2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof
A double-weight Five Pound Silver Proof coin commemorated the Tower of London's role as a prison: a fascinating addition to the 2020 collection from The Royal Mint.
The 2020 Tower of London Collection
The 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof is part of the second release in a popular collaboration between The Royal Mint and Historic Royal Palaces. This collection celebrates some of the various functions the ancient fortress has served down the centuries.
Four designs were offered as part of the 2020 Collection: The Royal Mint, The Royal Menagerie, The White Tower and The Infamous Prison. Coins in this collectible series have been issued in Silver Proof - like this example - as well as Brilliant Uncirculated and Gold Proof editions. Only a very small number of Piedfort Silver Proof pieces have been offered.
Inside the World's Toughest Prison
While the Tower of London was furnished as a luxurious royal residence, it was also used for centuries to contain high profile prisoners. While royal and noble prisoners might be kept in relative comfort - deprived only of their liberty - unlucky prisoners were tortured.
Despite the Tower's reputation for gruesome punishments, only seven people were executed in the Tower before the twentieth century. This number included three English Queens: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey. The last Tower execution took place in August 1941.
The Mystery of the Princes in the Tower
Among the most famous prisoners held in the Tower of London were Edward V and his younger brother Richard. They were sent there by their uncle who would become Richard III after the boys disappeared without a trace. Two small skeletons were discovered in the Tower centuries later.
Victorian tourists were entranced by the gothic tale of the Princes as well as many other gruesome stories from the Tower's long history. It's this unmatched reputation for horror that inspires the 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison £5 Piedfort Silver Proof which bears the edge inscription ‘THE INFAMOUS PRISON'.
My Libertie Denied: Timothy Noad's Reverse
Timothy Noad's reverse for the 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof a subtle evocation of the Tower's chilling past.
Noad is known for his medieval-style calligraphy and illuminations. For this design he has been inspired by the extensive graffiti found at the tower. His Infamous Prison reverse features an extract from an anonymous inscription, found in the Bell Tower which reads: ‘BY TORTURE STRANGE MY TROUTH WAS TRIED YET OF MY LIBERTIE DENIED'.
The lettering - rendered in a Tudor font - is set against the image of a Norman-style window: a unifying feature of coins in the 2020 Tower of London collection.
A Piedfort Silver Proof Coin
Timothy Noad's reverse is paired with Jody Clark's fifth definitive portrait of Elizabeth II. The obverse also features the denomination: ‘FIVE POUNDS'. As this coin is legal tender in the UK, the 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof is Capital Gains Tax exempt.
The 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof is composed of 56.56 grams of .925 Sterling Silver. The pure silver content of this piece is 52.32 grams. That's double the weight of the classic Five Pound Silver Proof coin also issued with this design. Struck to proof standard, you are guaranteed a beautiful piece, made to be appreciated.
A Collectible Coin from The Royal Mint
Whether the 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof completes your collection of Tower of London coins or represents your first purchase, we think this is an excellent addition.
This series reminds us of everything we love about collectible coins from The Royal Mint: a rich history, great designs from top artists and an unmatched attention to detail. As one of only 400 issued, its worth picking this piece up now.
Your 2020 Tower of London The Infamous Prison Piedfort £5 Silver Proof comes in its original The Royal Mint presentation box with an informative booklet and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
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