Celebrating William Shakespeare | The Royal Mint

17 Oct 2016

At over 1,000 years old, and Britain’s oldest manufacturer, The Royal Mint must be one of the few organisations that can claim to have its products referenced throughout the works of Shakespeare. Royal Mint coins such as the halfpenny, farthing and noble have all taken their turn on the Shakespearean stage, in plays that include Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice and the Merry Wives of Windsor.

It is not only The Royal Mint’s coins that are featured in Shakespeare’s works - one time Master of the Mint, nobleman William Hastings, appeared in Henry VI and also in Richard III, in which Shakespeare tells of his unfortunate demise.

Now another coin with a link to Shakespeare - a commemorative £50 silver proof piece - has been struck by The Royal Mint to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.  The Shakespeare 2016 £50 Fine Silver Coin is the grand finale in The Royal Mint’s 2016 circulating and commemorative coin series celebrating the works of the playwright. Featuring theatre’s comedy and tragedy masks to represent the range of themes covered by Shakespeare, the coin has been designed by renowned sculptor and coin designer, John Bergdahl.

John Bergdahl said: “There is no definitive proof of how Shakespeare might have looked, but there is a popular perception, so I took inspiration from a black and white engraving to create the masks; for me the two faces summed up his genius.”

This coin is a commemorative coin so banks, post offices and shops will not accept them.

If individual customers wish to discuss the return of this coin now or in the future please contact our customer services team on 0345 6088 300.

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