From the start of coinage, accuracy of weight and composition has been vital for its integrity and the confidence of the public. In the Royal Mint Museum this aspect of coinage is represented by standard weights from the 16th century onwards.
Browse highlights of the weights collection below.
Although the Royal Mint Museum has many coins – and some coinage tools – from Isaac Newton’s time as Master of the Royal Mint during the early 18th century relatively few items have survived from this period that illustrate the Royal Mint itself. One such item, however, that has come down to us is the handsomely engraved set of troy weights dated 1707 illustrated here.
The date is significant, the weights having been prepared in the wake of the Act of Union with Scotland to ensure that the coinages struck north and south of the border conformed to the same standard. But not only is the set attractive in its own right, it symbolises the importance of accuracy when producing a gold and silver coinage, an element of Royal Mint production that was important to Newton as a scientist.
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Newton took an active interest in mint affairs.
The automatic balance clearly highlights and represents The Royal Mint’s concern for accuracy and precision.
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