To unveil the new coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross, we go behind the scenes inside The Royal Mint factory – offering a rare glimpse of how these coins are made.
Located on a highly secure site in South Wales, The Royal Mint has been making coins for 1,100 years and employs over 800 people – including designers, engineers, and chemists skilled in working with precious metals.
It has one of the most technologically advanced minting facilities in the world, with each coin press machine capable of making 100 commemorative coins per hour.
To make a coin, a metal disk is placed inside a coin press machine and struck with a force of 200 tonnes to create the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ design. The designs are imprinted using a specialist tool called a ‘die’ which can be used to strike thousands of coins.
Each coin is then individually inspected to ensure there are no marks or imperfections – this is where the phrase ‘mint condition’ comes from.
The British Red Cross design is one of the first to feature innovative colour printing technology, which uses UV light to set the dye. The Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated versions of the coin features the iconic Red Cross emblem in vivid red - a symbol synonymous with the charity.
The coin was designed by Henry Gray, and the overlapping lines depict connectivity and what can be achieved when people work together. The edge inscription around the coin bears the current motto of the Movement, ‘PER HUMANITATEM AD PACEM’, which translates to ‘THROUGH HUMANITY TO PEACE’.
People interested in finding out more about how coins are made can visit The Royal Mint Experience in South Wales, which offers an exclusive look inside the factory, and has a host of historical treasures and coins on display.