Royal Mint releases details of its 2021 core commemoratives with a surprising and ridiculous error

It’s that time of the year again, when the Royal Mint shows off its core range of commemorative coins, those based on circulating currency, and it’s another varied selection of formats and subjects. All of them are being overshadowed by one thing, however, so let us get the elephant in the room out of the way. Here at AgAuNEWS, we focus on numismatics from an art, design, and technology standpoint. The financial aspects are too quickly changing, as the precious metals used for their construction are subject to the whims of the commodoties market. So, when a coin fails on such a basic level as the HG Wells one has this year, it irks us greatly.

HG Wells is an absolute giant of the literary world and his works are universally well known. Chief amongst them is the seminal War of the Worlds, the invasion of Earth by hordes of Martian tripods. You know tripods, don’t you? Those three-legged things (clue’s in the name). I saw this coin on Sunday and it took about two seconds to see the error. A four-legged tripod. Now Chris Costello is a talented artist and his work on last years Maytflower coin from the Royal Mint was a real standout, but how did this not get noticed?

Costello drew the art, of course, and we can’t expect every artist to know every detail, but how was this not spotted through the multi layers of review before this coin went to die stage? Frustratingly, it’s actual a really nice piece and a terrific homage to HG Wells, but the four-legged tripod is a killer. For a mint so enmeshed in British literature, history and science, it’s a flaw that should never have occured.

The other four designs are okay, but nothing really screams artistic merit to me. The John Logie Baird design is neat enough, but the others are pretty generic. A shame that the HG Wells coin will get a mass of attention for the wrong reasons as it remains a fundamentally attractive piece, but the error raises questions on the design review process at the Royal Mint.

75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF HG WELLS:

Best known for science fiction novels such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, H.G Wells is renowned for his ability to bring science fiction to life through his work, earning him nicknames such as the ‘father of science fiction’. Seventy-five years on from his death, The Royal Mint celebrates the life and work of H.G Wells on a commemorative coin with a design that captures iconic images from Well’s work, including The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man.

DENOMINATION £2 UKP (United Kingdom)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver / gilded 0.925 silver / gilded 0.9167 gold / Yellow & Red
WEIGHT 12.00 grams 24.00 grams 15.97 grams
DIMENSIONS 28.40 mm
FINISH Proof
EDGE TEXT GOOD BOOKS ARE THE WAREHOUSES OF IDEAS
DESIGNER Chris Costello

CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND WORK OF JOHN LOGIE BAIRD

A prolific inventor and famous for his early prototypes of television, John Logie Baird’s work changed society and entertainment around the world. The Royal Mint is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the death of John Logie Baird on a commemorative 50p coin which celebrates the inventor and his creations.

DENOMINATION £0.50 UKP (United Kingdom)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.925 silver 0.9167 gold
WEIGHT 8.00 grams 16.00 grams 15.50 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.30 mm
FINISH Proof
EDGE TEXT None
DESIGNER Osborne Ross

250th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF SIR WALTER SCOTT

Recognised as one of the most influential Scots in history, Sir Walter Scott is renowned for his contribution to literature with a number of novels and poems, many of which remain literary classics to this day. 250 years on from his birth, Scott’s incredible literary legacy will be commemorated £2 coin.

DENOMINATION £2 UKP (United Kingdom)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver / gilded 0.925 silver / gilded 0.9167 gold / Yellow & Red
WEIGHT 12.00 grams 24.00 grams 15.97 grams
DIMENSIONS 28.40 mm
FINISH Proof
EDGE TEXT THE WILL TO DO, THE SOUL TO DARE
DESIGNER Stephen Raw

95th BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

This special £5 coin celebrates a remarkable milestone, making Queen Elizabeth II the first British monarch to reach such a grand age. During her reign The Royal Mint has created five different effigies of Her Majesty The Queen documenting her reign, and she resides on every British coin in circulation.

DENOMINATION £5 UKP (United Kingdom)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.925 silver 0.9167 red gold
WEIGHT 28.28 grams 56.56 grams 39.94 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm
FINISH Proof
EDGE TEXT FULL OF HONOUR AND YEARS
DESIGNER Timothy Noad

95th BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

This special £5 coin celebrates a remarkable milestone, making Queen Elizabeth II the first British monarch to reach such a grand age. During her reign The Royal Mint has created five different effigies of Her Majesty The Queen documenting her reign, and she resides on every British coin in circulation.

DENOMINATION £0.50 UKP (United Kingdom)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.925 silver 0.9167 gold
WEIGHT 8.00 grams 16.00 grams 15.50 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.30 mm
FINISH Proof
EDGE TEXT None
DESIGNER Dominique Evans
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