The Royal Mint announces new £1 London coin with contemporary twist

05 Mar 2010

Today, the Royal Mint announces its new limited edition £1 London coin in gold and silver, which is part of the new series of four £1 coins representing the UK’s capital cities. The series has been designed with a contemporary twist by the famous international coin designer Stuart Devlin, Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen. In spite of having designed coins for many countries throughout the world, this is the first time he has designed for the UK.

The full £1 UK Cities series, which together commemorate England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales by focusing on the four capital cities, will be unrolled over the next two years. The gold and silver coins to commemorate Belfast will be available from Summer 2010, with the Cardiff and Edinburgh coins due to be launched in 2011.

The new £1 coin series features traditional heraldic shields. Stuart Devlin has given the designs a contemporary flavour by making the shields round to reflect the shapes of the coins themselves. Speaking about designing the new £1 coin range, he said: “I was really excited and privileged to design the new series, particularly as the £1 is such an important symbol in UK coinage. Representing the four capital cities, in a way that brings them together was a challenge, not least because capital cities are so politically sensitive and emotive. However, I worked on the principle that the key is to find something that people identify with.”

Each of Devlin’s coins bears the coats of arms of all four capital cities, with the heraldic emblem of one city particularly highlighted. Concentric shapes emanate from the central design to represent the infinite influence that one city has on the other four and the world as a whole. The obverse of the coins bears the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

The London coin bears the coat of arms of the Corporation of the city of London – the ‘Square Mile’ presided over by the Lord Mayor of London. This emblem features a red cross and upright red sword in the top left quarter, which combines the symbol of the City’s patron saint, St Paul, with that of England’s, the red cross of St George. The edge of the London coin is inscribed with the motto of the arms DOMINE DIRIGE NOS, which is translated as ‘Lord, direct us’.

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coins at the Royal Mint, said: “Capital cities have always had an important role to play in nurturing and projecting the identity of a nation and this is why the Royal Mint wanted to represent and celebrate these UK cities in the new £1 UK coin series. As capital cities are so close to the nations’ heart it was really important to create something people identify with. Stuart Devlin has achieved this brilliantly in his design which symbolises both the sense of regional individuality and contemporary British unity that UK capital cities champion.”


For media enquiries, please contact the Royal Mint Press Office on 0845 600 50 18

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