The Treasury of Palau, in association with CIT, have dedicated their latest coin, which is part of their Tiffany Art “Metropolis” series, to one of the world’s most recognised landmarks. Launched in 2021, the series consists of two annual releases comprising different designs on each coin pertaining to the featured metropolis. The first release always depicts the featured city’s map traversed by both a river and a well-known bridge. The second issue is produced as five-ounce coins in gold and silver released later in the year and is dedicated to a major building or landmark of that city.
For 2023, it’s the turn of London, the seat of government of the United Kingdom and a city that attracts the most tourists worldwide. One of the reasons for this can be found as part of history spanning back to the 19th century, when Great Britain ruled not only the waves but also nearly a quarter of land and peoples on Earth. The centre of British rule was the Palace of Westminster, home of both chambers of the British Parliament. On the banks of the River Thames, the majestic Palace of Westminster fascinates with its striking Victorian Gothic architecture and iconic Big Ben clock tower. The original Palace of Westminster, the medieval royal palace which has been on-site since 1016 and used as the home of the British parliament, was largely destroyed by fire in October 1834. Though several elements and smaller structures survived, a plan to build a new structure was undertaken in 1837 and incorporated some of the structures that survived. The style of Neo-Gothic was chosen from plans created by the architect Charles Barry in 1837. The cornerstone was laid in 1840, and 20 years later, the building was completed. Included is the iconic clock tower known as “Big Ben,” which was completed one year before the completion of the Palace of Westminster. The tower is nicknamed in honour of Sir Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner for Works, who raised the Great Bell to its current place atop the tower. In 2012, in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the clock tower was renamed “The Elizabeth Tower.” The “Victoria Tower,” named after the reigning monarch at the time of its construction, is the square tower at the southwest end of the Palace of Westminster and the most recognisable part of the landmark adjacent to Black Rod’s Garden on the west and Old Palace Yard on the east. It is from this tower where the Sovereign’s Entrance is located and is used by the monarch when he or she visits the Houses of Parliament, notably when the Opening of Parliament takes place. Retracing the footsteps of kings and queens, and adjacent to the palace lies Westminster Abbey, gracing its noble façade with intricate carvings and towering spires which have witnessed the coronations of every English and British sovereign since 1066. This historic landmark has presided over centuries of political and ceremonial events and is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The coins are commissioned by CIT of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and produced by the B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt at their facilities in Munich on behalf of the treasury of Palau. Utilising smartminting ultra high relief technology and the addition of Tiffany glass inlay, the obverse side depicts the foot of the Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster with countless Neo-Gothic ornaments on its façade, and it is the door of the Sovereign’s Entrance that is designed to include the glass inlay. To the left of the image is the inscription PALACE OF WESTMINSTER, which is superimposed over the image of the palace.
The reverse side presents a view of the Palace of Westminster as would be seen from the south side of the Thames River and provides a pleasant view of all the familiar towers, particularly the famous Big Ben clock tower to the right. Above the primary design and centered is the coat of arms, REPUBLIC OF PALAU, and the denomination of 500 Dollars (gold) or 25 Dollars (silver). To the lower right is a stele or flat shape, which includes the glass inlay. On the surface of Tiffany glass is the coat of arms of the Palace of Westminster, a crowned portcullis. Above the inlay is the text Tiffany Art Metropolis, and below is the year of issue, 2023.
|155.5 g||65 mm||Proof & Inlay||
|155.5 g||50 mm||Proof & Inlay||
Each Proof coin is encapsulated and enclosed in a custom-designed windowed case to enhance display and viewing. A certificate of authenticity also accompanies the coins. For additional information about the series and availability, please click here.