Two Iconic British Brands
The 260th Anniversary of Wedgwood 2019 Coin recognises the best of British innovation. It is the first time the company that revolutionised pottery, to become one of the world’s leading brands, has been commemorated on a United Kingdom coin.
With long histories of producing beautifully crafted works, perhaps it was only a matter of time before Wedgwood and The Royal Mint came together. Our heritage brands have a lot more in common than longevity. Wedgwood produces stunning handcrafted products that commemorate the past and look towards the future. Similarly, at The Royal Mint we have built on our heritage to expand and innovate, and become recognised as the world’s leading export mint.
The two companies also share a royal connection which has helped strengthen their status as cultural icons. Wedgwood creations have been a mainstay of royal tables since Queen Charlotte accepted a tea set from Josiah Wedgwood in 1765.
A Royal Connection
While The Royal Mint has produced the coinage of every king and queen since Alfred the Great. Both companies hold a Royal Warrant, Wedgwood from 1995, confirming prestige and royal links. While royal patronage helped Wedgwood to build their business, it was the ability to produce regal luxury that people could afford that made them a lasting success.
Innovation and experimentation
As cultural icons of the eighteenth century go, few climbed higher than Josiah Wedgwood. An incredibly talented craftsman and potter, it was Wedgwood’s relentless innovative spirit that really earned him his place as a true pioneer. A firm believer that everyone should be able to own a little piece of luxury, Wedgwood’s creations were just as suited to royal tables as they were to families wanting good china to bring out on special occasions.
An early master of branding, Wedgwood succeeded by making his mass-produced pottery affordable to an emerging middle class, while still retaining its desirability to the aristocracy. After founding the company that bore his name in 1759, he established a range of marketing techniques still used today, including employing travelling salesmen and producing sales brochures. Personifying the great social changes of eighteenth-century Britain, Josiah Wedgwood began his career as a humble tradesman and ended it as a world-famous businessman.
An iconic coin for an iconic partnership
The 260th Anniversary of Wedgwood 2019 Coin was designed by the team at Wedgwood, who looked to distil its founder’s early innovation and commitment to high quality, timeless design onto the surface of the coin. 260 years after its initial founding, the company has extended its influence into the world of fashion through long-standing partnerships with famous designers Vera Wang and Jasper Conran. Creating designs that at once build upon the established practices of the past while remaining fresh and relevant is what has made the company such a globally recognised brand.
The coin was designed by the world-famous team at Wedgwood. Led by Dick Delaney, the team chose to put the Portland Vase at the centre of the design. As an iconic symbol of the company’s history, the vase is the perfect way to highlight the history and processes that established the company as a design powerhouse and still delights people today. The Portland Vase also points to the company’s future, because it is still hand produced in Jasperware by the Wedgwood potters and sold around the world. In a world where pottery is increasingly automated, Wedgwood looks to protect and nurture the ancient skills and modern craftsmanship that have made it famous all over the world.