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.
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
Each designer received £5,000 prize money (about $7,822 in U.S. funds).
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
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 www.royalmint.com, or telephone
the Royal Mint toll free at 866-519-7298 in the United States or at
866-924-0861 in Canada. ■