Britain’s Royal Mint honours 500 years of Trinity House
20 May 2014
The Royal Mint is this week commemorating the 500th anniversary of Trinity House (20th May), the organisation that has safeguarded the lighthouses, pilot ships and coastal waters of Britain since being awarded a Royal Charter to do so by King Henry VIII.
To mark the milestone event The Royal Mint has produced limited edition commemorative Trinity House-themed £2 coins in sterling silver and 22 carat gold. Its striking lighthouse design also appears on 2014-dated circulating versions of the £2 coin which people are likely to find in their change from October this year. Each coin is edged with the words ‘SERVING THE MARINER’.
Trinity House is the general lighthouse authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, a deep sea pilotage authority and the largest maritime charity in the United Kingdom. Since 1514, Trinity House has served as a symbol of maritime safety for the public and provided an essential service for the mariner, as well as being integral to the identity and economy of the United Kingdom.
The safe passage of seafarers is as important as ever today, with around 95% of the UK’s imported goods arriving by sea, and nearly 1 million amateur sailors taking to the water each year.
The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin, Bullion and Medals, Shane Bissett said “We are delighted to be honouring such an iconic organisation by portraying it on coins that are going to be seen by the nation it has protected for 500 years.”
The Royal Mint’s Trinity House £2 coin was designed by Joe Whitlock Blundell, Production Director of The Folio Society, with the help of David Eccles, a retired illustrator and printer. The image captures the spirit of the five centuries of dedicated service that Trinity House has given the mariner, portraying the lamp of a lighthouse - an enduring symbol of the seas.