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Stuntman

Royal Mint Experience (Visitor Centre) at Llantrisant

I spent a very enjoyable two and a half hours at the Royal Mint Experience today, at Llantrisant.  The tour was excellent, pitched at a good level so that everyone could understand the basics of how the coins are produced, and although you don't see the furnace or where the metal is rolled out into coils, you do get to see the factory floor where the coins are being struck.  

I paid the extra fee to strike the new 12-sided £1 coin (well 'strike' is an overstatement, you press the button).  The staff member puts the bimetallic blank into the collar, and then the dies strike the coin twice.  This makes it a BU (brilliant uncirculated) coin as opposed to a circulating coin.  For circulating coins, the dies strike the coin only once.

The volume and scale of production is impressive.  I've visited several factories (I used to work for a couple of food companies) and seeing production and distribution facilities is always a real eye-opener.


The real area of interest for coin collectors like me is the set of exhibition rooms.  These contain all sorts of interesting artefacts from the design and production processes, as well as plenty of coins.  Some of which are fantastically rare and beautiful, but some of which would be best described as 'terrible'!  As someone with a fairly modest collection compared to some, this made me smile!

Anyway, here are some photos which I hope you'll enjoy.  They aren't the best quality - taken with my phone and of course the coins are behind glass or plastic. 

I would thoroughly recommend visiting and would gladly go again!


Silver bullion bars, and a 1 ounce 'Year of the Monkey' gold bullion coin:





One of several items relating to Isaac Newton, who was Master of the Royal Mint for 30 years:




Trial plates (to test and check the purity of the coins made each year) from 1477, and 1707:





Cromwell die, Charles II punch:





Commonwealth Crown:



Five Guineas of Charles II (Elephant) and Anne (Vigo):





Sovereigns of George III and George V:






James I Unite:



Benedetto Pistrucci's engravings of George III's head on Jasper discs.  I recognise the second one as being the sixpence or shilling, and the third one as being the 'bull head' halfcrown.  The first one was for a pattern guinea or sovereign of 1816, which was never issued.  Pistrucci is best known for his St George & Dragon design, which is still used to this day on Sovereigns.



London 2012 Olympic medals:



Can't remember exactly what this is - Henry VII or VIII I think?



Henry VIII Testoon (shilling):



Edward VI Sovereign(?):



Hammered silver Penny of some description:



Now this shell is impressive:



Beauty and the beastly Cartwheel Penny:



A family of Nobles:



George V £1 banknote:



1935 Silver Jubilee Gold Crown - never knew these existed:



Elizabeth I Pound:



1746 proof set of silver coins (George II):



I think this is an 1853 proof set of Queen Victoria coins (the label said 1893 but it certainly isn't):



A one kilo gold coin from 2015:



And now the very rare/interesting stuff.  Here's an Edward VIII sovereign.  A handful of these were struck prior to his abdication, but never issued:



Una and the Lion £5 from 1839.  A beautiful coin, about 400 are known to exist - and the corresponding die.  These sell for £80k-plus depending on condition:





And finally - the fabled 1933 penny.  Only 7 or 8 in existence, one sold in the USA last year for over £100k:



Do I detect a spot of verdigris on the border teeth at about 10 o'clock?

____

What a treat, a cracking place to visit.  I bought a £20 Welsh dragon fine silver coin as well as a memento.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Boxer6

Very nice pics Dan.

Must admit, I was starting to wonder if they had a 1933 Penny!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Looks and sounds very interesting.
Will have to do a bit of research on location, opening hours etc.

Can you just turn up for a tour or do you have to pre-book?
Blarno

I need that year of the monkey coin!
Stuntman

You can just turn up.  I turned up at 1145 and joined the 1200 tour.  If you book online beforehand, you save 50p but I think you have to commit to a time, as well as a date.  It's £13.50 on the door.

http://www.royalmint.com/en/the-royal-mint-experience/admission-prices
Stuntman

Blarno wrote:
I need that year of the monkey coin!


It's a lovely coin, 1 ounce of pure gold.  It would cost about £1050 at today's gold price:
https://www.royalmintbullion.com/Products/Lunar/Gold/UKM16GOS

You can find it at other bullion dealers too, sometimes a bit cheaper than the Royal Mint.

I'm a Chinese Year of the Monkey (as well as a few others of us on here) - I'd love one too!
Twelfth Monkey

Given the range of specialist subjects, I reckon we've got a pretty good pub quiz team here!
gooner

Looks fun, I was there a couple of months back doing some work at the industrial park next door (the first group of buildings off the main roundabout) but had a really busy day so didn't have time to go in and wished I had as it looked like it might be interesting- evidently it was!
Stuntman

Properly interesting.  If you happen to be working there again sometime...
Stuntman

Here's the new 12-sided £1 coin that I pressed the button to strike.  These will come into circulation from March this year, and the current round £1 coin will be demonetised in October.  

There will be about 1.5 billion of these new £1 coins made this year - the vast majority have already been struck and shipped to the banks in preparation for the switchover.







And here is the Welsh Dragon £20 coin.  Only available from the Royal Mint Visitor experience apparently (or on eBay, of course...)



Michael

Obviously you're not going too spend it but is that £1 you struck legal tender in the usual sense?
Stuntman

Yep.  Apart from the fact that it's struck twice (and hence the design should be in sharper relief than the circulating coins) it's identical and thus worth face value if spent.

Edit: it'll be legal tender from 28th March when the new design coins come into circulation.
Twelfth Monkey

I presume that the twelve-sided idea is to make them harder to forge?  Not sure if it's true, but I've heard some fairly startling stories about the number of fakes in circulation.

Demon-itised, eh?
Big Blue

Blarno wrote:
I need that year of the monkey coin!


Me too, although I assume you're a 1980 monkey not a 1968 vintage.

We do seem to have a lot of Monkeys 🐒
Stuntman

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I presume that the twelve-sided idea is to make them harder to forge?  Not sure if it's true, but I've heard some fairly startling stories about the number of fakes in circulation.

Demon-itised, eh?


The tour guide said that about 3% of the current £1 coins are forgeries.  The new coin has lots of additional security features.  The edges are alternately milled and smooth, there is micro-lettering near the rim on both the obverse (heads) and reverse (tails) sides saying "ONE POUND" and "2017" (this year) respectively, there's a hologram on the obverse under the Queen's head that shows either "£" or "1" depending on the angle, and there is an additional material inside the core of the coin which can be detected when the coin is scanned.

Impressive!

https://www.thenewpoundcoin.com/
PhilD

Stuntman wrote:
 The edges are alternately milled and smooth, there is micro-lettering near the rim on both the obverse (heads) and reverse (tails) sides saying "ONE POUND" and "2017" (this year) respectively, there's a hologram on the obverse under the Queen's head that shows either "£" or "1" depending on the angle, and there is an additional material inside the core of the coin which can be detected when the coin is scanned.


Will that make any difference when I put the fake in the vending machine?
Twelfth Monkey

I wonder if our local park will take the opportunity to 'adjust' parking fees when it has to change the meters...
PhilD

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I wonder if our local park will take the opportunity to 'adjust' parking fees when it has to change the meters...


Will probably move away from coinage.
Blarno

Big Blue wrote:
Blarno wrote:
I need that year of the monkey coin!


Me too, although I assume you're a 1980 monkey not a 1968 vintage.

We do seem to have a lot of Monkeys 🐒


1980 indeed, although some people have often thought I was a 1968 model.

Bastards.
Big Blue

Blarno wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
Blarno wrote:
I need that year of the monkey coin!


Me too, although I assume you're a 1980 monkey not a 1968 vintage.

We do seem to have a lot of Monkeys 🐒


1980 indeed, although some people have often thought I was a 1968 model.

Bastards.


I'm the other way: walked into the doctor on Monday (nothing major) and she looked up and said "I thought you were the wrong patient as you don't look anywhere near your age!"
PhilD

Big Blue wrote:
Blarno wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
Blarno wrote:
I need that year of the monkey coin!


Me too, although I assume you're a 1980 monkey not a 1968 vintage.

We do seem to have a lot of Monkeys 🐒


1980 indeed, although some people have often thought I was a 1968 model.

Bastards.


I'm the other way: walked into the doctor on Monday (nothing major) and she looked up and said "I thought you were the wrong patient as you don't look anywhere near your age!"


Which could be taken either way?!
Bob Sacamano

Snake here. Cue the jokes.

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