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17 Jun 2014

The Royal Mint is to release limited edition precious metal £1 coins bearing the floral of Scotland, in a continuation of its popular series celebrating Britain’s best-loved botanical icons. The Scotland £1 coin portrays Timothy Noad’s carefully-detailed Scottish thistle and bluebell emblems, and is available in fine gold Proof, silver Proof and silver Piedfort limited editions.

Since its introduction in 1983, the £1 coin has provided a platform on which to celebrate the four parts of the United Kingdom, with designs representing the Royal coats of arms, capital cities, bridges, and national emblems. Continuing the themed series that started in 2013 with the England and Wales floral £1 coins, the floral of Scotland and Ireland are celebrated on the circulating and commemorative £1 coins of 2014. The release of the Ireland £1 in precious metal later this year will complete the series.

The thistle became an emblem of Scotland during the reign of Alexander III in the thirteenth century and graced the Scottish silver coinage for the first time in the reign of James III, whilst the Scottish bluebell is the delicate, less familiar, floral symbol of Scotland. The flower features in the traditional Scottish folk song, ‘The Blue Bells of Scotland’.

The obverse of the floral series £1 coins features the current portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, and the reverse designs are by Timothy Noad, renowned numismatic and medallic artist and Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.

Commenting on his designs, Timothy Noad said, “In designing a series of coins representing each country of the UK, it is important that the motif on each coin is clearly recognisable and also keeps within the heraldic rules and conventions. I often find inspiration in medieval manuscripts, illumination and the work of William Morris, as well as the study of nature”.

Each coin is accompanied by an informative booklet that explores the symbolism of the floral that decorate it, and is finished with extracts from poems that capture the national passion behind each of these symbols. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity, which marks it as an official coin of The Royal Mint.

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