Great Britain

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The Rich History of the United Kingdom Mint

The Royal Mint of Great Britain has a long and exciting history. The first coins made in the United Kingdom date to the second century B.C. At first, there were cast silver coins, but later coins began to be handcrafted. With the coming of the Romans into the country, the production of British coins stopped. The new Roman coins were conquering the world, and they were also in circulation in England at that time.

It was the Romans who established the first Mint in London. So the first London mint, which is mentioned in documents, was founded by the Romans. But he didn't work for more than 40 years. 

After the unification of the English kingdom, the London Mint began to reissue coins with silver after a break of 650 years. In the beginning, its activity was intermittent. However, since the reign of Alfred the Great, the Mint has constantly been developing. And its history continuous from that moment. 

At that time, the London Mint was just one of many. However, after the Norman Conquest, the number of mints began to dwindle. So, at the beginning of the 13th century, all coins with silver were minted only in London and Canterbury.

Isaac Newton and Silver Coins

By 1279, the London mint had moved to the Tower. The Mint worked in the Tower for the next five centuries. The minting process was mechanized in the seventeenth century, and Sir Isaac Newton participated in it. He was the first keeper and then head of the Royal Mint in 1696-1727. 

The success of monetary reform in Great Britain was mainly due to Newton's management skills and his attention to accuracy. Newton worked to keep the silver coins the same weight and thickness, differing as little as possible from each other. As a result, he claimed to have achieved far greater precision in coinage than anyone before him. 

The secret of Newton's success also lies in his persistence and, more importantly, in his honesty. He is known to have refused a bribe of over £6,000 for signing a contract to mint copper coins. Sir Isaac Newton set high standards of honesty at a time when corruption was widespread. 

Tower Hill 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was decided to move the Mint outside the Tower to accommodate a new steam engine. Thus, little Tower Hill became the new home of the Mint. Preparations began in 1805, and the buildings were constructed by the end of 1809. A trial run of the new steam engine was given in April 1810. Finally, in 1811 the relocation from the Tower was fully completed. However, the Constable of the Tower did not receive the keys to the old Mint until August 1812. 


In 1950 it became necessary to rebuild the Royal Mint again. The Royal Mint needed to produce millions of value silver coins to switch to a different metric system. At the same time, the Mint did not stop minting value silver coins for foreign customers. In 1967 it was announced that a new Royal Mint would be built at Llantrisant. It is about ten miles from Cardiff, the capital of the Duchy of Wales.

The new Mint is located in the green Duchy of Wales on the edge of the Ronde Valley and covers an area of more than 30 hectares. Today it has the largest capacity of any mint in Europe.