The coins in the Royal Mint Museum number some 80,000 and they span the entire period from classical Greece and Rome to the modern day. The early part of the collection, however, is merely representative, the great strength of the Museum’s holdings lying in the post-1660 period and in particular the range of modern patterns, proofs and experimental pieces. Spectacular among these are the proposed coins for Edward VIII, never released for circulation because of the king’s abdication in December 1936, and an extensive series of preparatory pieces made during the run-up to decimalisation in February 1971.

Overall, the policy since 1816 has been to maintain as complete a record as possible of the coins struck by the Royal Mint, both for the United Kingdom and for overseas countries.

Browse highlights of the coin collection below. (Please be aware that the coins on this page are not shown at actual size or in correct proportion to one another).

 

Roman denarius

Roman denarius

The reverse design of this Roman denarius of the Republic was once thought to depict implements used for manufacturing coins.

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Alfred the Great penny

Alfred the Great penny

One of the coins most frequently shown to visitors to the Royal Mint Museum is the Monogram Penny of Alfred the Great, (871-899).

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Elizabeth I fine sovereign

Elizabeth I fine sovereign

The fine sovereign of Elizabeth I pictured here was purchased from Lincoln for the Royal Mint Museum on 9 February 1914.

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Charles I counterfeit crown

Charles I counterfeit crown

The coin illustrated here purports to be a crown piece of Charles II dated 1672 but is obviously counterfeit.

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Maria Theresa thaler

Maria Theresa thaler

The coin shown here was in fact the actual one employed in the preparation of the dies for the striking of thalers by the Royal Mint.

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George III sixpence brockage

George III sixpence brockage

Despite being considered much less glamorous than some of our proof and pattern pieces, mis-strikes are nonetheless interesting pieces.

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Una and the Lion five-pound piece

Una and the Lion five-pound piece

The gold five-pound piece of 1839, though not as spectacularly rare as the Edward VIII pattern coins, is arguably one of the most beautiful coins in the world.

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1841 Uniface two-pound coin

1841 Uniface two-pound coin

This rather unusual piece in the Mint collection has so far eluded attempts at a full and proper identification.

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Hong Kong one cent

Hong Kong one cent

When the coinage of Hong Kong was being introduced in the 1860s several trial pieces were prepared for the range of planned denominations.

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Victoria counterfeit half-crowns

Victoria counterfeit half-crowns

Towards the end of the nineteenth century the price of silver fell and, amongst other effects, this stimulated a certain amount of counterfeiting.

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British trade dollar

British trade dollar

The British Trade Dollar features a dramatic standing Britannia design by George William De Saulles.

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Australian pattern florin

Australian pattern florin

When designs were being considered for the new Australian silver coinage during the first decade of the twentieth century, this pattern florin was put forward.

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1911 Canadian silver dollar

1911 Canadian silver dollar

A little like the 1933 penny, no record was made of exactly how many Canadian silver dollars were produced in 1911.

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1926 Peace Crown

1926 Peace Crown

In 1926 the idea of issuing a crown with peace as a theme was mentioned in a speech delivered in the House of Commons.

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George V florin

George V florin

The strong and beautifully composed rendering of the rose on this exceedingly rare pattern florin was modelled by Humphrey Paget.

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1933 penny

1933 penny

If you have heard of only one rare coin, there is a good chance that it is the 1933 penny.

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The coins of Edward VIII

The coins of Edward VIII

Because of the Abdication in December 1936 no coins of Edward VIII were issued in the United Kingdom.

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One pie pattern piece

One pie pattern piece

In 1945 the Government of India came under pressure to introduce a new coin of a denomination smaller than the pierced coin, the Pice.

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1953 Coronation crown

1953 Coronation crown

This rare pattern is the original much more elaborate and heavily ornamented reverse design for the coronation crown of Elizabeth II.

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Trial fifty pence piece

Trial fifty pence piece

This coin inscribed with the name Conway, is a trial from very early in the process of development of the fifty pence piece.

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Royal Arms fifty pence piece

Royal Arms fifty pence piece

For the original fifty pence of 1969 Christopher Ironside was asked to prepare an arrangement of the Royal Arms.

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Coins of Iceland

Coins of Iceland

The origins of Iceland’s relationship with the Royal Mint may be found in the Second World War.

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Making Money

Making Money

The basic minting process of melting, casting, blanking and striking is essentially timeless.

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The Value of Small Change

The Value of Small Change

It is important not to overlook even small coins in poor condition as they can also tell a fascinating story.

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Currency Undercover Exhibition

Currency Undercover Exhibition

Step into a shadowy underworld where money is used to hide secrets and aid escapes from danger.

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