British History in Coinage: The 2017 Coins

by blackspanielgallery

The Royal Mint has released a wonderful sampling of British history in coins. And, has solved a serious problem of revamping the one-pound coin.

First, British history goes back to before most other nations formed. While most of Europe was part of the Holy Roman Empire, the British Isles were not. Instead the countries that now form the United Kingdom were already established. So, there is much history available to tell the tale of such long standing countries as now form the United Kingdom.

As for the Royal Mint, well it has been around for well over a thousand years, perhaps not in its current location, but the Royal Mint was established in the tenth century. Over this expanse of time the Royal Mint has had much experience in striking coins, and has developed a reputation as being a mint that produces high quality pieces.

Collectors Should Consider Directly Purchasing

Purchasing coins directly from a mint eliminates two problems for coin collectors. 


First, the quality is there.  Coins sent out to collectors by a mint are in high grade, uncirculated condition.  There is no danger that someone might have handled a coin.  While this might seem insignificant if no damage is obvious, it is not.  The oils from a person’s hands can cause damage that might show up years later.  The severity of the damage has to do with the type of metal, and how it reacts to the oils, but a coin obtained directly from a mint has not been improperly handled.  Mint employees are skilled at avoiding incidental contact with coins.


A second important consideration is that the province of the coin.  There is no danger that the coin is counterfeit, nor that it has been stolen.  The authenticity is known, and so is its province.


Image From WP Clipart

Public Domain

Two Historical Five-Pound Coins

Two five-pound coins commemorating British history are being released. 


One is the one proclamation of the House of Windsor in 1917.  This year is the centenary of the proclamation by King George V, whereby the name was established.  The name was changed from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to eliminate the Germanic sounding name during World War I.


The other commemorates the one-thousandth anniversary of the seizure of the throne by King Canute the Great who came from the north.  This coin features an image of King Canute the Great.


he Two-Pound Coins

Two bimetallic coins are being struck as the two-pound commemorative issues.


One of the two-pound commemorative issues is timed for the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of the novelist, Jane Austin.  It features her likeness in profile.


The second coin is to honor the World War I aviators.  

The Fifty Pence Coin

The fifty pence coin honors Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists in history.  

The One-Pound Coin

The one-pound coin is to be a circulation coin, and it is greatly revamped.  One of the problems that arose just a short time ago was the revelation that the one-pound coin was being counterfeited in great quantities, and the experts could not detect the counterfeit coins.  There was a need to completely change the one-pound coin.  This new issue is being called one of the most secure coins minted.  It is a twelve-sided coin.  This alone makes getting blanks for counterfeiting more difficult.  Then the image must be oriented perfectly, which is not true for a round coin.

Proof and Mint Sets


There are various proof and mint sets available, some include circulating coins and others include commemorative coins.  Then, there are sets that include both.


A proof coin is struck with more pressure, and will have sharper features than a business strike coin. 


You might see the word piedfort on at least one set.  A piedfort coin is thicker than an ordinary coin, so it can be struck with such pressure as to really cause the image to stand out.


The Queen’s Effigy

The Queen has her effigy on all British coins, and currently the one used is the fifth effigy.  Aging the Queen gracefully for a monarch with such a long reign is important.  This is the “heads” side of the coins, which is properly called the obverse.

A Humorous Inclusion

I often tell those who are dieting that I can lose ten pounds in a day.  When they ask how I say I will get five Britannia coins, which have a denomination of two pounds each, are toss them into a river.  Indeed, I would have then lost ten pounds.  Of course I have to explain what a pound is to many of them.


 This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Zazzle, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting.

Updated: 09/26/2017, blackspanielgallery
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mihgasper on 01/17/2017

I love the look of new coins. They can be a nice gift or an ice breaker in a conversation. Not to mention the look of the waitress when you try paying with a 3 EUR coins:-)

Veronica on 01/13/2017

A set of the new ones for 2017 about £55.00

blackspanielgallery on 01/12/2017

Which set did you get? There is an entire page of them on the RM website.

frankbeswick on 01/12/2017

I will not tell him, though you have not told me which son I should not tell. I am unlikely to remember what you have bought anyway.

Veronica on 01/12/2017

I have at the instigation of this page, bought a 2017 set for my son's birthday. Frank! don't tell him . DO NOT.

blackspanielgallery on 01/10/2017

The commemorative issues can be nice keepsakes, and that is enhanced if the subject is something significant to the person getting it. The Royal Mint produces some, not an abundance but some, commemorative coins annually. This year they are recognizing some significant historical events.
Of course they sell at a premium, which I am certain you know. But the Royal Mint occasionally has free shipping to the U. K.

Veronica on 01/10/2017

Excellent. thank you. I wasn't aware we had some new coins coming out.
By coincidence, this Christmas I bought my sons and their wives commemorative 50p pieces as stocking fillers. They were delighted with them.

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