Making The Snowman 50 pence Coin - The Royal Mint

How The Royal Mint brought The Snowman
to life on a coin

Return to The Snowman

Brought to Life on a Coin

For the first time ever on a UK coin, the silver Proof edition of The Snowman coin features a design realised entirely in colour. The lights of Brighton Pier and the stars in the night sky twinkle with a warm glow as the boy and the snowman fly into shot. This effect is achieved by a process called pad printing. Inks are mixed and applied to the etched surfaces of the printing plate. Silicone pads are then lowered onto the plates to absorb the ink, before layering it onto the face of the coin.

Colour or not, care and craft goes into creating every coin in the range. Coins finished to Brilliant Uncirculated standard take twice as long to produce as the coins you find in your change and this special commemorative coin won’t appear in circulation.

Proof coins are struck using special dies with a strictly limited shelf life. Between each strike the die is polished and the coin aligned by hand, the preserve of skilled craftsmen. Proof coins are struck at least twice – the second strike deepens the relief and firms the definition. Each strike uses less pressure than our standard minting process in order to preserve more of the fine detail present in the artwork.

This process showcases the artistry of the design and gives the coin a degree of engineered precision that only striking to Proof standard can achieve: more detail, a clearer relief and a finer, smoother surface than coins struck to normal standards.



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