With everything going on around the world regarding the current pandemic, the Royal Mints latest issue comes as a timely reminder of the extensive history of medical care undertaken by the UK for such a long time. The British Red Cross was founded 150 years ago, just 7 years after the inception of the International Red Cross in Switzerland. Since then, it has done a phenomenal amount of work around the world, especially during a 20th century replete with major wars.

The Royal Mint coin is a particularly neat one. Depicting the British Isles, with the United Kingdom highlighted in a different finish, which sits above a latticework globe, it proudly displays the Red Cross symbol at its centre. There’s no doubting what is being celebrated here. For the proof silver pair (one & two ounce). the cross is appropriately coloured red. The 39.94 gram 22kt gold coin (this is one of the mints 1.16 troy ounce gold £5 coins. Other than that, the variants all retain the same basic format, including diameter – typical for the £5 denominated range.

As you would expect, the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sits on the obverse, also appropriate given she is the patron of the organisation. Each coin comes with a full Certificate of Authenticity and the traditional mint packaging. Prices have risen on these compared to previous equivalent issues, but given the huge rises in the price of gold and silver (the former in particular is at its all time high in the UK by almost £400 per oz), to be expected. A base metal brilliant uncirculated version in the neat gatefold pack you can see opened further down, is available at a very affordable price for those that just want the design for their collection. It looks packed with information. Available today, this is a very nice issue, in our view.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The British Red Cross is at the forefront of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, supporting those hardest hit by providing practical and emotional support through their national support line, getting cash grants, food and other essential supplies to people in urgent need, and helping the NHS to transport patients safely home from hospital.

In recognition of the incredible work carried out by the British Red Cross every day, The Royal Mint has donated 150 of the brilliant uncirculated commemorative British Red Cross coins to volunteers and staff nominated by their colleagues as a thank you for all of their continuous hard work and dedication.

This includes Emergency Response volunteer Sandra Fisher from Newport, South Wales who has been volunteering for 27 years. Sandra usually provides support to people caught up in emergencies, like flooding or house fires but has more recently been providing practical and emotional support through the British Red Cross national support line for coronavirus, whilst isolating at home.

Designed by Henry Gray, the coin celebrates 150 years of kindness. It reflects the British Red Cross’s work in the UK and as part of the world’s largest global humanitarian movement. The idea of connectivity is central to the design, with overlapping lines representing what we can achieve when we work together. The edge inscription around the coin bears the powerful words of the Movement, ‘PER HUMANITATEM AD PACEM’, which translates to ‘THROUGH HUMANITY TO PEACE’.

Available in limited-edition Gold Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort and Silver Proof, as well as a Brilliant Uncirculated edition. The Silver and Brilliant Uncirculated versions features the iconic Red Cross emblem in vivid red colour – a symbol synonymous with the charity.

The Red Cross Movement began in 1863 with Henry Dunant and his inspiration for a kinder world. Appalled by the suffering he saw on all sides of a war, Henry Dunant called for all nations to come together to create trained volunteer relief groups to treat those sick and wounded on the battlefield, regardless of the side to which they belonged. Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was formed in Britain on the basis of these fundamental principles. The Society was renamed the British Red Cross and was granted its first Royal Charter in 1908 by Edward VII.

Today, the British Red Cross ensures that people get the help they need in a crisis, whoever and wherever they are. From supporting refugees, and people seeking asylum, people facing loneliness or health inequalities, and those affected by emergencies such as flooding or house fires. They work to make community connections stronger, so that people are more resilient in a crisis.

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “We are proud to be producing a commemorative £5 coin dedicated to the British Red Cross and celebrating not only their 150th anniversary but also the extraordinary efforts of this national institution. At the centre of the coin’s design is the iconic Red Cross emblem in vivid red colour – a symbol synonymous with the charity. For 150 years, the British Red Cross has stood by and supported people through crisis and this year has been no exception. Their constant dedication to supporting the nation during the coronavirus pandemic has been instrumental in making a difference and for that we at The Royal Mint are eternally grateful for the work they do each day.”

British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said: “We are honoured that The Royal Mint has chosen to acknowledge 150 years of support by the British Red Cross to people in crisis. We have been there through the world wars, supported the NHS from its creation, responded to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and more recently following domestic terror incidents and the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.

“Today our staff and volunteers are putting kindness in action at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been supporting the most vulnerable by delivering food and medicine, making sure refugees and people seeking asylum are safe, providing a supportive ear through our national support line and helping the NHS to get patients home from hospital.

“From then to now, it’s all down to the dedication of our volunteers, staff and the generosity of our supporters that we can continue our lifesaving work. And it is the power of their kindness that will ensure we are there for those who need us most for many years to come.”

On being awarded a coin, British Red Cross Emergency Response volunteer Sandra Fisher said: “I’ve been involved with the British Red Cross for a long time. I’m so proud to be here, and I’ve always tried to do everything I can to help people. During the coronavirus pandemic I’ve been isolating so I haven’t been able to go out and support people in the usual way, but as a support line volunteer I’ve been a listening ear, and provided practical and emotional support over the phone. Even though I haven’t been able to see people, I feel like I’ve have an impact.

I think it’s an amazing thing that The Royal Mint have created a special coin for the British Red Cross 150th anniversary. It’s a wonderful gesture and it will mean so much to all the staff and volunteers. I feel very honoured and privileged to be recognised in this way.”

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION £5 UKP £5 UKP £5 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9167 gold 0.925 silver 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 39.94 grams 56.56 grams 28.28 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm 38.61 mm 38.61 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof
MINTAGE 250 1,150 4,000
EDGE TEXT ‘PER HUMANITATEM AD PACEM’
R.R.P. £2,640.00 £170.00 £90.00
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