Though different in execution, the concept of a new coin program
from the Royal Mint is familiar.
The Royal Mint on Sept. 5 announced a new series of silver coins
to be offered to collectors at face value.
The initial coin in the “£20 for £20” program celebrates the Royal
Birth, though nothing in the design directly references Prince George
of Cambridge. The coin carries the traditional Benedetto Pistrucci
reverse design of St. George slaying a dragon, with the Ian
Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
The Brilliant Uncirculated .999 fine silver £20 coin weighs 15.71
grams, measures 27 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of
If the program sounds familiar, it should — the Royal Canadian
Mint has been offering a similar program, offering a silver Canadian
$20 coin for $20, since 2011.
The Royal Mint’s silver coin has the same diameter and mintage
limit as the Canadian coin, not to mention the catchy promotional
slogan (denomination notwithstanding).
The British £20 coin offers slightly more than a half-ounce of
silver (.504 ounce, to be exact), the only deviation from the Canadian
program, which offers slightly more than a quarter-ounce of silver.
This is the first £20 coin in British history, according to the
Royal Mint. The St. George and Dragon design, while normally
associated with the gold sovereign, was most recently used to
commemorate the birth of Prince George of Cambridge on a silver £5 crown.
“Given the popularity of the silver £5 crown, which sold out
within five days, the new £20 coin gives those who may have missed out
on obtaining the very appropriate St. George and the Dragon design
first time around, a lasting memento of the royal birth at an
affordable price,” according to the Royal Mint.
As with the Canadian program, the Royal Mint is limiting purchases
of the coin to three per household. Sales are restricted to only those
in the United Kingdom, and are only processed through the website www.royalmint.com.
The Royal Mint has not an-
nounced future designs in the
program, only that the Pistrucci-designed coin is the first in a
series of £20 coins to be issued periodically “to celebrate
significant events and figures from British culture in the coming
years,” according to the Royal Mint.
The British program, like the Canadian coin series, is intended to
introduce coins to a new audience of collectors without a financial
risk, since even though the coins don’t circulate, they are backed by
their face value.
Shipping of the £20 coin is due to begin Oct. 31.
Collectors outside of the United Kingdom will have to search the
secondary market to obtain the coins.
A £20 face value is equivalent to about $31.25 U.S. ■