Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square – four very British Icons – are famous symbols of outstanding British design, engineering and culture. Two of The Royal Mint’s talented engravers, Laura Clancy and Glyn Davies, have captured these familiar sights with a new perspective. Their designs have an impressionistic feel, depicting the icons through the eyes of the visitor, obscured by the everyday – weather, crowds or location. These stunning silver Proof coins have been colour-printed using trichromatic techniques to enhance the designs, highlighting wet-weather scenes or adding the touch of sunshine to a statue.
The four crown-sized coins – larger than any circulating coin with an impressive diameter of over 36 millimetres – are presented and protected in an elegant Royal Mint case. A stylishly designed booklet reveals the hidden story and interesting facts about each icon and reveals the designers’ inspirations. Unlike other mementoes these coins are official UK coins (confirmed by a Certificate of Authenticity) and make the perfect gift for those with in interest in Britain’s culture, history and architectural design or a great addition to any collection. Act quickly for there are only 3,500 sets to meet UK and international demand.
This is not the first time The Royal Mint has celebrated British architecture. A series of bridge designs created by Edwina Ellis graced the £1 coin from 2004 to 2007. They celebrated engineering excellence in the form of the famous bridges of the home nations – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Yet Laura Clancy and Glyn Davies have breathed new life into the tradition with their impressionist designs, depicting these familiar icons in a new perspective. These stunning designs lend themselves to colour-printing, which has further enhanced the contemporary feel, as Laura Clancy explains,
“We wanted to achieve something quite different to things that had been done before. We modelled in clay rather than the more traditional plaster - this softer material allowed us to create a more fluid model, more like a sketch than a photo, but in 3D. At The Royal Mint, we hand work all our master tools, but for these tools we added texture, something that would add to the sense of mood and the feeling of weather. Finally, once the coins were struck, colour was added. The British Icons coins are not a literal representation but express the transient effects of light and colour on a location. Throughout the process, we have been aiming for an impression of the subject, a moment in time - the modelling to convey the place, the colour and treatment of the metal to convey time and mood.”