Celebrate Belfast with a new coin highlighting the city’s rich heritage

04 Nov 2010

Today, the Royal Mint announces the launch of a new £1 coin to celebrate Belfast. To launch the coin the Lord Mayor of Belfast was presented with a uniquely designed Chain of Office. The Chain has been exclusively made by local jewellers Steensons and includes 10 of the £1 Belfast coins in its design and is intended as a historical tribute to the city.

The Belfast coin forms part of the Royal Mint’s City Series, a collection comprising four £1 coins which together commemorate the capital cities of London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Belfast is the second in the series, with London being released earlier in the year and Cardiff and Edinburgh to follow in 2011.

Taking inspiration from Belfast’s iconic emblems, the coin honours the city’s maritime history with a heraldic depiction including images of a vessel at sea, the Chichester family arms and a bell, in simple reference to the origins of the city’s name.

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint, said: “Belfast has a rich history that the Royal Mint wanted to represent and celebrate on the new £1 Belfast coin. The UK £1 coin has only ever had 16 different reverse designs in its history and we’re proud that the City Series allows for Belfast to feature as the 17th.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery said: “Belfast is honoured to be represented on this unique coin and the presentation of it as a Chain of Office reflects its position as a modern piece of history. I’m sure Belfast residents will be eager to see their city proudly represented on a coin in circulation.”

Bill Steenson, Steensons Jewellers said: “We were proud to be given this exclusive commission by the Royal Mint. We’ve combined our local craftsmanship with a contemporary design to produce a Chain of Office that reflects the city today.”

The limited edition coin is available to buy from the Royal Mint at www.royalmint.com/belfast and features the design by the famous international coin designer Stuart Devlin, Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen.

The edge of the Belfast coin is inscribed with the motto 'PRO TANTO QUID RETRIBUAMUS' which is translated as 'What shall we give in return for so much'.

The Chain of Office was designed by Steensons jewellers of Belfast http://www.thesteensons.com/

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Notes to Editors

About the £1 UK series

  • Each of the four new £1 UK coins, designed by Stuart Devlin, bears the coats of arms of all four capital cities, with the heraldic emblem of one city particularly highlighted.

  • Concentric shapes emanate from the central design to represent the infinite influence that one city has on the other four and the world as a whole.

  • The obverse of the coins bears the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

Royal Mint facts

  • The Royal Mint has a history dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812, the Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in Llantrisant, South Wales.

  • There were estimated to be 28.2 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2009, with a total face value of £3.6 billion – all manufactured by the Royal Mint.

  • 1.3 billion UK coins were issued during 2008-09.

  • Of the higher denomination coins, it is the 20p piece that is most in demand – with more than 2.4 billion now in circulation.

Royal Mint contact details

For more information, please contact the Royal Mint Press Office on 020 853 2390