Purpose of the Advisory Committee

The Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) was established in 1922 with the personal approval of George V. It exists to raise the standard of numismatic and medallic art in Britain and is expected to ensure that designs meet high standards of decency and good taste. Its purpose is to advise government departments, and ultimately Her Majesty The Queen, in matters of design with respect to coins, medals, seals and decorations. In relation to the United Kingdom coinage this entails seeking the approval of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whereas in relation to official medals, seals and decorations, it involves working with representatives of the sponsoring government departments concerned and making recommendations through the Cabinet Office.

Membership of the RMAC

Members are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the recommendation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and serve for an initial term of five years, with the option of this being extended to a maximum of a further five years.

Members of the RMAC include experts at the highest level in art, design, heraldry, typography, sculpture, history and numismatics. It also includes technical and design expertise provided by representatives of the Royal Mint. It has been found that a membership of not more than 12 has been suitable.

Appointments to the RMAC are regulated by the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments and it is classified as an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body.

Design of United Kingdom coins

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In relation to new United Kingdom coins the RMAC provides recommendations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what are judged to be the most appropriate designs.

Following Ministerial and Royal approval of the themes for new coins, the RMAC advises the Royal Mint on which artists should be invited to prepare designs. Alternatively, depending on the circumstances, a public competition may be recommended.

The RMAC judges each design on its merits, including whether the designs uphold the necessary high standards of decency and good taste. Assessments are made respecting how well the design brief has been interpreted, the technical requirements of a design that will translate well to a struck coin, standards of creativity, use of lettering, balance of overall composition and competence of draftsmanship.

The RMAC will then recommend designs to the Chancellor, including an explanation of why it chose particular designs. The final designs approved by the Chancellor will then be sent to the Queen for Royal approval.

 

Themes for new United Kingdom coins

In September 2009 the role of the RMAC was widened through the establishment of a Sub-Committee on the Selection of Themes for United Kingdom Coins. The role of the Sub-Committee is to consider proposals for themes for new coins put forward by the Royal Mint and to make recommendations to the Chancellor. It aims to ensure that the recommended short list of themes reflects the most significant or appropriate set of events for commemoration that year.

The purpose of the Sub-Committee is to ensure that the Chancellor can have confidence that the public interest will be fully reflected in the coin theme proposals to be put to him, and that a range of experts will have been involved in their selection.

The Sub-Committee will be asked either to agree with the Royal Mint’s choices or, where members feel the proposed set of themes does not adequately reflect the most significant or appropriate set of events for commemoration that year, propose a new set of recommended themes.

The Sub-Committee will provide its recommendations to the Chancellor and, following this approval, it will report to the RMAC on its recommendations.

 

Membership of the Theme Selection Sub-Committee

The composition of the Sub-Committee will provide expertise at the highest level in art, design, history, general cultural knowledge and the commercial objectives of the Royal Mint. The current membership includes the Chairman of the RMAC and at least two members of the RMAC, a representative of HMT and the Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint.

 

Design of official medals, seals and decorations

The RMAC provides government departments with design advice on official medals, seals and decorations. Every official medal issued since 1922 has been processed through the RMAC.

For these purposes, an official medal, seal or decoration is that which has been instigated by a government department and/or approved by Her Majesty The Queen and is more often than not backed by a Royal Warrant.

Government departments on occasion sponsor the issue of medals, emblems or badges that are not strictly official as defined above. In these instances it is a matter of judgement for the departments concerned whether they choose to seek the advice of the RMAC. The degree to which such issues are likely to have a high public profile will be an important consideration in determining the nature and extent of design advice sought.

The RMAC judges each design on its merits, including whether they uphold the necessary high standards of decency and good taste. Assessments are made respecting how well the design brief has been interpreted, the technical requirements of a design that will translate well to a struck medal, standards of creativity, use of lettering, balance of overall composition and competence of draftsmanship. The RMAC will also wish to ensure that the design objectives of the sponsoring department are met in full and, to this end, a representative of the department concerned, and often of the Cabinet Office, will be in attendance at meetings.

The recommended design is passed to the sponsoring department who will then obtain official approval through the Cabinet Office and the Palace.

 

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Expenses

All reasonable travel and accommodation expenses will be paid.

 

Members of the Committee at 31 March 2021

with dates of appointment

Baroness Gisela Stuart

Chair
March 2021

Professor Phil Baines

Lettering and graphic designer
May 2016, re-appointed March 2021

Mrs Blondel Cluff CBE

Chair, Heritage Lottery Fund England, London & South
March 2014, re-appointed March 2019

Dr Nicholas Cullinan

Director, National Portrait Gallery
June 2016

The Rt Hon The Earl Peel GCVO DL

Lord Chamberlain
March 2007

Mr Hughie O’Donoghue RA

Painter
January 2015, re-appointed March 2021

Professor Jane Ridley

Historian
January 2015, re-appointed March 2021

Mr Edmund de Waal OBE

Ceramic artist and writer
April 2012, re-appointed April 2017

Mr Thomas Woodcock CVO DL

Garter King of Arms
January 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Vernon

Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Department
September 2014

Professor Nicholas Mayhew

Numismatic Consultant to the Committee
January 2010

Mrs Anne Jessopp

Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Mint Limited

Ms Nicola Howell 

Chief Commercial Officer of the Royal Mint Limited

Dr Kevin Clancy

Secretary to the Committee

Mr Lee Jones

Technical Advisor to the Committee

 

 

 

Meetings of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee

There are usually four meetings of the Committee a year which are held in London. Past meetings of the Advisory Committee will be archived below in due course.

Meetings of the Committee

 

 

Upcoming Meetings

 

Tuesday 28 September 2021 venue tbc

Tuesday 14 December 2021 venue tbc

 

Royal Mint Advisory Committee Reports

RMAC Annual Report 2018-19 (514 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2016-17 (31 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2015-16 (34 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2014-15 (48 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2013-14 (509 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2012-13 (778 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2011-12 (900 KB)

RMAC Annual Report 2010-11 (431 KB)

 

 

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