The Royal Mint has unveiled designs for its circulating commemorative
coins of 2018, and besides the familiar themes of aviation, war and
royalty, one subject is sure to grab some mainstream attention.
Among five different themes planned for commemoration this year is a
£2 coin honoring the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Two additional £2 coins celebrate the centennial of the armistice of
World War I and the centennial of the Royal Air Force.
The Coin World editorial staff revisits what we
thought were the most captivating stories of 2017:
As 2018 strides on stage, we reflect on the major story lines Coin
World covered in 2017
Other coins joining the traditional or definitive circulating suite
of designs will include a 50-penny coin for a voting law, and a £5
coin marking the fifth anniversary of Prince George of Cambridge.
The commemorative designs are now available in annual coin sets in
precious metal and base metal versions, in both Proof and Brilliant
All of the coins feature the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II
on the obverse.
Two hundred years ago, author Mary Shelley, still in her teens,
created the masterpiece for which she is remembered today,
Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).
The Royal Mint honors the accomplishment with a £2 coin.
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According to the Royal Mint, “On a stormy night in 1816, a group of
friends gathered at a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva to tell each
other ghost stories. The company, including the poets Lord Byron and
Percy Shelley, had been discussing the latest scientific controversy —
was human life simply biological or did it contain ‘the divine spark’
of God? That night Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley), experienced a
fevered dream about the birth of a terrible creature that was to
become one of the most famous horror stories ever written.”
Designer Thomas T. Docherty’s design features the title of Shelley’s
book, with the name of Frankenstein at the center of the
1918 voting law 50-penny
The sole 50-penny commemorative coin for 2018 marks the 100th
Anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.
Designer Stephen Taylor’s reverse depicts a crowd of voters,
representing the change in suffrage triggered by the law.
The passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918 through
Parliament was hailed as a milestone for freedom and democracy.
For many years progressive groups had been lobbying for changes to
the voting system, so political power would no longer remain with the
country’s wealthy elite. In 1918, servicemen over the age of 19, men
over 21, and women over the age of 30, who met minimum property
qualifications, were given the right to vote.
Royal Air Force £2 coin
Since its formation on April 1, 1918, the Royal Air Force had
defended the skies above Britain.
According to the Royal Mint, “The Royal Air Force has been at the
forefront of Britain’s defense, from the first wooden biplane, through
the development of hi-tech supersonic jets, to today’s aircraft; it
has always been at the cutting edge of innovation, marking the
aviation milestones of the 20th century.”
The 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force £2 coin features a
reverse design by Rhys Morgan.
The RAF logo or insignia appears within the center of the
Surrounding the image are inscriptions noting the anniversary.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a great silence
fell over the battlefields of the Western Front.
Hostilities ceased as the initial step was taken toward bringing
World War I to an end after four years of grueling conflict. When the
news of armistice and the prospect of a permanent peace reached
London, church bells rang and Big Ben struck the hour for the first
time since the start of the war. In the decades since the armistice
was signed, communities across the world continue to gather in silence
at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to remember the fallen.
The United Kingdom’s 2018 £2 coin displays an excerpt from poet
Wilfrid Owen’s “Strange Meeting”: THE TRUTH UNTOLD, THE PITY OF WAR.
Stephen Raw created the design.
£5 for the birthday boy
Prince George of Cambridge, the first child of the Duke and Duchess
of Cambridge, William and Catherine, turns 5 years old in 2018.
A £5 coin marking the birthday features Jody Clark’s modern twist on
the classic St. George and the Dragon design.
Five years have passed since the gun salutes were fired in his
honour and the bells of Westminster Abbey rang out in celebration.
Since then, the nation has followed the progress of the young prince
as he has enjoyed the milestones of a child’s young life. Born into
the media spotlight, he has also stolen the limelight during official
visits with his parents, meeting dignitaries and winning the hearts of
the public as far afield as Canada and New Zealand.
The Royal Mint has in recent years issued medals in certain Proof
sets, to provide collectors with an enticement to buy the sets. Two
medals are offered in 2018.
The 2018 Royal Mint medal is available only in the Proof and
Commemorative Coin Proof sets. The ingot-shaped piece features a
design of outlines of circulating coins. The 2018 Premium medal is
offered only in the Premium Proof coin set and is ringed bimetallic,
with an emphasis on displaying security features.
The nine different sets currently being offered feature an array of
options, finishes, metals and more.
Circulating versions, and additional individual options, will be
released throughout the year.
Full details of the sets can be found at the Royal Mint website.