World Coins

UK reveals themes for 2019 coinage

The Royal Mint has unveiled designs for commemorative coins celebrating D-Day, Sherlock Holmes, Samuel Pepys, Josiah Wedgwood, and Queen Victoria.

Original images courtesy of Royal Mint.

“A detective, a diarist, and a queen” might be the beginning of a joke, or it could be three-fifths of the topics for the Royal Mint’s 2019 commemorative coin program.

It’s no joke — the Royal Mint has unveiled designs for commemorative coins celebrating Sherlock Holmes, Samuel Pepys, and Queen Victoria, in order, answering the would-be riddle.

In addition, two other coins will celebrate the anniversary of Wedgwood and D-Day. 

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Designs of the coins, as well as collector sets, were announced Jan. 1. Circulating examples will debut later this year, as demand for new coinage merits, but the Royal Mint in the meantime will use the issuance of various precious metal and collector versions to highlight the themes multiple times in 2019.

The 2019 themes are “each telling a monumental story that has helped to shape Britain as we know it today,” according to the Royal Mint.

The Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse of these coins. 

Sherlock Holmes is to feature on a unique 50-penny coin, 160 years after the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the intuitive detective’s many adventures pursuing criminals throughout Victorian and Edwardian London, Doyle captured the imagination of millions around the world and his characters endure today.

The design shows a profile of Holmes, pipe and all, surrounded by titles of Doyle’s works featuring the character.

Three £2 coins in 2019

Celebrating the 260th anniversary of Wedgwood’s formation, the Royal Mint’s £2 coin features a design by the company that remains an innovator in the production of pottery to this day. 

The coin celebrates Josiah Wedgwood’s pioneering commitment to shaking up one of Britain’s most traditional industries and making luxury affordable. 

A jug and the dual dates 1759–2019 appear on the reverse of the Wedgwood coin. 

Issued 350 years after the final entry into his remarkable diary, a £2 coin honoring Samuel Pepys commemorates his contribution to the understanding of some of the most historical events of the 17th century, ranging from the Great Fire of London to the Plague. 

A hand holds a quill pen against parchment on the reverse of the Pepys coin. 

The £2 coin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings marks an extraordinary event in history that is sure to occupy the thoughts of the nation this year, remembering the heroic efforts of the Allied Forces in a bid that turned the tide of World War II. A map tracing the Allied assault on the beaches of northern France graces the reverse of the coin.  

As 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, her reign will be celebrated with the launch of a new £5 coin. 

Even two centuries after her birth, the effect of Queen Victoria’s reign and the era to which she lent her name is still felt strongly in everyday life. 

The design recalls inventions and moments during her momentous, lengthy reign, including a Penny Farthing bicycle, the telephone, steam travel and more. 

Variety of sets available now

An array of sets featuring collector versions of the five designs are now available from the Royal Mint. 

In addition, annual sets containing versions of the standard (or definitive) designs are also available — in some cases sets contain both the standard circulating designs and the commemorative designs. 

Options range from the most affordable offering, the annual Brilliant Uncirculated definitive coin set (with no mintage limit and a £30 price tag) to the five-coin Proof gold set of all the special 2019 designs, with a mintage limit of 125 sets and a retail price of £5,250 per set. 

Full details are available at the Royal Mint website

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