A Connection of Two British Icons
For 250 years, the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) and The Royal Mint have maintained historical, cultural and symbolic links. A number of Royal Academicians have created coin designs for The Royal Mint and have also become important figures in the history of British coinage. Richard Yeo, a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts, produced designs for the coinage of George III and became Chief Engraver of The Royal Mint. William Wyon RA produced portraits of George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria, while also becoming Chief Engraver. Arnold Machin RA produced the decimal portrait of The Queen, the 1972 Silver Wedding Anniversary Crown and the 1977 Silver Jubilee Crown. Later, David Mach RA and Christopher Le Brun RA produced designs for twenty-first century Britannia coins.
Evidently, the connection between these iconic British organisations is rich and steeped in history. The Royal Academy of Arts has influenced The Royal Mint through coin designs and artistic guidance, and The Royal Mint has stimulated Royal Academicians through giving them a platform to create designs for British coinage. With artistic influence at the forefront, these two British organisations have again come together to celebrate and commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts. A £5 coin has been designed by Sir David Chipperfield RA who has also led the redevelopment of the Royal Academy of Arts as part of the RA250 celebrations.