The Royal Mint Unveils the UK’s Smallest Coin
02 Oct 2014
The Royal Mint introduces the smallest United Kingdom coin ever minted, as part of its 2014 Britannia Gold and Silver Proof Collection. The beautiful coin, weighing just one fortieth-ounce and measuring a delicate 8mm wide, depicts an elegant yet powerful interpretation of Britannia by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark.
The intricate design features an art deco inspired yet modern interpretation of Britannia, standing proudly in front of a globe, accompanied by a lion, with its tail draped protectively around her feet.
Since her debut on Roman coins nearly 2,000 years ago, artists have used various symbols to convey Britannia’s virtues. The trident and spear represent might, balanced by delicately draped robes, or an olive branch for peace. The stunning contemporary design for 2014 by Jody Clark revisits this tradition.
Jody Clark explains: “In approaching my design I started by researching what had gone before. Britannia has appeared in so many different compositions and with such a variety of symbols, I wanted my design to recall her history and tradition but with the elements surrounding Britannia, rather than weighing her down.
“Although some of the elements are motionless - the globe as a backdrop, the shield and trident placed at her side – I feel there is a dynamism to the design. There is a sense of movement as Britannia’s hair and robes flow, as does the mane of the lion, an iconic symbol of strength and pride that I was keen to include, and I hope that the two appear united as I intended them. Although the lion is at Britannia’s feet, its tail is curled around her, protective and tamed.”
The Royal Mint’s Britannia collection for 2014 launched in July with a choice of individual coins and sets, struck in 999 fine silver or 999.9 fine gold, followed by the individual release of the fortieth-ounce coin in 999.9 fine gold this month.
Each set or coin is housed in a distinguished Royal Mint case, tailored accordingly to the contents, and is complemented by a booklet that reveals Britannia’s story and the inspiration behind the design. A Certificate of Authenticity accompanies the chosen item, confirming that it is part of a limited presentation.
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