2021 Annual Set : UK Premium Proof Coin Collection
Every year, The Royal Mint releases a collection of the circulating coins of the year alongside special commemorative coins. The special reverses of this 2021 thirteen-coin base Proof set are; the 50th anniversary of decimalisation 50p, the John Logie Baird 50p, the H.G. Wells £2 coin, the Sir Walter Scott £2 coin, and a Crown to mark Her Majesty the Queen's 95th birthday. There is a mintage of 2,500 coins in the limited presentation. The set will also include; a limited-edition Premium Medal and the circulating coins of 2021. These definitive coins are; the £2 Britannia design by Antony Dufort, a £1 coin designed by David Pearce and the familiar 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p designed by Matthew Dent in 2008. The obverse of the 13 coins in this set from The Royal Mint present the 5th Portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Jody Clark on all the coins except one. A special version of the 2nd Portrait of HM The Queen, Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin RA, which was first introduced in 1968, is featured on the 50p celebrating 50 years of decimalisation.
Five Pound Coin
The Crown in this 2021 annual set honours The Queen's 95th birthday. Her Majesty has two birthdays as is tradition to permit celebrations during the summer months. Her official birthday takes place in June and her actual birthday is on 21st April. In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II became the UK's longest reigning Monarch, commemorating over 65 years since her accession to the throne. The 2021 design by renowned sculptor Timothy Noad captures the royal cypher of Elizabeth II accompanied by the inscription 'MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” in reference to the oath she made to the people in her first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957. The broadcast reference is a subtle nod to the television-related motif of this 13-coin collection. The edge inscription reads 'FULL OF HONOUR AND YEARS'.
The two-pound coins in this set recognise two treasured writers, and the icon Britannia:
- The first of the £2 coins marks the achievements of renowned science fiction author H.G. Wells. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature four times. The coin's design by Chris Costello pays homage to motifs from his The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine and The Invisible Man novels, alongside the edge inscription 'GOOD BOOKS ARE THE WAREHOUSES OF IDEAS', a famous quote in literature.
- The second of the £2 coins presents a tribute to Scottish writer and poet, Sir Walter Scott, who penned novels; Waverley, Rob Roy and Ivanhoe. In a design by Stephen Raw, the edge inscription features a well-known Scott quote, 'THE WILL TO DO, THE SOUL TO DARE' a stanza from his 1810 poem, The Lady of the Lake. He is one of Scotland's most famous figures.
- The third £2 coin is a design by Antony Dufort and portrays a modern 2015 depiction of Britannia, recasted for a new era. The Roman goddess Britannia, with her shield, trident and centurion helmet, first appeared on the coins of Emperor Hadrian over 2,000 years ago. She was brought back into coinage in 1672 and appeared on all UK coins until 2008. Over time, Britannia has become a mark of the quality of British minting around the world. She is also a source of national pride and a rallying-point in a crisis.
Fifty Pence Coins
- The first 50p is dedicated to the 'Father of Television' John Logie Baird, on the 75th anniversary of his death. The design by Osborne Ross, the company of designers Deborah Osborne and Andrew Ross, presents a timeline of the milestones in Baird's life in encircling waves of transmission radiating from the Crystal Palace mast.
- The second 50p celebrates the 50th anniversary of 'Decimal Day' when the UK moved to a decimal currency system in 1971. New coinage was introduced to support the transition and a campaign helped manage public concerns, including television transmissions, a recurring motif of this 5-coin issue. This design by Dominique Evans captures our nostalgia around pre-decimal coins with recognisable images from old coins including the sixpence and threepence. The obverse hosts the 2nd portrait of Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin, the release of which coincided with decimalisation.
All other coins in this set feature the 5th portrait by Jody Clark (2015).
Pounds and Pennies
- The £1 coin in this collection presents a 'tails' design by David Pearce, which has been in circulation since 2017. Pearce was just a teenager when he submitted the design in a Royal Mint competition. The design features; a rose, a thistle, a leek and a shamrock. Together, the images represent the national symbols of the UK's four constituent countries.
- The 50p (non-commemorative), 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p in this 13-coin set host the 2008 reverse design by Matthew Dent. When pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle, the coins unite to present the Shield of the Royal Arms.
The obverse of these coins host the 5th Portrait of HM The Queen, a 2015 design by sculptor Jody Clark.
The Premium Medal of 2021 hosts the landmark events of the year within the micro-text of the reverse design. Many of these milestones are featured in the commemorative coins of this 13-coin collection. Although related to coinage, medals are not coins but often appear in The Royal Mint's annual coin sets. The obverse of this coin presents a stylised edition of The Royal Mint's emblem, a symbol which takes inspiration from the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom. The Premium Medal struck in nickel-brass was designed and minted in-house at The Royal Mint and is a traditional feature in their annual coin sets.
The year 2021
Beyond the walls of The Royal Mint, the year 2021 is predicted to; play host to 2020's cancelled events including the Olympic Games and Eurovision, see Joe Biden inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States as many general elections take place across the globe, witness the second-shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century in May, and the world taking up “space race” missions alongside carbon-neutral pledges. This Royal Mint 2021 collection marks an extraordinary year for coinage and current affairs. Struck at a higher standard and hand-finished to inspect for imperfections, Proof coins are ideal for a serious collector or to mark an important milestone such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary. This 13-coin and Premium Medal annual set features commemorative coins released in this limited edition presentation for 2021.
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