The Trial of the Pyx – A Favourable Report

On 6 May 2011, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, was in attendance at Goldsmiths Hall to hear the verdict on the Trial of the Pyx. As Master of the Royal Mint, he had already shown a keen interest in coin production, having visited the Royal Mint site in March this year to open a new coin plating plant. This was the first time in 15 years that a Master of the Royal Mint had attended the Trial verdict in person. The Royal Mint’s Chief Executive, Adam Lawrence was also present and both were pleased to hear that the coins submitted for testing at the Trial had conformed to their lawful specifications.

Left to Right: Prime Warden Goldsmiths Hall, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Master of the Royal Mint) George Osborne, Chief Executive of the Royal Mint (Deputy Master) Adam Lawrence and the Queen’s Remembrancer Master Steven Whitaker.

Trial of the Pyx 2011 Opening Ceremony

The process started on 8 February this year when a team from the Royal Mint travelled to Goldsmiths Hall for the annual Trial of the Pyx, a trial to certify that coins produced at the Royal Mint conform to the specifications laid down in law.

They took with them Pyx packets each containing 50 samples of a UK denomination struck during the year. More than 59,000 UK coins taken from production throughout 2010 were taken and they would undergo rigorous testing for weight and accuracy.

‘The Trial of the Pyx must be the oldest form of quality assessment in the world. It was originally designed to keep the Mint on its toes in medieval times, but today we are always quietly confident of the Verdict because coins produced at the Royal Mint are continually tested throughout production and are among the best in the world.’

Glyn Baker, Royal Mint representative