this unassuming object so special to us? ..

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Percy Metcalfe

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

Everest Flight Medal 1933

Everest Flight Medal 1933 (Percy Metcalfe)
At the Royal Mint Museum we are in a privileged position to be easily able to research original records from our archives on the Royal Mint and we are able to see plaster models and electrotypes that never made it past the design process to appear on an actual coin, medal or seal. These are rare works of art and an important reminder of the careful selection process that takes place in creating new coinage in particular. ..

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Letters and Lions

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

piece punches in the collection before coating

Piece punches in the collection before coating
One of the highlights of the inventory project has been uncovering the hidden gems of the collection. When we recently finished reorganising all the smaller museum store spaces the collections assistants came across approximately 9,000 piece punches, dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. ..

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Symbolism on Coins

Posted on Friday, July 10, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

electrotype: Kenya 250 Shillings, 1966

electrotype: Kenya 250 shillings
Have you ever wondered who decides what image will appear on a coin and why it has been chosen? Recently the Royal Mint gave the Nation a chance to suggest a design for the new one pound coin.  ..

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Inventory project update

Posted on Friday, July 03, 2015 by The Royal Mint Museum

Great Seal of Edward VII In the last six months at the Royal Mint Museum we have finished cleaning, coating and cataloguing the metal tools in the store that we began at the start of the project, roughly 6,200 medal tools and 25,000 coin tools.  ..

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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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