The Royal Mint - More than a Millennium of Minting.
Although, naturally, coins had been minted in Britain since Roman times, it wasn’t until Alfred the Great took back London from the Danes in 886 that silver pennies were struck at what constitutes the beginning of The Royal Mint’s history. That means that The Royal Mint has been producing British coinage for more than 1100 years!
By 1279, all of the country’s minting had been centralised to The Royal Mint upon Tower Hill in London and the minting factory that we know today was starting to come together. Faced with problems that we are familiar with today, among them, the mint oversaw the increased value of precious metals threatening the circulating currency – and thus changed the weight of the coins of the day. This would happen several times, all the way up until the end of the gold standard in the 1930’s!
As the British Empire increased its grip on the world, The Royal Mint also expanded. 19th Century Colonial outposts were created in Canada, India, South Africa, and Australia – in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, the latter of which is still in existence today.
Though the Mint had received a serious upgrade in 1805 and moved into a larger, purpose-built facility on Tower Hill when the UK government decided to decimalise its currency, the decision was made to move to a much larger plant in Wales, near the small town of Llantrisant. This is where the mint stands today, striking circulating coins for the UK, and many other nations, as well as collector coins for all types of exciting themes.
From humble beginnings, striking silver pennies for Alfred the Great, The Royal Mint has blossomed and is now one of the largest, most important, and highest quality Mints in the world.