When I first heard the story behind the 1955 4 Paisa coins I could hardly believe it. They’re genuinely some of the most incredible coins I’ve ever seen.
The Nepalese 4-Paisa coin was minted from spent brass World War II rifle bullet casings left by the famous Gurkha soldiers.
This is the fascinating story behind their minting…
The story of these coins originates from the battlefields of Asia. After the war in the East was over, a General in the Nepalese army discovered a number of empty cartridge cases that had been stored in a government unit behind Tangal Palace in Kathmandu.
These used rifle cartridges came from Gurkha and Nepalese soldiers fighting for the Allies on the Assam and Burma fronts where they had valiantly battled the Japanese. Although it is not clear by whom or for what purpose the used cartridges had been collected from the WWII battlefields, it seems that they had been forgotten and left to rust.
It’s incredible that these pieces of history could simply be forgotten, so the General decided to find a way of paying tribute to the soldiers who had left them behind.
It just so happened that the General who discovered these casings was related to the head of the Government Mint in Nepal. The General suggested to the Mint that these used cartridges should be struck into coins as a way of paying homage to the Gurkha soldiers.
So, in 1955 the 4 Paisa coin was duly minted from these very cartridge shells which had once been in the middle of the intense fighting of WWII. They now stand as a lasting tribute to the brave Gurkha regiment that fought so valiantly for the Allies.
And what’s more, they also hold huge significance as a numismatic collector’s piece. As the number of empty shells was extremely limited, these incredible coins were issued for just one-year-only before the supply was completely exhausted.
The story behind these coins is incredible – not only were they struck from genuine bullet shells, but were also minted to pay tribute to one of the most highly respected fighting forces in the world.
If you’re interested…
Today you have the chance to own one of these Gurkha Bullet coins for JUST £24.99 (+p&p). Act now to secure this incredible piece of history for your collection!
Each year, The Royal Mint marks important British anniversaries, events or accomplishments on our coins and today we are delighted to reveal the UK’s new coin designs for 2019.
Scroll down for a first look at all five of the brand new designs…
The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria £5
After ascending to the throne in 1838 Queen Victoria’s reign became the longest reign of a British monarch at the time. She oversaw a time of great change and expansion of the British Empire. This £5 coin has been issued to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of her birth and depicts some of the momentous changes in the British Empire witnessed under her rule, including advances in the industrial revolution due to the power of steam and the invention of the telephone and penny-farthing bicycle.
The 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings £2
On 6th June 1944 the largest seaborne invasion in history took place. The operation began the liberation of German occupied France during World War II, and D-Day, as it came to be known, laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. This £2 coin has been issued to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings and its success which paved the way for the surrender of Nazi Germany. The coin features the 5 beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, where the invasion took place.
The 350th Anniversary of Samuel Pepys’ Last Diary Entry £2
Samuel Pepys is recognised as the most famous diarist who ever lived, providing valuable first-hand accounts of life in 17th century London and the English Restoration period. His private diary, which he kept from 1660-1669, also provides important eyewitness accounts of landmark events in British history, including the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. This £2 coin has been issued to mark 350 years since Pepys’ last diary entry and features one of his famous diary excerpts written in shorthand.
The 260th Anniversary of the Formation of Wedgwood £2
After Josiah Wedgwood founded the company in 1759, Wedgwood quickly became a pioneer for British pottery, taking it from a craft to an international industry. Largely taking inspiration from ancient cultures and mythologies the company was responsible for creating the ceramic bodies Queen’s Ware (1762), Black Basalt (1768) and Jasper Ware (1774) which remain famous today. This £2 coin has been specially designed by the Wedgwood designers to celebrate 260 years since the establishment of the company.
The 160th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p
The prolific writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his incredibly popular detective stories featuring the fictional Sherlock Holmes. It is said his works revolutionised the crime genre, and despite Doyle sharing an ambivalent relationship with his famous character, Holmes appeared in 4 novels and 56 short stories, resulting in Doyle becoming one of the best-paid authors of the time. This 50p coin has been issued to mark 160 years since the renowned author’s birth, and features his iconic character Sherlock Holmes.
All of these designs are stunning and there’s no doubt that these coins will only become more desirable in the years to come.
Let us know in the comments which coin is your favourite!
If you’re interested…
You can secure the brand new 2019 coins in the Brilliant Uncirculated coin pack.
Each coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated finish and is ready to display in an informative presentation pack. This pack features the definitive circulating coins and 5 new commemorative coins issued for 2019.
100 years ago this year, at 11 o’clock on 11th of November, the guns of war finally fell silent. The First World War was over.
While many fathers, sons, uncles and brothers came home, millions lay where they fell, on the Battlefields of Europe. Those who were lucky enough to be identified were placed in makeshift graves, often only identified by a rifle placed in the earth with his steel helmet placed on top as a final memorial.
To commemorate the Armistice Centenary, The Royal Canadian Mint have issued a remarkable new coin that honours each and every fallen soldier.
Struck in the shape of a WWI Brodie Helmet, it is more deeply curved surface than any other concave or convex-shaped coin I’ve seen before. The design is so unique in fact, that the Mint have kept the minting technique a closely guarded secret.
Although the original helmet would have been cast from Steel, this coin has been struck in the very finest .9999 or “four nines” silver, this is the purest grade of silver available. The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the very few Mints in the world with enough minting expertise able to strike coins with this incredible high relief finish. It’s an exceptional feat of craftsmanship.
What’s more the attention to detail is outstanding, each coin has been given a final antique finish and there are even engraved cracks and markings which complete the helmet’s battle-worn appearance. A reminder of the hardships endured by those who fought.
The amount of 2018 Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available is very low. A worldwide edition limit of just 6,500 has been set by the Mint, but of course many of these won’t even make it out of Canada. Without any doubt, this has to be one of the most collectable issues ever struck.
The First World War will always be known as one of Man Kind’s darkest hours but poignant issues like this one allow us to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
If you’re interested…
We have just 500 WWI Lest We Forget Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available for UK collectors, but to get one you’ll have to act quickly.