As the countdown to the birth of the “royal baby” wound down, a
different clock was beginning.
It was only a matter of time before mints of the world would begin
offering coins celebrating the birth of the Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge’s first child, the baby George Alexander Louis, to be known
as Prince George of Cambridge.
Within hours of the official palace announcement of the child’s
birth (even before he received his name), the Royal Mint and the
Pobjoy Mint both announced coins to mark the occasion (though delivery
of some of the coins will take until early September).
In addition, the Royal Canadian Mint promised collector coins for
the event while congratulating the new parents, but as of press time
Aug. 1 had not released details.
The Royal Mint has offered a range of coin products marking the
royal birth in some way, noting the event through standard products in
commemorative packaging, a standard coin that is distinctive because
it was struck on the day of the prince’s birth and a coin available in
a special composition.
Sovereign for a sovereign
Among the coins offered (continuing a practice that began in 2012
for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee), the Royal Mint issued gold
sovereign coins struck on the day of an actual historic event, in this
case the July 22 birth of Prince George of Cambridge.
The 2013 bullion coins are accompanied by a signed certificate
proclaiming they were struck on the day of birth.
The .9167 fine gold coins are of a standard design with no special
markings signifying the birth; they show the Benedetto Pistrucci scene
of St. George slaying the dragon on the reverse. (All coins described
in this article feature the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Prince
George’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the obverse.)
A total of 2,013 examples of the gold sovereign, which weighs 7.98
grams and measures 22.05 millimeters in diameter, were sold, for £800
each; the coin is now sold out.
Because royals have crowns
Every ruler needs a crown, so the Royal Mint produced and sold a
Proof .925 fine silver version of the £5 crown bearing Pistrucci’s
traditional St. George design normally associated with the gold
sovereign. Used on a silver coin only for very special national
occasions, Pistrucci’s design was issued in silver the previous time
in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. The 2013 version is limited to
the product commemorating the birth.
A total of 10,000 of these coins, each weighing 28.28 grams and
measuring 38.61 millimeters in diameter, were available for £80 each.
They, too, are sold out.
A Brilliant Uncirculated .925 fine silver £1 coin, part of the
Royal Mint’s annual baby gift options, was released in a white box to
identify it as part of the royal baby gift collection.
According to the Royal Mint, “The tradition of giving a silver
gift to a new baby is centuries old, for silver has long been
considered pure and precious.”
It is thought lucky to place a coin into the hand of a newborn,
said to bring prosperity in their future.
The coin features Matthew Dent’s design of the Royal Arms on the
reverse. The £1 coin weighs 9.5 grams and measures 22.5 millimeters in
diameter. Limited to a mintage of 10,000 pieces, the coin costs £60
and remains available at press time.
The final product from the Royal Mint in the baby gift line is the
Royal Birth 2013 United Kingdom Definitive Coin set, featuring
Brilliant Uncirculated examples of all eight circulating coin
denominations, ranging from the penny to the £2 coin.
The set — the standard the BU annual set packaged in a special
sleeve — is the first United Kingdom coin set to be issued to
celebrate the birth of a royal baby and future heir to the throne. No
edition limits have been announced.
It is available for £25.
The occasion is not simply an opportunity to sell coins — the
Royal Mint announced on July 2 that it would give a .925 fine silver
penny to a limited number of children born on the same day as the
A total of 2,013 silver penny coins marking the birth are being
distributed to parents who register and win a drawing through the
Royal Mint’s Facebook page, which is found online at facebook.com/theroyalmint.
After “liking” the page, entrants must provide details using the
“My Silver Penny” app at the top of the page, and provide an image of
the child’s birth certificate, which will be held only for the
purposes of eligibility and will not be used for any other reason. All
entries must be received by Sept. 20.
The coin is also usually sold by the Royal Mint to be used as a
gift for newborns, and is not specially issued for the new price.
Those who cannot wait to find out if they won (and anyone else,
for that matter) may purchase the silver penny in one of three
packaging options, including either a pink or blue pouch, or packaged
in a card. Royal Mint officials have not disclosed whether the coins
to be distributed for free will be housed in special or commemorative packaging.
The penny displays a shield of the Royal Arms designed by Dent. It
weighs 3.564 grams, measures 20.32 millimeters in diameter and is
unlimited in mintage, regardless of packaging; each costs £28.
For more information or to order, visit 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.
Pobjoy Mint issues
Among the first to announce special coins for Prince George of
Cambridge was the Pobjoy Mint, a private mint located in Surrey,
England, that strikes mostly collector coins for countries around the world.
The Pobjoy Mint has issued three designs, each bearing a privy
mark noting the birth. Each is available in Brilliant Uncirculated
copper-nickel or Proof .925 fine (sterling) silver, with the privy
mark plain or colored.
The coins feature designs of a royal nature that have already been
released. That, no doubt, sped up the plans to issue the coins once
safe delivery of the child was confirmed.
Two of the designs being issued by the Pobjoy Mint are for the
British Virgin Islands.
First released in 2012, one design depicts the Duchess of
Cambridge and the other the Duke of Cambridge, both shown in the
evening attire they wore following their wedding in 2011.
A privy mark has been added to each coin showing baby footprints
and the new royal arrival’s date of birth.
On some variants of both of the coins, the footprints are colored
blue to represent the baby’s sex.
The Uncirculated copper-nickel coins are denominated $1 and the
Proof silver coins are denominated $10.
The third design is issued on behalf of South Georgia & South
Sandwich Islands and was first issued in 2012. It shows the newly
married couple’s kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The privy
mark added to this £2 coin shows a stork delivering its bundle with
the date of the birth, the stork and bundle colored blue on the
The obverse of each coin features an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II
by Ian Rank-Broadley.
All of the coins weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter.
The copper-nickel coins have unlimited mintage, while the silver
coins are limited to 10,000 mintage per design (whether the privy mark
is plain or colored).
The regular copper-nickel coins are priced at $16.95, with
colorful versions priced at $23.95. The regular silver coins cost $89
each, with the color versions priced at $99 each.
Four two-coin sets are available of the British Virgin Islands
coins: Proof silver and Uncirculated copper-nickel coin sets, both of
the colorized and regular versions. Pricing is available through the
Pobjoy website, detailed below.
To order the coins, visit the website, www.pobjoy.com or telephone the
Pobjoy Mint at 877-476-2569. ■