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Many interesting articles this month!
Examining the Roman origins of the British naval power
New coinage revealed
Introducing the new coins of the realm and an interview with Matthew Dent, the designer
Sir Bertram Mackennal
Spotlight on Australia's foremost sculptor
The history of this humble coin
An historical survey of the money in Madagascar 1600-1900
The issues of a much colonised country
Augustus Saint Gaudens
The man behind America's most beautiful coin
Sharing the cost
Cost cutting collaborations
"Emperor of Britain"
Discovered coins declared treasure trove
The Confederate States
Examining the notes of a short lived nation
Colonial Fiji's scarce £20 notes
Attractive but rare notes from a former Crown Colony
Coin news & views
Around the World
New issues coin update
Royal Mint Bulletin
Price Guide to shillings
Banknote Market Scene
New issues - banknotes
Price Guide - £10 notes
Letters to the Editor
The Web Page
A fist full of pennies...
So they’ve been unveiled: the designs that will grace the reverses of British coinage for years to come. In a bold move on the part of the Royal Mint the new coins no longer depict a complete image on each one (with the exception of the £1 coin) but instead make up a “jigsaw puzzle”, with the picture that emerges when all the coins are placed together being that of the Royal Shield of Arms.
All those who were worried that the new coins would ignore our history and heritage can breathe a sigh of relief. The Royal Shield of Arms is nothing if not “historical”—and has a serious numismatic pedigree (having first appeared on the coinage of Edward III and regularly throughout history since). Those who wanted fresh and bold new designs will also be happy—there is no doubt that this ground-breaking design is both innovative and contemporary. Indeed it is a brilliant concept, used before on stamps but never on British coinage and it has been very well executed. However, all is not as rosy as the Royal Mint might hope.
The fact that the coins work as a set cannot be in doubt. The pack we received at the press launch was well put together and showed the coins as the designer, Matthew Dent, a graphic designer born in Wales but working in London intended, as a “jigsaw” making up the overall picture of the Royal Arms. But do these coins work as individual numismatic pieces? Is each design strong enough to stand alone, as coins must? Whilst they undoubtedly work as a whole, as parts they lack a certain something and although the design of each piece is well done as far as it goes, they aren’t ever going to be classics as