The Tower of London Coin Collection : The White Tower - 2020 UK £5 Gold Proof Crown
The White Tower £5 special edition Gold Proof Crown is the first of a four-coin collectible series from The Royal Mint. The series honours the Mint’s origins in the Tower of London. All the coins are crafted by Heraldic artist and Scrivener to the Royals, Timothy Noad, in partnership with The Royal Mint and the Historic Royal Palaces. This special edition coin takes inspiration from Britain’s most famous castle, the White Tower. Noad’s design makes good use of mise en abyme. The artist captures the Chief Yeoman Warder’s ceremonial silver mace, which depicts a miniature version of the White Tower. The four coins of this Tower of London 2020 collection are united in their reverses by a Norman arched window motif. The window is a distinctive characteristic of the Tower of London, which aptly aligns with the curvature of the coin set. The White Tower’s obverse also features the 5th Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, by Jody Clark.
Erected by William the Conqueror with a nearly 1,000 year history, the Tower of London is the oldest standing building in London. The Tower and its grounds have been home to; the Crown Jewels, a palace, a fortress, a state prison, the Royal Menagerie, a public records office, Britain’s arsenal and The Royal Mint. It is thronged with myths and legends such as; the ravens’ departure will cause the fall of Britain or the Monarchy, multiple ghost sightings including the castle keep’s White Lady, and a treasure trove of gold worth £20,000 is supposedly hidden within the grounds. The Tower of London is guarded by Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters, who live on site and are descendents of ancient warders before them. In 1279, The Royal Mint became the centralised Mint of England, sited at the Tower of London by Edward I. The surrounding area became known as Mint Street and The Royal Mint remained there for 500 years.
The White Tower, a castle keep constructed to strike fear and wonder into 11th century Londoners, is the centrepiece of the grounds. Within its walls, the White Tower hosts; the Chapel of St John the Evangelist, the Royal Armouries, and a 350-year-old exhibition, Line of Kings. Over the years, the White Tower has served as; a royal palace, the Royal Observatory, as a gunpowder store and housed public records. The Tower was also used to imprison, punish and execute from 1100 to 1952, and it is rumoured to have ghosts still walking its grounds. Guy Fawkes is perhaps the most well-known captive of the White Tower. A young Guy Fawkes became involved with Catholic conspirators. They contrived a Gunpowder Plot to murder the King, Queen and heir while they were present in Parliament. An explosives expert, on the 5th November 1605, Fawkes was placed in charge of igniting the gunpowder barrels in the Houses of Parliament cellars. He was disturbed by Royal Guards searching the grounds after an anonymous tip-off to the King. He was taken for torture and interrogration at the Tower of London where he endured a terrible death. Today, his crimes are remembered each year on Bonfire Night.
This four-part coin series from The Royal Mint pays homage to the landmark Tower of London with an elegant design finished to Proof standard. Each coin spotlights a different area of the landmark; the White Tower, the Royal Menagerie, the fortress as The Royal Mint and its infamous prison. The designs are unified by a Norman arched window, the hallmark of the Tower of London. Every coin includes an intricate edge scription and complementary information approved by the Historic Royal Palaces.
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