The Royal Mint’s second United Kingdom £20 coin commemorates outbreak of the First World War
The Royal Mint has unveiled the theme of its second United Kingdom £20 coin – remembering those who answered the call to arms at the outbreak of the First World War a century ago.
The design depicts the figure of Britannia watching over the first troops leaving for France at the start of the war, and was created by renowned sculptor John Bergdahl, who has captured the essence of the art deco style prevalent at the time, yet incorporates a contemporary twist.
Commenting on his inspiration for the image, John Bergdahl said: “I decided to use the figure of Britannia in order to represent all of the allies who took part, most of whom were British or drawn from the British Empire. I combined inspiration from two sources: the South African medal for war services and the First World War memorial plaque awarded to those who died, using an art deco style which I felt best reflected the period.”
Minted in fine silver, and struck to Brilliant Uncirculated standard, the ‘Outbreak of War’ £20 coin is an official United Kingdom coin, and bears the current portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on its obverse by Ian Rank-Broadley. It will be limited to an issue of 250,000 coins, and follows on from the sell-out success of the first ever £20 coin in October 2013 in honour of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.
Shane Bissett, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin and Bullion and Medals said “The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is an occasion of such significance, it was important to us that this coin should takes its place in The Royal Mint’s programme of commemoration, remembering the bravery and sacrifice of those who answered the call to fight for King and country.”
First World War Commemorative Coin Specifications
Outbreak of War United Kingdom
£20 Fine Silver Coin
Issuing authority United Kingdom
Alloy 999 fine silver
Reverse Designer John Bergdahl
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Quality Brilliant Uncirculated
Limited edition presentation 250,000
Maximum coin mintage 250,000
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About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest and most venerable organisations, with an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1000 years. Though more than ten centuries have passed since then, The Royal Mint’s reputation for both quality and integrity has always endured.
While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, coins from The Royal Mint remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.
There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2014 ,with a total face value of £3.9 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, nearly 2 billion UK coins were issued during 2013-14.
As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It currently serves more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.
In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Construction is expected to be completed during 2016.