World mints are scrambling to launch their commemorative coins by
the April 29 date of the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
The Royal Australian Mint joined the celebration March 29 by
unveiling Royal Engagement coin designs; it began accepting orders for
the coins that day.
Only one world mint could be the first to strike coins for the
wedding, and the Pobjoy Mint, at 11 a.m. March 8, claimed that title,
as the private minter began striking £2 collector coins from British
Indian Ocean Territory.
Britain’s Royal Mint followed, striking its Royal Wedding coins
for the United Kingdom beginning March 17, the first day after
receiving official approval to issue the coins.
Pobjoy Mint issues
Pobjoy Mint representatives also say the British Indian Ocean
Territory is the first overseas territory to release a coin
celebrating the royal wedding, though the Pobjoy Mint days earlier
began selling wedding-themed commemorative coins for another
territory, the Falkland Islands.
Profiles of Prince William and his bride appear on the reverse of
the Pobjoy coins for British Indian Ocean Territory, in designs
approved by both the Clarence House (representing Prince William) and
Buckingham Palace (representing Queen Elizabeth II).
Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.
Uncirculated copper-nickel and Proof .925 fine silver versions of
the British Indian Ocean Territory coins are offered.
Both coins weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter.
The copper-nickel coin has an unlimited mintage and is priced at
$15, while the silver coin is limited to a 10,000-coin mintage and
priced at $79.
The British Indian Ocean Territory, a remote outpost halfway
between Africa and Indonesia, is an overseas territory governed by the
To order the coins, telephone the Pobjoy Mint toll-free at (877)
476-2569 or visit its website, www.pobjoy.com.
United Kingdom coins
Mark Richards, fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors,
designed the United Kingdom £5 Royal Wedding coin, which shows
relaxed, modern portraits of the couple surrounded by their names and
the date of the wedding.
Richards won a design contest following an invitation-only tender
process involving a handful of British sculptors.
Richards said it was a challenge to capture the nuances of both
subjects’ faces, while faithfully rendering their expressions in a
“I was inspired by what I think is best summed up as the spirit of
‘friendship in love,’ ” he said, in a press release. “It was important
to me to capture the relaxed intimacy of a modern couple, without
compromising the historical significance of the wedding itself.”
The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.
Most of the details about the Royal Wedding coins were announced
Feb. 25 (Coin World, March 14 issue).
The United Kingdom coin is offered in a Brilliant Uncirculated
copper-nickel version, with a mintage limit of 250,000 pieces, for £9.99.
Additionally, a Proof .925 fine silver version (with a 50,000-coin
mintage limit) costs £55.50, while a gold-plated .925 fine silver
version (mintage limited to 7,500 pieces) costs £85.
A piedfort or double-thick version of the Proof silver coin has a
mintage limit of 3,000 pieces and retails for £89.99.
The Royal Mint also offers a Proof gold version and a Proof
piedfort platinum version. Both measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter,
the same diameter as the Royal Mint’s other Royal Wedding coins. The
.986 fine gold version weighs 39.94 grams and has a mintage limit of
3,000 pieces; it is priced at £1,550. The Proof piedfort .9995 fine
platinum coin weighs 94.2 grams, has a mintage limit of 200 coins and
To order the coins, visit the Royal Mint website, online at www.royalmint.com/, or telephone it toll free at
(866) 519-7298 in the United States or at (866) 924-0861 in Canada.
Australian Engagement coins
The Royal Australian Mint plans to release its royal wedding coin,
featuring a portrait of the couple, in mid-April.
Released March 29, to mark the royal engagement, are two versions
of a 50-cent coin, one in precious metals and another composed of
copper-nickel, sharing a design by Stuart Devlin, Queen Elizabeth II’s
goldsmith and jeweler.
Dated 2010 (when the engagement occurred), the coin’s reverse
features nine roses inside a circle, surrounded by ornate ribbons,
below which appears Prince William’s coat of arms.
The commemorative coins’ designs were approved by Queen Elizabeth
II, according to the Royal Australian Mint; she appears on the obverse
of the 12-sided coins.
Both versions of the coin measure 31.65 millimeters in diameter
(measured across the flat parts of the edge).
The Proof .999 fine silver version features selective gold plating
highlighting the center design featuring the roses. The Proof .999
fine silver coin weighs 18.24 grams. It has a mintage limit of 10,000
pieces and retails for $175 Australian as part of a two-coin
subscription including the royal wedding themed issue.
The Uncirculated copper-nickel 50-cent coin weighs 15.55 grams,
has an unlimited mintage and retails for $8.95 Australian.
Downies is a distributor for the Royal Australian Mint. The base
metal coin costs $8.50; the silver coin is available in the two-coin
subscription for $161.
Telephone Downies at (877) 897-7696 or visit its website, www.downies.com. ■