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Reverse view showing a section of a Silver penny of Alfred the Great

History of the Royal Mint

The Royal Mint has evolved to become a sophisticated industrial concern operating today as a government company. The 1100 or so years of its existence track the history of Britain through its wars and political upheavals, its social and economic progress, its technological and scientific advances. Its history is in short woven into that of Britain itself.
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Reverse view showing a section of a Silver penny of Alfred the Great

Unlike institutions of more recent origin, it cannot be said that the Royal Mint was founded on a specific day in a particular year. What is known is that 1100 years ago, from the second half of the ninth century, there were reasonably robust conventions in place governing the making of coins. A glance at the uniform design of coins produced from this time is evidence of a controlling force and a deliberate policy.

As royal control over government grew during the next few hundred years, so greater structure was given to the body of men who were responsible for making the nation’s coinage. By the mid-13th century a clear organisational framework existed for the monarch’s mint in London consisting of a hierarchy of officers. From at least the 1270s there was also a known location within the Tower of London and the organisation became increasingly well established and formalised.
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