World Coins

Royal Mint honors 2012 Olympics, Paralympics with coins

The Royal Mint celebrates the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games with two new £5 coin designs, offered in multiple metallic options, including the Proof .9167 fine gold version, left, honoring the Olympics, and the Proof .925 fine silver version, right, celebrating the Paralympics.

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The Royal Mint on Nov. 14 unveiled designs for what it calls the official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games coins.

The previously unannounced £5 coins, each offered in multiple finish and compositional versions, join a series of 62 official designs in a series introduced in 2008 with the handover of the Summer Games from Beijing to London, including 29 circulating 50-pence coins, four Countdown coins, nine gold coins, 18 silver Celebration of Britain coins and two 1-kilogram coins. Some coins are also offered in multiple versions, and several of the coins remain to be released as the 2012 Games approach.

Two British students designed the new £5 coins. Designers were selected following a Royal Mint competition among art and design students attending higher education colleges and universities across the United Kingdom.

Designs, designers

Saiman Miah, a 24-year-old from Birmingham, designed the official London 2012 Olympic £5 coin. His design features the London skyline and the River Thames, with pictograms of athletes placed around the outside of the design like a clock face, representing one of London’s greatest icons, Big Ben. Other iconic buildings depicted include Westminster Abbey, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the Tower of London.

Miah is currently studying for his master’s degree at the Birmingham School of Architecture.

Pippa Sanderson, of Malvern, Worcestershire, and who recently graduated with a first class honors degree in graphic and media design at Hereford College of Arts, won the competition to design the official £5 coin for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Sanderson’s design celebrates accuracy, maneuverability and speed and includes the face of Big Ben to represent London; the spoked wheel represents maneuverability, a target signifies accuracy and a stopwatch indicates speed. Completing the design is the London 2012 Paralympic emblem.

Each designer received £5,000 prize money (about $7,822 in U.S. funds).

Coinage details

All coins feature the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

In addition to their major design elements, the reverses of the new £5 coins sport the respective 2012 Games logo with a colorful Union Jack flag infill.

Both designs are offered in multiple versions: Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel, Proof .925 fine silver, Proof piedfort (double thick) .925 fine silver and Proof .9167 fine gold. As well, the Olympic design is offered in a Proof .925 fine silver plated with .999 fine gold version.

All of the £5 coins measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter, with the copper-nickel and Proof .925 fine silver versions weighing 28.28 grams each (the weight of the gold-plated silver version is listed as the same as the standard or unplated version); the piedfort silver version weighs 56.56 grams, and the Proof .9167 fine gold coin weighs 39.94 grams.

The BU copper-nickel versions, which have an unlimited mintage, are offered at £14.99 each, packaged in a display pack featuring information on the design and specifications.

The Proof .925 silver versions are presented in a custom-made case and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity; these are priced at £99.50 each. The Proof silver versions have different mintages for each design, with the limit at 10,000 pieces for the Paralympic design and 100,000 pieces for the Olympic design.

Mintage limits for the Proof piedfort silver versions also differ, with the mintage for Paralympic coin at a maximum 2,012 pieces and the Olympic design capped at 7,000 pieces. Both coins are presented in a display case with certificate of authenticity and priced £175 each.

The Proof gold-plated silver version, which is presented in a complimentary case with a certificate of authenticity, has a maximum mintage of 12,500 coins; their price is £125 each.

Mintages for the Proof gold versions, which are offered individually and as part of a two-coin set, are capped at 5,000 for the Olympic design and 2,012 for the Paralympic design, regardless of sales option. Individually, the gold £5 coins are presented in specially designed cases and accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity, for £2,880 each. The two-coin set features a special case containing an Olympic and a Paralympic coin, accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity, for £5,500.

Shipping and handling are an additional charge for all ordering options.

All prices are listed in British pounds. American and Canadian buyers will pay a price based on the prevailing exchange rate at the time of purchase.

To order, visit the Royal Mint website at, or telephone the Royal Mint toll free at 866-519-7298 in the United States or at 866-924-0861 in Canada. ¦

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