A silver penny for every new baby
02 Jul 2013
Since the announcement from Buckingham Palace earlier this year that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting their first child, the world has been anticipating the arrival of the future heir to the throne.
The Royal Mint has a long history of celebrating special events by creating a new coin to commemorate an occasion. So in a fitting gesture that is also in keeping with an age-old tradition to mark a new birth with a gift of silver for good luck, The Royal Mint is giving babies born on the same day as the future monarch a suitably royal welcome by presenting them with a silver penny struck with the year of their birth.
Giving a silver gift to mark the arrival of a new baby is now generally considered to be a keepsake rather than a practical gift for a baby. However, throughout history, crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver or offering them a silver penny was also seen as a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint said:
“The birth of the royal baby will be a joyous occasion not just for Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but also for the whole nation, as we prepare to celebrate another remarkable milestone in their life journey together. However, it will also be a special day for many mothers and fathers across the country as they too welcome the arrival of their new baby, hence why we wanted to extend this historical moment to them with a lucky silver penny”.
The silver penny, which comes presented in a beautiful pink or blue pouch, is marked with the year 2013 to commemorate the baby girl or boy’s year of birth and features a shield of the Royal Arms designed by Matthew Dent. The Royal Arms are divided into four parts, England being represented by the three lions passant guardant in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland by the Scottish lion rampant in the second with the harp of Ireland in the third.
Parents of babies born on the same day as the royal baby, who wish to claim their silver penny simply need to visit Facebook.com/theroyalmint and register the birth of their child. Parents have sixty days following the birth to obtain one of the 2,013 coins that are to be made available by The Royal Mint.
(If you have any stories to tell about the silver pennies you or your relatives were given to celebrate a birth of a baby, please share them with us on our www.facebook.com/theroyalmint or at Twitter.com/royalmintuk)