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UK circulating commemorative coins for 2023

Started by eurocoin, June 11, 2022, 09:39:07 AM

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The first designs have now been officially unveiled. The coins will become available for sale on January 3.



I think that most designs are very boring. Certainly the NHS and Windrush coins are bad. The Tolkien and 75th anniversary of the local flower show coins are not great either. Only the Flying Scotsman coin is Royal Mint worthy. That is also the only design made by a good Royal Mint artist: John Bergdahl.


Quote from: Alan71 on December 15, 2022, 10:35:04 PMOne coin we definitely won't be getting is a 50th anniversary of EEC entry...

Hehe. The funny thing is, when you are located in the EU and go to the Royal Mint's website, there is a European Flag button (at the top, on the right). Except it does not "do" anything - it just "sits" there and has absolutely no link function. ;D

As for the coin designs, some are neat (Flying Scotsman) or OK (Health Service) in my opinion. As for the NHS piece, basically I do not mind "non-pictorial" designs, but what I find a little strange is that the "Compassion Duty" line looks, hmm, less italic than the others. Maybe I need new glasses.  :)

(Edit) Tried to find some more info about the design elements of the Tolkien coin. Sure, the monogram is recognizable. But what is that ring around it – a reference to JRRT as the Lord of the Rings? ;) Hmm, the description merely says "encircled by a runic pattern skilfully created by the artist David Lawrence". So, some pattern ...

By the way, are these collector coins only, or can any of them be had without a surcharge, and thus possibly be found in circulation?


Quote from: chrisild on December 29, 2022, 11:56:09 AMBy the way, are these collector coins only, or can any of them be had without a surcharge, and thus possibly be found in circulation?

That is still unknown. It amongst other things depends on demand. And if there is demand, political and propaganda kind of themes are the most likely to be minted for circulation. So it is likely that in that case certainly the Windrush, but possibly also the NHS, will be released.


Quote from: chrisild on December 29, 2022, 11:56:09 AMHehe. The funny thing is, when you are located in the EU and go to the Royal Mint's website, there is a European Flag button (at the top, on the right). Except it does not "do" anything - it just "sits" there and has absolutely no link function. ;D
Yes, I saw that as well. I was after shipping information (specifically whether I can pay Swedish VAT on the purchase rather than having to go through the expensive rigmarole of getting Postnord to handle it - answer: No) and what also caught my eye on the shipping instructions was the list of countries they don't ship to at all. Most are obvious (subject to international sanctions or generally falling apart), but since when have "Al-Qa'ida" and "Islamic State" been countries? And what is wrong with Bosnia that makes the RM have a fit of the abdabs?


Coin designs:
--the two 50p are bad
--the Tolkien is okay
--the Scotsman is very good
--the £5 is okay


The South African born author Tolkien created two of the best-loved stories of the 20th century, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's first job was as a lexicographer on the New English Dictionary (helping to draft the Oxford English Dictionary). During this time, he began serious work on creating languages that he imagined had been spoken by elves. The languages were based primarily on Finnish and Welsh.

Tolkien then became a professor in English Language at the University of Leeds, where he collaborated with fellow philologist EV Gordon on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Tolkien remained at Leeds until 1925, when he took a position teaching Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University where he spent the rest of his career, retiring in 1959.

It was during his years at Oxford that Tolkien began to build a story about a short creature who inhabited a world called Middle-earth. This grew into a story he told his children, and in 1936 a version of it came to the attention of the publishing firm of George Allen and Unwin (now part of HarperCollins), who published it as The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, in 1937. It became an instant and enduring classic. The sequel, The Lord of the Rings, appeared in 1954/5 in three parts: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. An epic high-fantasy novel set in Middle-earth, intended to be Earth at some time in the distant past.

The edge inscription 'Not all those who wander are lost' is from the poem The Riddle of Strider from The Fellowship of the Ring.


I wonder if the Bicentenary of the Death of Edward Jenner £2 coin was originally intended to be included in the year set, but was latterly substituted by the introduction of the NHS 50p coin?


Flying Scotsman was the first express passenger locomotive to be built by the then newly formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1923. Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, then Chief Engineer at LNER, the Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive to carry LNER's famous apple green livery. It was chosen by the LNER to represent the latest in steam locomotive design at the British Empire Exhibitions at Wembley in 1924 and 1925. Loco 4472 was fitted with a unique corridor tender to enable it to haul the first non-stop train from King's Cross to Edinburgh on 1 May 1928. This was the longest non-stop run in the world. Two crews were required for the journey, using the corridor to change over at Tollerton, near York. Driver Albert Pibworth was at the controls from King's Cross to Tollerton and Tom Blades took over from Tollerton to Edinburgh Waverley - 392.7 miles in 8hrs 3m.

In 1934 Flying Scotsman was the first steam locomotive to authentically achieve a speed of 100mph. Flying Scotsman was withdrawn from service by British Railways in 1963 and sold for preservation, leaving it as the sole survivor of its class. From 1969 to 1972 Flying Scotsman toured the USA, returning home in 1973 to continue working special trains on the main line bearing post-war BR number 60103.

The edge inscription 'Live for the journey' is part of the Live for the journey, not the destination slogan used to promote the locomotive.


The 75th anniversary of the Windrush generations is also the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act coming into force.

The MV Empire Windrush's arrival on 22 June 1948 marked the beginning of a period of migration that would eventually see over 500,000 Commonwealth citizens settle in Britain between 1948 and 1971. This is now referred to as the 'Windrush generation'.

The ship was originally named Monte Rosa. It was a German cruise ship seized by the Nazi regime and used to transport troops during the WWII. She was captured by the British at the end of the war and renamed the Empire Windrush. In 1948, she happened to stop over at Kingston, Jamaica, to pick up some British servicemen. Since the ship was not full, passage was offered to Britain for £28 if you travelled in the uncomfortable open berths of the 'troop deck'.

The British Nationality Act 1948 allowed those from Jamaica and Barbados, and others living in Commonwealth countries, full rights of entry and settlement, to help rebuild the British economy after WWII. The shortage of labour encouraged industries like British Rail and the National Health Service to heavily recruit from the Caribbean.

Many Commonwealth citizens arrived in the UK before British nationality and immigration law made any distinction between British subjects, whether born and living in the UK or elsewhere in the Empire.

This began to change in the 1960s, when successive Commonwealth Immigrants Acts introduced immigration restrictions on a growing number of British subjects from outside the UK. Still, many Commonwealth citizens were encouraged to come to fill jobs as bus drivers and nurses and other jobs subject to labour shortages.

Those who came were permitted to stay without time limit. When the Immigration Act 1971 came into force on 1 Jan 1973, the position of these Commonwealth citizens was preserved.


Merely a day after the 2023 mini-sets (ie. five coins) became available, the design for the Edward Jenner £2 is revealed. 

Timing could be better, I've seen some negativity in the Change Checker Facebook group asking why this isn't in the sets (the basic answer being that the sets only contain two commemorative 50p and two commemorative £2 coins, and have had this format for some years).


The design looks OK to me. Seems that the "dumbbell" structure in the center is the smallpox virus (variola maior).


Edward Jenner

In 1796, he carried out his now famous experiment on eight-year-old James Phipps. Jenner inserted pus taken from a cowpox pustule and inserted it into an incision on the boy's arm. He was testing his theory, drawn from the folklore of the countryside, that milkmaids who suffered the mild disease of cowpox never contracted smallpox, one of the greatest killers of the period, particularly among children. Jenner subsequently proved that having been inoculated with cowpox Phipps was immune to smallpox. He submitted a paper to the Royal Society in 1797 describing his experiment, but was told that his ideas were too revolutionary and that he needed more proof. Undaunted, Jenner experimented on several other children, including his own 11-month-old son. In 1798, the results were finally published and Jenner coined the word vaccine from the Latin 'vacca' for cow.

Jenner was widely ridiculed. Critics, especially the clergy, claimed it was repulsive and ungodly to inoculate someone with material from a diseased animal. A satirical cartoon of 1802 showed people who had been vaccinated sprouting cow's heads. But the obvious advantages of vaccination and the protection it provided won out, and vaccination soon became widespread. Jenner became famous and spent much of his time researching and advising on developments in his vaccine.


Visitors to the Royal Mint Experience can now  strike a £2 denomination coin featuring the portrait of King Charles III for the very first time. The historic opportunity is available from today (January 6).

The special coinage will feature an effigy of His Majesty and will be offered as part of the tour. Customers will be charged £7.50 extra to strike out their own £2 piece.

Tickets to the Royal Mint Experience can be purchased in-person or via the Royal Mint website. Tour entry is priced at £13.50 for adults, as well as offering extras such as VIP experiences and even afternoon teas.

Royal Mint Experience gives visitors opportunity to strike their own £2 coin bearing King Charles III portrait.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Interestingly, it's the Edward Jenner £2 coin that's a strike-your-own, not one of the two in the year sets.

Further on in that link, it says "The special coin is set to not only be devoted to His Majesty, the 'tails' side pays homage to physician Edward Jenner who is known for being a pioneer of vaccines. It will be available to purchase from the Royal Mint website from January 26."

Is this the first time a commemorative coin has been available as a Strike-Your-Own weeks before it's otherwise available?