History of the British coinage

History of the British coinage

The coinage that has been made by the Royal Mint for the people of England and then the United Kingdom over the last 1000 years is an important way in which to understand the history of the country.

Coins are valuable historical artefacts that can illuminate the economics and technology, the art and politics, the religion and ceremonies of a people. How a nation consciously chooses to represent itself on its coinage is testimony to what it values and celebrates. Coins have existed as one of the most widely used ways in which a state or monarch has communicated with people and from the earliest of times the symbolic meaning of coins has not been lost on those who exercise power.

The Royal Mint Museum has a collection of British coins of unrivalled importance. It sheds light not just on the coins as issued but also, through a unique collection of trial and experimental pieces, on how coins have been designed and manufactured.