Well if nothing else the Royal Mint certainly likes to keep the numismatic press and collectors on their toes. While everyone was getting ready for the launch of the new 12 sided pound coin on March 28, 2017, and most were expecting collector's variants of that coin ahead of time, the Mint surprised everyone with the release of eight new sets.
It is certainly fitting as the last round pound makes it's exit and 2017 welcomes in the new 12 sided pound coin that the mint is hailing as the most secure coin in the world(but more on that in another article). So here then are the collectors editions and special sets that the Royal Mint is releasing to commemorate the new 2017 £1 coin design, which the Mint has now officially entitled as : “Nations of the Crown”.
The new 12-sided £1 coin features a fresh new heraldic design that depicts the English Tudor rose, Welsh leek, Scottish thistle and Northern Irish shamrock all growing from a single stem from within a royal coronet or diadem.
The obverse of the coin depicts the 5th official portrait used by the Royal Mint as designed by Jody Clark. A far more complete detailing of the new Pound coin's design can be found on the World Numismatic News article HERE(this piece will be published on March 28, 2017 when the new coin enters circulation).
The first and least expensive coin is the Nations of the Crown 2017 UK £1 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin, housed in a Royal Mint blister pack along with a booklet full of facts on the new coin. This coin is a regular circulation coin simply struck to a brilliant uncirculated finish. The brilliant uncirculated coin is being released for £10.00(US$12.50) each.
The next set was a bit of a surprise to everyone, at least that I spoke to, and pays homage to the numismatic heritage that the new £1 beckons from. The set in question is the 2017 New £1 & Threepenny Set. It is a special two coin set that contains a brilliant uncirculated £1 coin with the 2017 date, same as the regular brilliant uncirculated coin above. Then in addition there is also a 1937 three penny coin.
The nickel brass coin is still remembered fondly to this day by those who used it in circulation and by collectors around the world. The coin entered circulation in 1937 and was Britain's first 12-sided coin. Depicting a hardy plant called a Thrift on the reverse, designed by Madge Kitchener, it was often colloquially referred to as the “thrupence” bit. This piece will be an authentic reclaimed circulating quality coin and not a reproduction. This set is available to order for £20.00(US$25) per set.
Another special two coin set is the Farewell & Nations of the Crown 2016 UK £1 Brilliant Uncirculated Two Coin Set. This set features the last round pound as well as the first 12-sided pound coins in a brilliant uncirculated finish, both bearing the 2016 date. Like the two sets already mentioned these are also housed in a special printed blister pack.
What makes this set special is the fact that the 2016 dated 12-sided pound coin bears the unique cross crosslet mintmark on the reverse of the coin. This mintmark is only available in this commemorative set.
While the Royal Mint have reported that more than 500 million 2016-dated new 12-sided £1 coins have been struck in readiness for the launch into circulation of the coin, these cross crosslet mintmarked coins are strictly available as commemorative issues, with this set having a mintage figure of 10 000 sets. The set is available to order for £55.00(US$67), at launch.
Moving past the uncirculated coins and onto the proof issues we see first in line the Nations of the Crown 2017 UK £1 Silver Proof Coin. This sterling silver(.925 Fineness) coin is struck to a proof finish and manages to mimics the bi-metallic nature of the new £1 coin by having the outer ring treated with a gold cladding.
This commemorative coin measures 23.03mm(0.905 inch) and weighs a total of 10.47 gram(0.3693 oz). The coin ships encapsulated in a black Royal Mint clamshell presentation case, and a total mintage of 25 000 of these silver proof coins will be available at a price of £75.00(US$91) each.
The next coin is again a sterling silver proof issue but this time the coin is a special double thick piedfort coin. Matching the regular silver proof coin exactly, except for being twice as thick and tipping the scales at 20.92gram(0.7379 oz) instead. Both coins come with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The piedfort coin has a limited mintage of only 4500 coins at a price of £130(US$160) per coin.
Having completed the silver coins now it's time to move onwards to the gold pieces. The Nations of the Crown 2017 UK £1 Proof Gold Coin is a ½ oz replica of the new 12-sided pound coin. Measuring 23.03mm(0.905 inch) with a total weight of 17.72 gram. The coin is struck from .916 Fineness, or 22ct, yellow gold enhanced with a 22ct red gold plating to the outer ring.
Shipped in a specially crafted wooden display box with a limited edition presentation of just 2017 coins, reflecting the year of issue. The coin is selling for £950.00(US$1155) a piece.
Finally we have the crown jewel of the Nations of the Crown series, so to speak. The Nations of the Crown 2017 UK Platinum Proof Coin. The coin is the same size as the rest of the coins in the series, but is struck from .9995 Fineness platinum, enhanced with a yellow gold plating to the outer ring to more closely resemble the new bi-metallic £1 coin.
Weighing in at 21.56 gram(0.760 oz), the Royal mint listed the coin for £1325.00(US$1610) each upon launch. This stunning proof coin ships in a similar display case as the gold £1 coin and has an extremely limited mintage of only 250 coins.
Not quite done yet as the Royal Mint opted to include another two coin set for collectors in the form of a Farewell & Nations of the Crown UK £1 Gold Proof Two Coin Set. This special gold coin set contains the same 2017 dated Nations of the Crown gold coin as described above, in addition to a farewell 2016 dated round pound gold coin. Both coins struck from .916 fineness gold.
The set is by far the most exclusive set to celebrate this historic minting event, at a limited presentation of only 100 sets available from the mint. Shipped in a specially crafted wooden display case with a numbered certificate of authenticity. This set was initially listed for £1995.00(US$2425) per set by the Royal Mint upon launch.
It is worthwhile to mention that at the time of writing, which is a little over a day after launch, both the platinum Nations of the Crown and the two coin Farewell and Nations of the Crown gold set were already sold out at the mint. The gold Nations of the Crown £1 coin was almost 60% reserved and should be sold out within days. As such the popularity of these coins should not be underestimated.
A momentous occasion in British numismatic history celebrated with me equally remarkable coins. All of the coins discussed above are available to order directly from the Royal Mint website, while stocks last – as they say.