The Royal Mint reveals rare British coin to the numismatic world for the first time

22 Feb 2010

The Royal Mint has displayed its extremely rare ‘Petition Crown’ coin at the World Money Fair 2010 in Berlin, taking the valuable numismatic artefact on tour from its home at the Royal Mint’s museum in South Wales, for the first time.

Ministry of Defence security officials guarded the Petition Crown, valued at around £200,000, as many visitors to the fair marvelled at the first chance to view the rare masterpiece of numismatic art.

The 1663 ‘Petition Crown’ is the famous creation of world renowned engraver Thomas Simon and is widely considered one of the most beautiful British coins ever made. The double-banded raised letter inscription of the edge of the coin is regarded as a remarkable technical achievement, particularly as Thomas Simon is rumoured to have meticulously created the coin by candlelight.

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coins at The Royal Mint said: “The Royal Mint is committed to protecting and sharing the heritage of British coinage and the Petition Crown stands out as a really special part of our history. We are delighted to be able toshare this rare and splendid piece of numismatic art with people from around the world."

The Petition Crown is so called because Thomas Simon produced the coin to petition Charles II to reinstate him as Chief Engraver of The Royal Mint, after he was deposed from the role in 1662 in favour of John Roettiers, a Dutch engraver. Despite his efforts, Charles II refused to reinstate Thomas Simon in the role and the Petition Crown was never formally issued.

The Petition Crown is engraved with a portrait of Charles II, design by John Roettiers. The coin’s edge is inscribed with the reading: “Thomas Simon most humbly prays your majesty to compare this his tryall piece with the dutch and if more truly drawn & emboss’d more gracefully order’d and more accurately engraven to releive him".