In the wake of the announcement that the Royal Mint of Belgium will cease minting and production activities from the 1st January 2018, the Department of the Treasury have made the remaining stock of coins available to collectors at discounted prices. The announcement was made with little fanfare and very quietly, with a recent follow-up advising their customers and clientele that the remaining stock held by the Royal Mint would be discounted to facilitate a quick sale.
The Royal Mint of Belgium last hosted their open day at the mint on the 4th April, and it was noted by many who attended the open day that this opportunity might be their last occasion to visit the facilities, located in Brussels. The announcement of the closure of Belgium’s only minting facility follows that of the recent closure of the Royal Mint of Denmark last year and that of the Myntverket Sverige in 2011.
An announcement as to where future Belgian coins would be produced has not yet been made, but it has been speculated that there are currently two options open to the Belgian Treasury. The Royal Dutch Mint, whose ownership officially changed from the Dutch Treasury to the Belgian investment company Groep Heylen earlier this year, may be a possibility for the production of Belgian coinage; or the mint may be bought by the same company but have production of Belgian coins continue in Belgium.
The Belgian State Mint was founded in 1830, after Belgium became an independent kingdom and separated from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The facility known as the Brussels Mint evolved into the Belgian State Mint which was originally built in 1815, and from 1832 new Belgian coinage was struck and circulated. In 1879, a new purpose-built mint building in St. Gilles was inaugurated; it opened the following year, using the latest machinery to produce Belgian gold, silver, and nickel franc coins. The Mint of Belgium was renamed the Royal Mint of Belgium in 1969 to reflect the status of the facility, and as the only authorised institution to produce coins for the kingdom. The same year, a new, state-of-the-art minting facility was opened on the Boulevard Pacheco, where the mint operates today. The Royal Mint of Belgium successfully transitioned the country from legacy Belgian franc coins to the adopted euro single currency, producing enough coins during a three-year period for the change-over date on the 1st January 2002.
Please visit the website of the Royal Mint of Belgium for additional information on purchasing its remaining stock. ❑