The Royal Mint has produced the largest commemorative coin in its 1,100-year history.
The 10-kilo gold coin took 400 hours to produce – including four days of polishing – and has been described by the Mint as a “masterwork”.
The 20cm-wide coin was created by a team of master craftspeople at the Royal Mint, combining traditional skills with innovative technology.
Modern techniques were used at the start of the process, with engraving machines used to carefully cut the design on to the coin.
A master toolmaker then hand-worked the coin, removing any marks made by the cutting process, before four days of polishing. Finally, the coin was laser-frosted to texture the surface.
Why have they made the coin?
The coin marks the conclusion of the Mint’s Queen’s Beasts commemorative coin collection, a series which took its inspiration from 10 stone statues that lined the Queen’s route to Westminster Abbey at her coronation in 1953.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “This coin sets a new standard for minting – combining centuries old techniques with innovative technology to create a unique and beautiful work of art. It is the largest coin ever created by The Royal Mint, and is testament to the expertise, craftsmanship and skill of our team.”
Starting with the Lion of England in 2017, the collection showcased the history and symbolism of each creature in turn.
The new coin reunites all 10 beasts in one design, also including a lion, griffin, falcon, bull, yale, greyhound, dragon, unicorn, and a horse.
How much is the coin worth?
This is no ordinary coin with a denomination of £1, £2 or even £5 – the large penny has a denomination of £10,000.
The huge coin has already been sold. The Mint did not give details about the sale or purchaser, but said that a coin of this calibre and craftsmanship would be priced in the region of six figures.
For those wondering if one might turn up in their spare change, obviously you’d be hard pressed not to notice a 10-kilo sitting in your wallet. Besides, the coin is a one of a kind piece.
Versions of the design are available however in a range of finishes, with prices starting at £13 for a £5 denomination brilliant uncirculated coin – perfect for those whose budgets would not have stretched to purchase the £10,000 gold masterwork.
More information can be found at royalmint.com/QueensBeasts.
Other recent coins
The masterwork coin comes just weeks after the reveal of a new coin from the Royal Mint celebrating 50 years of the beloved Mr Men and Little Miss children’s book series.
The commemorative £5 coin is the second in a series to be launched for this year’s anniversary and was designed by Adam Hargreaves, son of Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves.
Mr Men first hit bookshelves in 1971 and has since gone on to sell more than 250 million books in 28 countries across the world, translated into 17 different languages.
A first coin celebrating the anniversary and featuring the character Mr Happy was released in February, with both now available to buy from the Royal Mint website.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, NationalWorld