9 Dec 2015

The Royal Mint

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The World's Best Mint
Ines da Silva, 26th November 2015

Britain has a long tradition of craftsmanship and artistry, working with materials in a variety of compositions and forms.

Of all raw materials, metals could arguably be considered as some of the most impactful over the centuries, their usage reflecting social and technological changes.

With its 1100 or so years of heritage, The Royal Mint is one of Britain’s greatest national treasures and the custodian of one of the finest private collections of coins, medals, artwork and minting equipment in the world.

Wholly owned by Her Majesty’s Treasury today, and based in Llantrisant, South Wales, The Royal Mint not only produces and distributes the UK’s coins, blanks and official medals, but is also the world’s leading export mint, supplying over 60 countries worldwide every year.

As witnesses to British society and history, both Debrett’s and The Royal Mint share common values and a deeply rooted heritage.

One of The Royal Mint’s Masters of the Mint (from 1769 to 1784) was Charles Cadogan, who was created Earl Cadogan in 1800 by King George III, and who may be found in the very first edition of Debrett’s Peerage from 1769, together with his family and his coat of arms.

Through Britain’s wars, political changes and industrial progress, the art of coinage offers a fascinating insight into history in a way that is palpable and meaningful.

The gold Sovereign is the perfect example of this. Considered one of the most famous British coins of all time, The Sovereign represents not only intrinsic value but also undeniable symbolism of centuries attached to it.

King Henry VII instructed the officers of his Royal Mint in 1489 to produce ‘a new money of gold’. England had by then enjoyed a circulating gold coinage for almost a century and a half, but the new coin was to be the largest coin yet seen in England, both in size and value, and was to be called a Sovereign.

Through Tudor times, Sovereigns were considered objects of desire or gifts, as a means through which a favour was rewarded or the manifestation of a lifetime’s wealth.

Fast forward to the twentieth century and during the Second World War the contents of survival kits given to Special Operations Executive agents included Sovereigns – the thinking being that the agents would then have the means to buy or bribe their way out of tricky situations should the need arise.

This adventurous aspect didn’t go unnoticed by Ian Fleming, who turned to the familiar gold coin to provide James Bond with a way to extricate himself from danger. For Fleming, the association of Bond with the right brands, be they clothes, cars or hotels, was part of his secret agent’s identity, and the gold Sovereign reinforced this message.

Today, Sovereigns are undoubtedly coveted by the discerning modern gentleman who has a passion for heritage and who understands the intrinsic value of gold.

The Royal Mint offers a great variety of commemorative coinage that fascinate historians and collectors of all ages – and make a perfect present.

For those who wish to mark a special occasion, such as a birth or christening, with a personal touch, why not browse The Royal Mint’s gift ranges for some truly special present ideas.

At Debrett’s we are particularly fond of the series that marked The Queen becoming Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch – which we understand is almostsold out!

Visit The Royal Mint’s official website for more detailed information about its history and collections available for purchase at www.royalmint.com.

Ines da Silva, fashion professional, style and image adviser exclusively at Debrett's

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