Coins are valuable historical documents that can illuminate the societal, cultural, and economic priorities of a nation at a given point in history. They 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 has produced coinage for the monarchs of England and Great Britain for over a thousand years, in a changing array of conditions and amidst a historical backdrop of technological progress, international diplomacy, civil conflict, and societal development. In each era, and for each monarch, the coins in use across the British Isles have been a conduit between the monarch and the people, between the seat of power and the perception of it.
The pages in this collection explore the intricacies of the coinage under various monarchs throughout British History. They tell the stories of the technological and cultural changes driving developments in the coinage, and of how the personal involvement of the monarch often played a great role in shaping the coins in use throughout the nation.