Second £20 coin outbreak of the First World War | The Royal Mint

08 Jul 2014

The Royal Mint has unveiled the theme of its second United Kingdom £20 coin - remembering those who answered the call to arms at the outbreak of the First World War a century ago.

The design depicts the figure of Britannia watching over the first troops leaving for France at the start of the war, and was created by renowned sculptor John Bergdahl, who has captured the essence of the art deco style prevalent at the time, yet incorporates a contemporary twist.

Commenting on his inspiration for the image, John Bergdahl said: “I decided to use the figure of Britannia in order to represent all of the allies who took part, most of whom were British or drawn from the British Empire. I combined inspiration from two sources: the South African medal for war services and the First World War memorial plaque awarded to those who died, using an art deco style which I felt best reflected the period.”

Minted in fine silver, and struck to Brilliant Uncirculated standard, the ‘Outbreak of War’ £20 coin is an official United Kingdom coin, and bears the current portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on its obverse by Ian Rank-Broadley. It will be limited to an issue of 250,000 coins, and follows on from the sell-out success of the first ever £20 coin in October 2013 in honour of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.

Shane Bissett, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin and Bullion and Medals said “The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is an occasion of such significance, it was important to us that this coin should takes its place in The Royal Mint’s programme of commemoration, remembering the bravery and sacrifice of those who answered the call to fight for King and country.”

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