The Royal Mint has released information on coin programs planned for 2016. New issues will mark historic anniversaries, including the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, and London’s Great Fire of 1666.
Also announced is a special one pound coin to be included in specific coin sets, effectively saying goodbye to the current one pound coin, which will be replaced by a new security enhanced circulation version in 2017.
In all, a total of five commemorative £2 coins will be issued, as well as one new fifty pence coin. In celebration of the sovereign’s milestone 90th birthday, the Royal Mint will issue a £5 crown coin to mark the occasion. As Queen Elizabeth II will be the first British sovereign ever to celebrate a 90th birthday, this coin and event will be very special indeed.
£2 Great fire of London: It was 350 years ago, in 1666, that the Great Fire of London started in a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane. The Royal Mint, then based in the Tower of London, was saved from the flames by the demolition of houses that lay in the path of the fire.
The obverse side of this 2016-dated coin has captured the event that changed the face of the City of London forever. It helped contain the dreaded plague, it changed the layout of the city by expanding the streets and living areas, and it paved the way for the implementation of building codes that saw greater use of brick and better sanitation. The coin is designed by Royal Mint graphic designer Aaron West.
£2 400th anniversary – Birth of William Shakespeare, 1616 – 2016: William Shakespeare remains a household name 400 years after his death, and his writing is still central to the curriculum of many English-speaking countries today. Shakespeare’s works make many references to coins, so it is fitting that for 2016 this series of three £2 coins reflect different elements of his work.
Coin 1. Comedies: Tales with happy endings or the triumph of good over adversity.
Coin 2. Tragedies: Telling of downfalls and disasters.
Coin 3. Histories: Reimagining the events of times past.
All three coins in this exceptional series are designed by renowned sculptor John Bergdahl and will be available as a set.
£2 The Army 2016 UK £2 Coin: In 1914, as Britain mobilized for war, the country was swept by patriotic fervor in response to Lord Kitchener’s call to arms. Teammates, friends, neighbors, and colleagues served side by side in ‘Pals’ battalions to defend their country, and this spirit of camaraderie is remembered on a £2 coin, issued as part of an ongoing program to remember the centennial of the outbreak of the First World War. The reverse side of the coin is the work of graphic designer Tim Sharp.
£1 The Last ‘Round Pound’ 2016 UK £1 Coin
In 1983, the United Kingdom saw a pound coin enter circulation for the first time since the withdrawal of gold sovereign coins from general use after the First World War. A one-pound note had been in use for many years, but as the Bank of England had to replace them frequently—the notes had a life-span of about ten months due to wear and tear—it was decided by the Treasury that a coin should replace the note. Within a short period of time, the note disappeared from circulation and the new golden-colored coins were in practically everyone’s pockets or purses; it was considered one of the more successful change-overs from note to coin.
In 2014 the Royal Mint announced that a brand new 12-sided £1 coin would enter circulation in 2017, incorporating ground-breaking security features specifically developed by the Royal Mint. To mark the end of an era for the popular British ‘round pound’ introduced 33 years ago, the Royal Mint will strike a special commemorative Royal Arms £1 coin that will be of particular note to collectors because it will not be available in general circulation. The last “round pound” coin is designed by artist Gregory Cameron.
50 Pence 950th Anniversary of The Battle of Hastings 2016
On October 14, 2016 Britain will remember the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings – a landmark moment in British history. Following King Edward’s death on the January 5, 1066, the lack of an acknowledged heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. Harold II was crowned King after his brother’s death, but immediately faced challenges for his crown from Tostig Godwinson, King Harold’s own brother, as well as William, Duke of Normandy, and the Norwegian King, Harald Hardrada.
The outcome of the battle between these belligerents would change the British Isles forever, ushering in a new chapter with Britain’s first Norman King, William I, known thereafter as William the Conqueror. The 50 pence coin depicts the famous fate of King Harold on the reverse and is designed by sculptor John Bergdahl.
The base metal versions of these coins will be available during the early part of 2016, with the precious versions available later in the year. For more information on these and other coins offered by the Royal Mint, please visit their Web site. Information is offered in English – international orders dispatched where applicable.