The Royal Mint has been very active of late, and we’ve covered most of the new issues, of course, but the market is busier than ever of late, so to aid a more complete coverage, we’re going to be falling back on these multi-release articles. This time, we’ll have a look at three of the mints latest ranges, two of them additions to existing series, and one a surprisingly overdue look at a British icon.
The first of them is the fifth annual homage to Raymond Briggs’ classic children’s story, The Snowman. A series of heptagonal fifty pence coins, with art by the original artist, Robin Shaw, they have, as a result, impeccable credentials. If you’re a fan of the original works, you’re likely going to love these. The artwork is original, looks terrific on a coin, and even translates to gold with aplomb. A popular culture coin produced in a pure, sympathetic way.
City Views: London, was a great idea, taking a snippet from a period map to depict a historical snapshot of a great city. The second coin has now debuted, and this one uses a 19th century work by a French artist, Jacques Alphonse Testard, to show us a panoramic view of Rome, also drawn from a city high point. It’s a fine concept, and this works as well as the London coin did, although the source material for that was better, in our view, because it was more ‘of its time’. An expansive range from 1 oz silver to 1 kg gold, it’s a good release.
Lastly, Harry Potter has finally hit the British coin world. There are tons of HP coins already on the market, as I sadly found out when compiling a round-up of them all, but none issued for its homeland, the UK. That’s changed now the 25th anniversary of the first book’s publication has come around, and the mint is embarking on a four-coin programme in celebration of a literary juggernaut. The first coin is a terrific depiction of a young Harry Potter, available in two shapes, two metals, and seven variants. The debut coin bodes well for the rest, eschewing the usual gimmickry that is normal in this genre, for a purity of design, something the Royal Mint does well.