Invitations are in the mail, and now the coins are on order.
Britain’s Royal Mint Feb. 25 unveiled the design for a
commemorative coin marking the April 29 Royal Wedding of Prince
William to Catherine Middleton.
The Royal Mint immediately began accepting pre-orders for six
different collector options, promising to deliver the coins before the
wedding. Delivery will begin once the design is presented for and
receives final approval March 16.
Interest in the coins was so high that, 20 minutes after the
announcement, the RCM Web site (www.royalmint.com) was briefly
inaccessible, presumably due to a rush of viewers prompted by the
“Royal Mint customers are the first to see the approved design and
you can reserve your official Royal Wedding £5 coin today. Every
product will have an issue limit, some especially low, so we would
encourage you to act today to avoid disappointment, and secure your
own official piece of UK history,” the Web site said.
Inside a circular border on the reverse appears a close-up of the
couple, facing each other, in a design by Mark Richards.
After being stung by critics for the design on Royal Engagement
coins struck for Alderney (which showed the bride-to-be as
uncharacteristically puffy in the face), the Royal Mint’s design for
the official United Kingdom commemorative coin offers a more realistic
portrayal, judging by the design rendering released.
The legend william and catherine appears in the outer border
above, with the wedding date, 29 april 2011, in the lower border.
The £5 coin has received approval from Queen Elizabeth II, who
appears on the obverse in the effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley (Prince
William also approved the design, according to the Royal Mint).
The final step in the approval process will occur when the design
is presented at a meeting of the Privy Council on March 16, at which
point the design will pass into law to become official U.K. legal
tender, according to the Royal Mint.
Six different collector versions are being offered, with varying
metals and mintage limits.
The Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel, Proof .925 fine
(sterling) silver and Proof gold-plated .925 fine silver £5 coins
weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter.
The BU coin, which has a mintage maximum of 250,000 pieces and
comes in a presentation folder with a slip case, costs £9.99.
The Proof silver £5 coin and gold-plated silver coin are housed in
display cases with certificates of authenticity.
The Proof silver coin is limited to a 50,000-coin mintage and
The gold-plated silver coin is the first fully gold-plated silver
United Kingdom coin (the Royal Mint has issued some partially
gold-plated coins). It is limited to a mintage of 7,500 pieces and
A piedfort or double thick version of the Proof silver coin is
The piedfort coin weighs 56.56 grams but has the same diameter as
the normal thickness coins.
With a mintage limit of 3,000 coins, the piedfort is offered with
a numbered certificate of authenticity for £89.99.
The Royal Mint also offers a .986 fine gold version, and a
platinum version of unspecified fineness (likely .9995 fine, based on
Size and weight specifications for the gold and platinum coins
were not immediately available at press time Feb. 25.
Each will be offered in its presentation case and with a uniquely
numbered certificate of authenticity.
The gold coin has a maximum mintage of 3,000 pieces and costs
£1,550, while the platinum coin is limited to a mintage of 200 pieces
and costs £5,450.
The Royal Mint is counting on the coin to be a winner.
“Public interest in this great event is already huge, and building
every day, so we are anticipating massive demand for these official
Prices for the coins are listed in British pounds. The prices in
U.S. or Canadian dollars will fluctuate with the exchange rate; the
price will be locked in upon ordering.
Shipping and handling are an additional charge.
To order the coins, visit the Royal Mint Web site, write to the
Royal Mint, FREEPOST, NAT23496, P.O. Box 500, Llantrisant, Pontyclun
CF72 8YT, or telephone the Royal Mint Customer Services Team toll free
at (866) 519-7298 in the United States or at (866) 924-0861 in Canada. ■