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Making Coins At The Royal Mint (Photos)

By on 5 January 2014 | comments 0

AT the Royal Mint in Pontyclun, Wales, new coins have been minted. Five new coin designs will enter circulation in 2014 to commemorate historic events including the First World War and the Commonwealth Games.

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A new £2 coin featuring Lord Kitchener

A new £2 coin featuring Lord Kitchener

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Nickel-plated steel blanks come off the production line ready to be pressed in 10p pieces

Nickel-plated steel blanks come off the production line ready to be pressed in 10p pieces

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Rolls of nickel-plated steel ready to be cut and pressed in 10p pieces

Rolls of nickel-plated steel ready to be cut and pressed in 10p pieces

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It’s all in decimal currency. It has been since 1968.

In 1968, 87-year-old Alice Robinson closed the doors of her general store for the last time after half a century ‘open for business’. The reason? Decimalisation. Or, as the rather awkward song of the day preferred to call it, ‘D-E-C-I-M-A-L-I-S-ayshun!’

“I can’t be bothered with this new money,” said Alice. “Six robberies in five years couldn’t close me, but this new money has. I know the old system and I’m not going to fiddle about with any new one.”

Some held out against, like the legendary King’s Head in Islington, which kept its prices in shillings for decades before finally bowing to the inevitable. Today, however, it’s as if pounds, shillings and pence had never existed.

Or is it? Listen carefully and you will hear their ghostly sound. A shove ha’penny board from Amazon. A nice pair of ‘thrupennies’. Turning on a sixpence and sinking a two-bob team. Earning a pound note and getting in a right two-and-eight. It’s the ‘LSD’ flashback that, to coin a phrase, just keeps on giving.

 

John Hastings James, Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint, discussing the new decimal coinage with Christopher Ironside (right) who designed the reverses. Date: 15/02/1968

John Hastings James, Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint, discussing the new decimal coinage with Christopher Ironside (right) who designed the reverses.
Date: 15/02/1968

A worker pours molten gold into upright iron moulds - 1958

A worker pours molten gold into upright iron moulds – 1958

The Royal Mint - London - 1958 Making Gold Sovereigns at the Royal Mint - A man passes strips of gold through the stamping out machine.

The Royal Mint – London – 1958
Making Gold Sovereigns at the Royal Mint – A man passes strips of gold through the stamping out machine.

Making Gold Sovereigns at the Royal Mint 1958 The finished coins are closely inspected on the conveyor belt for faults

Making Gold Sovereigns at the Royal Mint 1958
The finished coins are closely inspected on the conveyor belt for faults

Royal Mint - London - 1949 Sorting blanks for die stamping of sovereigns at the Royal Mint.

Royal Mint – London – 1949
Sorting blanks for die stamping of sovereigns at the Royal Mint.

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The Royal Mint - London - 1933 Workers weigh the finished coins into bags using the 'automatic weighing machine'.

The Royal Mint – London – 1933
Workers weigh the finished coins into bags using the ‘automatic weighing machine’.