Royal Mint Museum
The Royal Mint Museum based in South Wales has one of the finest collections of coins and related material in the world. It is a collection about how money is made and how the Royal Mint has evolved over the last 1100 years.
Established in 1816 by the Master of the Royal Mint, William Wellesley Pole, the Museum has one of the finest collections of coins and related material in the world. Originally intended as a source of inspiration for Royal Mint engravers, a function it retains to this day, it has grown and developed into a collection about how money is made and how the Royal Mint has evolved over the last 1100 years. For over 200 years a dedicated staff of curators, numismatists and museum specialists have catalogued, cared for and enhanced the collection which contains nearly 100,000 coins including an abundance of proofs, patterns and trial pieces. Medals and seals are also well represented along with plaster models, balances, weights and thousands of original drawings. Above all, perhaps, it incorporates roughly 50,000 master tools and dies representing over 400 years of coin and medal production, a collection whose importance is unrivalled in the United Kingdom. The coins in the Royal Mint Museum number some 80,000 and they span the entire period from classical Greece and Rome to the modern day. The early part of the collection, however, is merely representative, the great strength of the Museum’s holdings lying in the post-1660 period and in particular the range of modern patterns, proofs and experimental pieces. Spectacular among these are the proposed coins for Edward VIII, never released for circulation because of the king’s abdication in December 1936, and an extensive series of preparatory pieces made during the run-up to decimalisation in February 1971. Overall, the policy since 1816 has been to maintain as complete a record as possible of the coins struck by the Royal Mint, both for the United Kingdom and for overseas countries.