If you believe that as a UK citizen you have access to (even priority over) all new UK coins, THINK AGAIN.
It seems that’s no longer the case.
We’ve recently uncovered two UK issues that appear to have never been released to British collectors.
The First World War coin for US Collectors only
The first is a special Platinum version of the Lord Kitchener £2 Coin. UK collectors were treated to base metal, silver and gold versions of the coin last year, but never a Platinum coin.
Yet, a couple of months ago, we heard information that US Collectors had access to a Platinum version – apparently released exclusively for a Royal Mint Distributor in the USA.
Why the best Battle of Waterloo Silver Coin has been kept for the Dutch
But that’s not the only example. If you buy a 3 coin silver set from the Dutch Mint, you can own a special version of Battle of Waterloo Silver Proof Coin – seemingly never listed nor offered by the Royal Mint.
What’s more, the “secret” coin, reserved for the European market, WEIGHS MORE, has PURER SILVER and has a LOWER EDITION LIMIT than the version for British collectors. In short, it is superior in all three elements that create value for the collector.
More secrets to uncover?
These are just two examples, but are there more collecting gems hidden in international markets still to be discovered?
Well I think the answer is probably “Yes”.
We have, for example, come across a Royal Proclamation published on 20 February detailing a 1½ ounce silver £2 coin featuring “three Lions passant guardant, being that quartering of Our Royal Arms know heraldically as England”.
Now that’s certainly not a coin we have seen in the UK.
The best is heading abroad.
Put simply, some of the UK’s most collectable coins are heading abroad.
These are coins that will always have an interesting story behind them. The sort of thing that coin catalogues notice and future collectors love.
In fact, imagine yourself watching the Antiques Roadshow in years to come…
“The Royal Mint regularly issued Silver Proof Coins but this Battle of Waterloo coin’s a bit different. It was never made available to UK collectors…”
If you’re interested…
The “Secret” Battle of Waterloo 1 Ounce Silver Proof
As soon as we heard rumours of the Battle of Waterloo 1 Ounce Silver Proof Coin, we made enquiries amongst the European coin trade to see whether we could secure some for UK collectors.
***NOW SOLD OUT***
With the Battle of Waterloo reaching its 200th Anniversary this year, I have come across some fascinating commemoratives which have been issued to mark the historic event. However, there was one in particular that really caught my eye and has an intriguing story behind it…
It all started in 1815 when The Royal Mint was commissioned by the Duke of Wellington to strike a medal honouring the leaders of the allied nations following the Battle of Waterloo.
The medal was to be of the grandest scale, finished with outstanding detail – a task perfectly suited to Royal Mint Chief Medalist Bendetto Pistrucci – whose proposed design was chosen from a shortlist.
Pistrucci was a masterful engraver with a mercurial personality. He had already completed a stunning design of St George and the Dragon (which famously still graces the Sovereign today). His design for the medal looked set to be one of the greatest ever undertaken…
But, there was a problem
Pistrucci was under the impression that Master of the Mint, William Wellsley-Pole, had promised him the position of Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint. However, as a result of politics and infighting at the Mint, it became apparent his ambitions would never be fulfilled.
In fact he soon recognised that once he had completed the Waterloo medal, The Royal Mint was sure to cut all ties with him. Determined not to let this happen, Pistrucci took his time, and prolonged the project – by 30 years.
By the time the dies were completed, all the intended recipients were dead, except for Wellington himself.
The end result was one of the most magnificent pieces of medallic art ever seen, but this wasn’t the end of the story. Pistrucci’s dies were so large and complicated that they proved impossible to harden and the medal that had taken three decades to complete was never even struck.
So the ill-fated Waterloo medal remains one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of The Royal Mint, and is still talked about to this day – despite the fact it never even made it to production!
Now the medal has been made…
Using the latest minting technology, a small batch of just 495 replica medals have been made for the anniversary year of The Battle of Waterloo. We still have some available if you’re interested, click here for details.
This year will mark the bi-centennial anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. But, despite Napoleon’s defeat taking place a distant 200 years ago, it seems that it is still a delicate subject for the French… or is it?
In March, Belgium planned to issue a €2 commemorative Waterloo coin in honour of the historic event. However, after 180,000 coins were minted with the design, France voiced such objection that Belgium destroyed the coins to avoid upsetting their neighboring country.
But earlier this week Belgium crushed the French resistance by invoking a little-known European Union rule. It allows countries to issue euro coins of their choice, provided they are in an irregular denomination – cue a new €2.50 coin – a first in Belgium.
The coin displays the Lion Hill memorial that marks the battle, with dotted-lines indicating the position of the troops when forces led by Britain and Prussia defeated Napoleon in the countryside near Brussels.
But, ironically, it was the French who issued one of the first Waterloo Commemoratives…
Remarkably, the French State Mint issued a Battle of Waterloo Medal after Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. It was designed for sale in the British market by renowned French sculptor Emile Rogat, depicting a fallen eagle on the reverse, symbolising the French Army.
The eagle is encircled by four vultures to represent the victorious British, Prussians, Austrians and Dutch and the obverse features an official effigy of Napoleon. It became a piece of history, stored in the British Museum.
It’s a great time for collectors during huge anniversaries such as this, as there are so many fascinating coins and commemoratives issued. But perhaps it’s time France looked back at their own history before they complain again!