Last week the Royal Mint issued a press release which included information about the imminent sell-out of their £20-for-£20 silver face value coins. By later in the week, the web page for ordering up to ten coins per household (increased from three pieces originally) indicated the coins as sold out of the total indicated mintage of 250,000 pieces.
The BU coin has a weight of ½ an ounce of .999 silver and a diameter of 27 mm. Initially, the coin had been restricted to UK addresses only but it has been reported that collectors and interested customers have ordered & received their coins from outside the UK.
The coin, introduced in September of 2013, was in response to the growing demand for face value silver coins in a similar program launched by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2011 who offered a small silver coin (1/4 ounce) with a face value of $20.
The Royal Mint’s face value silver coins featured one of the country’s most iconic numismatic designs, Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic rendition of St. Geogre slaying a dragon on horseback. The reverse depiction was also chosen in response to the earlier sell-out of the same design being included on a silver £5 silver proof crown in honor of the birth of the Queen’s first Great-grandson and fourth in line to the throne in July last year. That coin was issued in limited quantity and sold out in under a week, it was the first time the Pistrucci reverse design was used on a silver crown during the Queen’s 61 year reign.
The Royal Mint have also taken this opportunity to announce that a second silver face value coin will be issued in July which will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, or as it was referred to between world wars, the Great War. The Royal Mint are now registering names for sneak previews and pre-orders. The announced mintage for the 2014 coin has been set at 150,000 pieces.