Buy A Royal Mint 2023 Annual Set
2023 annual sets from the UK's national mint feature five new commemorative coins celebrating British culture and heritage:
- 2023 75th Birthday £5
- 2023 J R R Tolkien £2
- 2023 Flying Scotsman £2
- 2023 NHS 50p
- 2023 Windrush 50p
The Two Pounds and Fifty Pence pieces in these sets are the same size as the coins you might find in your change but feature exclusive finishes, available only to collectors. Brilliant uncirculated (BU) and proof coins are struck to a higher standard, allowing you to enjoy the fine detail of the new designs. Gold, silver and platinum editions offer the undeniable appeal of precious metals.
You'll find these sets in their original Royal Mint presentation packaging, perfect for display and packed with information about these new coins. Limited edition sets also contain numbered certificates of authenticity: a guarantee of exclusivity.
First King Charles III Annual Sets
2023 Annual Sets from The Royal Mint are the first to feature coins with a portrait of King Charles III. 2022 sets were the last to be issued in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and those sets contained coins with Jody Clark's portrait of Her Majesty.
The first definitive coin portrait of King Charles was unveiled soon after he aceeded to the throne and will be used on all UK coins issued from 2023 onwards. The work of British sculptor Martin Jennings it shows the King without a crown and facing left, the opposite direction to his mother, following a long-standing British coinage tradition. The artist's initials - 'MJ' - can be seen at His Majesty's shoulder.
Charles III coins have been released into circulation but they're not easy to find in your change yet. These 2023 Royal Mint sets are a great opportunity to appreciate the new portrait as well as marking an important moment of transition for British money and our monarchy.
Windrush 75th Anniversary 50p
This new 2023 Fifty Pence marks seventy-five years since the HMT Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, Essex, carrying 1027 passengers who had embarked in Jamaica. The ship's arrival has become symbolic of the generation of post-war Commonwealth migrants who came to live in Britain and whose contributions and struggles we remember each year on Windrush Day (22 June).
The design is the work of Jamaican-British artist Valda Jackson and depicts two smartly-dressed passengers, standing against the Union flag with '75' to their left and 'WINDRUSH GENERATIONS' below. Speaking of her coin, Jackson said
'I am very happy to have my design selected for this coin, which honours our parents and their legacy; and which celebrates our presence, achievements and contributions that continue to enrich our society'.
Individual brilliant uncirculated, silver proof, piedfort silver proof and gold proof editions of this Windrush will be available at a later date.
NHS (National Health Service) 50p
In the same year that the Windrush arrived, our National Health Service was established, bringing universal healthcare, free at the point of service, to all Brits. The NHS is a massive point of national pride with its doctor's and nurses' tireless work during the Covid-19 pandemic garnering renewed appreciation.
This 2023 Fifty Pence incorporates words associated with the NHS including 'Dedication', 'Compassion' and 'Gratitude' surrounding an inscription that reads 'National Health Service 75'. It's the work of senior Royal Mint designer Alice Lediard and is her first design to feature on UK coinage.
The Royal Mint previously marked fifty years of the NHS with another 50p (the 1998 coin can be found in silver proof, piedfort silver proof and gold proof presentations). The 2023 75th anniversary coin will be available in BUnc, silver proof, piedfort silver proof, gold proof and platinum proof.
Flying Scotsman Centenary £2
The first of two new 2023 Two Pound coins marks 100 years since the 4472 Flying Scotsman entered service. Built in 1923, the world record-setting train ran between London and Edinburgh, a symbol of the age of steam. Today you can see the original LNER locomotive at the National Railway Museum in York while the iconic name is still used by an express passenger train service between the English and Scottish capitals.
The reverse of this coin features the train with the inscription 'FLYING SCOTSMAN LNER 4472' and the anniversary dates '1923 - 2023' below. The edge inscription reads 'LIVE FOR THE JOURNEY'. The designer here is veteran coin designer John Berghdahl who said of this £2:
'I ultimately wanted to portray speed and movement in the design, which is why I included steam coming from the locomotive to convey the image of it travelling at great speed. There is also this romantic sentiment of the steam engine travelling through time, which is factually representative of Flying Scotsman's 100-year journey.'
You'll find this Flying Scotsman 2 Pound coin inside 2023 annual sets and in BU and proof individual presentations. The silver, piedfort silver, gold and platinum editions maintain the bimetallic appearance of standard £2 coins with plating and metal-colour differences for an attractive finish.
J R R Tolkien 50th Anniversary £2
The second new 2023 Two Pound coin is a tribute to the life and legacy of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien passed away in 1973 and now joins a very small group of British writers to be celebrated on coinage.
David Lawrences' design for the reverse of this £2 centres on Tolkien's monogram (a combination of his initials), surrounded by a rune-inspired pattern: a nod to the author's academic career as a philologist, centred on the study of Old English literature. The outer rim of these bimetallic coins reads '1892 J R R TOLKIEN 1973' with 'WRITER · POET · SCHOLAR' below. The edge inscription - 'NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST' is a line from 'The Riddle of Strider' from The Fellowship of the Ring.
These Tolkien 2 Pound coins will eventually be available in an individual presentation with brilliant uncirculated, silver proof, piedfort silver proof, gold proof and possibly platinum finishes.
King Charles 75th Birthday £5 Crown
Rounding out 2023 annual sets is a new Five Pound coin, dedicated to King Charles III. His Majesty will celebrate his 75th birthday on 14 November, six months after his coronation in May.
The new coin is the work of Royal Mint product designer Dan Thorne and pays tribute to The King's environmental campaigning and work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Charles III's crowned royal cypher appears in the centre with a ladybird above and a bee below. A dragonfly rests beneath the numerals '75', dividing the dates: 1948 and 2023. This motif is surrounded by oak leaves and delphiniums (the King's favourite flower).
The words 'HIS MAJESTY KING CHARLES III' appear above with precious metal editions (silver proof, piedfort silver proof and gold proof) bearing an edge inscription reading 'RESTORING HARMONY WITH NATURE'. BU and base-metal proof coins lack this inscription.
Are 2023 Charles III Annual Sets Rare?
2023 annual sets are available in limited numbers from The Royal Mint. Proof sets and precious metal collectors editions are only offered in small numbers.
As the first annual sets issued in this new reign they are sure to be a key acquisition for collectors of modern British coinage. Collectors rushed to get hold of 2022 annual sets following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. If you managed to get hold of one of last year's sets it makes sense to grab a 2023 set as we move into King Charles' coronation year.