The Mint and the First World War – Part 2

Posted on Friday, November 09, 2018 by The Royal Mint Museum

WWI memorial Royal Mint

The memorial from the entrance hall of the main Mint building on Tower Hill which lists all the Mint men who fell in the First World War.
In total 11 members of Mint staff lost their lives in the service of their country. Their names are carved into a memorial that used to hang in the entrance hall of the main Mint building on Tower Hill. It provided a focus for remembrance for Mint employees and the Museum’s Senior Research Curator recalls staff gathering round the memorial in the 1960s as the Deputy Master led a minute’s silence to remember the fallen.  ..

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The Mint and the First World War – Part 1

Posted on Friday, November 09, 2018 by The Royal Mint Museum

The Royal Mint facade

The façade of the Royal Mint at Tower Hill in the early 20th century.
The Royal Mint could not - and did not - escape the massive impact of the First World War. ..

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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. Matters were brought to a head by the government's decision, announced in 1966, to adopt a decimal currency system, because it required the Mint to strike hundreds of millions of decimal coins in readiness for decimalisation on 15 February 1971. At the same time overseas customers could not be neglected, and the combined burden of export and decimal work made a new Mint essential. In accordance with government policy of moving industry away from the capital, sites were considered in development areas such as the North East and Merseyside, but finally, in April 1967, it was announced that a new Royal Mint would be built in South Wales.  ..

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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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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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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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