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.



Forged by nature – shaped by myth

The British Isles are blessed with a raw and untamed beauty. Celebrate the world-renowned landmarks of the United Kingdom with the Portrait of Britain Collection  From the highest mountain peaks to dramatic coastlines, these magnificent landscapes attract thousands of visitors each year. This set of four £5 coins captures the iconic landscapes of Celebrate the world-renowned landmarks of the United Kingdom with the Portrait of Britain Collection Snowdonia, the Giant’s Causeway, the Lake District and the White Cliffs of Dover, each renowned for their beauty and steeped in history and myth.

Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, is said to be the resting place of a great ogre capable of killing kings and making cloaks from their beards. Legend attributes the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland to Finn McCool, a giant who built the enormous stepping stones to cross the sea without getting his feet wet. The Lake District is home to England’s highest mountains and deepest lakes while the iconic White Cliffs of Dover are the gateway to Britain’s shores.

Each coin features trichromatic colour pad printing enhancing the mood and contemporary feel of the designs. Only 2,016 sets struck in Sterling Silver to Proof standard, showcasing natural Britain at its best, are available to purchase.





With this four-coin set, Royal Mint coin designers Glyn Davies and Laura Clancy have captured the appreciation of a visitor standing before these landscapes for the first time. After visiting each site the designers also wanted to capture a real sense of place, representing the changing qualities of the British weather and creating a colour effect similar to that of an impressionist painting.

Trichromatic colour printing, used only rarely by The Royal Mint, was ideal for this purpose. It allows colour to be applied delicately and appear as a painted wash, giving added depth to each scene and representing the different mood and feeling.

“Instead of a solid layer of colour we used the trichromatic process to create subtle tints,” said Royal Mint Chief Engraver Gordon Summers.

“It’s like the difference in effect between painting with oils or with watercolours. It’s a softer effect that allows the metal beneath to show through, creating an ‘impressionist’ feel and reflecting the shifting light and colour of the landscapes.”



£5 UKP 0.925 SILVER 28.28 g 38.61 mm PROOF 2,016 (from 3,500) YES / YES