(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
|Obverse Designers||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
2011 Ian Rank-Broadley
|Reverse Designer||Stuart Devlin|
|Edge Inscription||Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN|
2010 saw the launch of an entirely new £1 coin series which focused on the four capital cities of the UK - the 'City Series'. In 2011 the final two £1 coins in the 'City Series' were released, representing Edinburgh and Cardiff. This is the '2011 Cardiff £1 coin'.
Cardiff had long made unofficial use of the arms of the medieval lords of the area before it was granted city status on 28 October 1905. Its Coat of Arms was granted in 1906, although the city was not proclaimed capital of Wales until 20 December 1955. The design of the shield is described as: Argent on a mount vert growing therefrom a leek proper a dragon rampant gules supporting a banner gules charged with three chevrons argent. It is not surprising that the fiery red dragon should feature so prominently in the City’s Coat of Arms since it has been recognised as the emblem of Wales for well over 1,000 years. It was a symbol favoured by the historic Welsh leaders and also by the Welshman Henry Tudur who claimed descent from Cadwaladr, the great Welsh King traditionally called 'the last King of Britain'. The leek, too, is an historic symbol of Wales, having played a vital role in the battle of Heathfield in 633 AD when it was used to distinguish friend from foe. The motto of the City’s arms Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN - translated as 'the red dragon shall lead' - was chosen as the edge inscription.
By 1980 it had become apparent that, with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate as a coin than a banknote. After consultation with many groups, including retailers and special interest groups, the Government announced on 31 July 1981 that a new £1 coin was to be issued on 21 April 1983. Since its launch the £1 has always represented the United Kingdom and its constituent parts; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.