World Coins

Royal Mint marks 50 years in southern Wales

The Royal Mint marked its 50th anniversary at the South Wales site in Llantrisant on Dec. 17, 2018. This is the entrance to the visitor's center, The Royal Mint Experience, on Oct. 1, 2018.

Coin World photo by Jeff Starck.

A milestone in coinage history passed on Dec. 17 in the United Kingdom.  

That day marked the 50th anniversary of the Royal Mint’s relocation from its historic site at Tower Hill to Llantrisant in south Wales

The Royal Mint has produced billions of coins in the intervening years. 

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By the 1960s the Royal Mint’s location in Tower Hill in London, cramped, poorly laid out and populated with old equipment, was no longer suitable for coin production. 

Building elsewhere had been under consideration, and with the announcement in 1966 that Britain would adopt a new decimal currency, the process of finding a new location for the Mint ramped up. Anticipating a production demand for hundreds and millions of new coins led to consideration of more than 20 potential new sites by January 1967. 

The list of potential new homes for the Royal Mint was soon shortened, and on that list was Llantrisant. A short distance outside of Cardiff, Llantrisant had plenty of space to accommodate the Royal Mint, and with the support of Cardiff MP James Callaghan, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Master of the Mint, Llantrisant was announced as the chosen site for the Royal Mint in April 1967. 

Jack James, deputy master of the Royal Mint in September 1967, says, “The Chancellor told me of the possible site at Llantrisant and as soon as I heard of it I insisted on visiting it. Once I saw Llantrisant I told him this was the place for us.”

Fifty years since the move from Tower Hill to Llantrisant, the Royal Mint has continued to fulfill its primary duty of producing coins needed by the British public for everyday use. 

The business has also diversified into a number of other areas, and today has thriving commemorative coin and precious metals branches, a newly launched gifting business, and a visitor attraction in the Royal Mint Experience, where a temporary exhibition is now offering people an insight into the Royal Mint’s move to Llantrisant, bringing former employees back to share stories, Mint officials said. 

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