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Honouring 200 Years of the RNLI
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  • The Royal Mint announces first ever auction of ‘trial pieces’ – the samples used to make coins
  • Highly coveted designs such as the Kew Gardens 50p expected to drive high levels of interest
  • The Royal Mint is also hosting a free webinar ahead of the auction with Chief Engraver Gordon Summers

For the first time in its history, The Royal Mint is offering collectors the chance to own exceptionally rare ‘trial pieces’ featuring designs such as the highly collectible Kew Gardens 50p and the iconic ‘Three Graces’ – a collection that sold out in 25 minutes in December 2020. These bespoke items are expected to drive high levels of interest from collectors and art enthusiasts when they go to auction later this month. 

A trial piece is one of the first samples struck using a new die, and is carefully inspected by coin makers at The Royal Mint to ensure it meets their exacting standards. The trial pieces are then stored for posterity and the design is officially approved by Her Majesty the Queen before coin striking can begin. 

To ensure authenticity, each die trial piece bears a hallmark stating the quality of the metal and a unique latent security feature – designed by The Royal Mint’s Chief Engraver, Gordon Summers. A die trial piece is one of the first coins struck and sets the standard for all coins issued.  They are used to prove tooling, and clarity of design and detail for proof coins, ensuring they are accurate enough for a perfect strike to be used in production.

These pieces do not form part of the standard issue limit and have not been put on sale before by The Royal Mint.

On 26th September, The Royal Mint will offer 60 rare examples of trial pieces to the public for the first time following growing demand from collectors. 

Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint, said: “Each year The Royal Mint introduces a range of original new coin designs celebrating British milestones, anniversaries and themes. Each of these designs requires a trial to ensure the design meets our exacting standards, and results in a handful of trial pieces.

“This month we are delighted to offer a sample of our trial pieces at auction for the first time. Each of the trial pieces has played an integral role in creating the final coin, and offer collectors the chance to own a part of numismatic history.

“Interest in trial pieces has grown significantly over recent years, as customers increasingly seek out exclusive and rare items for their collections. Many customers will treasures the trial pieces as part of a collection or even investments – so we have added a security feature to safeguard their provenance.”

The trial pieces auction is the pinnacle of The Royal Mint’s Collect Week, an annual celebration of collecting.  This year’s Collect Week includes a series of free webinars, awards and virtual events for collectors across the globe, all hosted on the Royal Mint’s website.

To learn more about the intricate world of die trial pieces and what makes them so special, the Royal Mint is holding a free webinar with New Product Technical Manager Dan Thomas and Chief Engraver Gordon Summers, who will discuss the process and detail of how die trial pieces are used to help maintain the high production standards. Held on Monday, 20 September 2021 at 11am, this webinar is suitable for both budding numismatists and seasoned collectors interested in gaining an insight how our 1,100-year-old organisation makes its coins.

For more information visit The Royal Mint’s website www.royalmint.com/collect/auction

The full list of pieces in the auction is as follows:

 

The Piedfort Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Gold Proof Kilo (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Two-Ounce Silver Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Five-Ounce Silver Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Silver Proof Kilo (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Ten-Ounce Silver Proof (Trial Piece)

Three Graces 2020 UK Ten-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

50 Years of the 50p 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof Piedfort (Trial Piece)

Pay Attention 007 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Shaken Not Stirred 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Shaken Not Stirred 2020 UK Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Queen's Beasts The Falcon of The Plantagenets 2019 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof  (Trial Piece)

The Britannia 2019 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Britannia 2021 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Britannia 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Britannia 2021 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Britannia 2019 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

C - Cricket 2019 UK 10p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

David Bowie 2020 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

David Bowie 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

David Bowie 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

David Bowie 2020 UK Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

D-Day Landings 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The 75th Ann D-day Normandy Landings 2019 UK £2 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Elton John 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Elton John 2020 UK Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

A Celebration of the Reign of George III 2020 UK Two-Once Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

A Celebration of the Reign of George III 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

A Celebration of the Reign of George III 2020 UK £5 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Team GB 2020 UK 50p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Britannia New Pence 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Bond, James Bond 2020 UK One Ounce Gold Proof  (Trial Piece)

Pay Attention 007 2020 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Shaken not stirred 2020 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

 007 Special Issue 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Bond, James Bond 2020 UK Two-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Kew Gardens 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Kew Gardens 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof Piedfort  (Trial Piece)

The 400th Anniversary of the Voyage of the Mayflower 2020 UK £2 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Queen 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Queen 2020 UK Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

50 Years of the 50p  2019 UK 50p Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Queen's Beasts The White Horse of Hanover 2020 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

Queen 2020 UK One Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria 2019 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The 200th anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria Celebration Sovereign (Trial Piece)

The Five Sovereign Piece 2019 Brilliant Uncirculated (Trial Piece)

The Double Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Double Sovereign 2020 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Five Sovereign Piece 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Five Sovereign Piece 2020 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Half-Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Half-Sovereign 2020 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Quarter-Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Quarter-Sovereign 2020 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Sovereign 2019 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The Sovereign 2020 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

The 75th Anniversary of VE Day 2020 UK £2 Gold Proof (Trial Piece)

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