Back in June 2014 the Royal Mint launched a pretty nice set of coins called Portraits of Britain. Designed by Royal Mint engravers Laura Clancy and Glyn Davies, each coin depicted an iconic British location, although to be honest, it was entirely London attraction focused. Not depicting the sites realistically, the look was a little more ephemeral, enhanced by a light wash of colour. The overall effect was good and the coins seemed well liked.
Each of the first four designs is also being used on the Royal Mints £100 silver coin range, the first three being out already, with a fourth likely due later this year. Because of that, what we have here today may well be a look at the £100 coin designs for 2017 and 2018, although that remains unconfirmed.
This new set, Portraits of Britain 2016, spreads its interest far further afield than the first set, heading to the northern Lake District, the Irish Giant’s Causeway, Snowdonia in Wales, and the White Cliffs of Dover at the very southern edge of the British Isles. All are natural features, in direct contrast to the human structures in the 2014 set. The same pair of designers are also responsible for this 2016 set and the specification is identical. The cool trichromatic print process is in use again and gives the coins a distinct look not seen elsewhere.
Mintage of the set in this form is down from the 3,500 of the 2014 box to a more sensible 2,016. Total coin mintage is 3,500 against the earlier 5,000. Of particular note is the drop in price from £360.00 to £295.00. Given the rise in the silver price, this is an unexpected and pleasant surprise, and although the price is still hardly bargain basement, it is much better value. Available to buy now, a fine set.