Salvage course

This month our collections team took part in a training session run by Connect-Conserve Cymru on behalf of the Welsh Government department of Culture to familiarise them with waterlogged material and help them to manage the salvage and protection of collections should the worst happen. Waterlogged material is the most common outcome following flood or fire and so the training provided experience on how to handle a combination of different objects and establish how they react once wet. Through practical exercises our team refreshed their knowledge of how to dry out the materials quickly, prevent mould growth and ensure objects are stable enough for handling and transportation.

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Trial of the Pyx

At the beginning of February, a team of Royal Mint employees, including Megan our Museum Assistant, travelled to London to attend the annual Trial of the Pyx. Megan says “It was an incredible experience to be part of a Trial that dates back to at least 1282, and is now carried out in the beautiful Goldsmiths’ Hall. On the day of the Trial my role was to support a member of the jury by supplying the coins she needed to examine. I then helped the jurors to use weighing machines to check packs of Brilliant Uncirculated coins. It was fascinating to see all of the coins, especially a huge 15kg coin! It was a particularly special year at the Trial due to its being the first time coins with the effigy of King Charles III were included. I look forward to hearing the results of the Trial, which should be released in a couple of months.” You can find out more about the Trial here:

Goldsmith's Hall during the Trial of the Pyx

STEM Cymru

The Royal Mint Museum is again working with the Engineering Education Scheme Wales to encourage students into engineering. This year the Museum has set a project for sixth form students at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff. The students are designing an exhibit to demonstrate a historical minting technique and show how raised edge lettering was added to seventeenth-century coins. The Museum’s Education Manager, Amy Williams, recently visited the school to see their progress and was thoroughly impressed with the work they had done. The students not only have to create a prototype of their final design, but also produce a full technical report and put together a presentation of their work for the South Wales regional heats of the Crest Awards. These are annual awards which encourage students to think like scientists and engineers and to tackle real-world problems. They will be competing against other schools at Swansea Arena in March and we wish them lots of luck at this year’s contest.

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Postal Museum

The Museum recently loaned objects featuring Martin Jennings’ coinage portrait of King Charles III to a new temporary exhibition at the Postal Museum in London.

Definitive stamps are everyday stamps, which in the UK feature the reigning King or Queen. The King’s Stamp exhibition features some of the rarest and most valuable of these British stamps from the reigns of six monarchs exploring over 180 years of iconic design. It features the new definitive stamps, also designed by Martin Jennings, and will be the only place you can see them before their release on 4 April.

The exhibition will run until the start of September.

For more information please visit: The King's Stamp - The Postal Museum

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Half-term fun

February half-term holiday was very busy for the Royal Mint Experience with lots of families and children passing through the tour and exhibition. The Museum put together some family-friendly activities for visitors to engage in during their visit. There was a coin badge making workshop where children could design and create their own engraved metal badges to take home. We also ran an object handling session in the exhibition with lots of pre-decimal coins and some tooling. It provided a great opportunity for older visitors to share with our younger visitors their memories about using the old money. These events are always popular and an important opportunity for Museum staff to engage directly with the public.

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