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The Royal Mint

The history of minting in Great Britain is longer than you can imagine. The early coins, minted towards the end of 2nd century BC, were cast in moulds. Later coins were hand-struck, and were produced in this manner for the next fifteen centuries.

200 years after the end Roman conquest, and therefore Roman coins being in circulation in all of the Western Empire, the London mint started operating again in the 7th century. The same mint, coincidentally, produced the Roman coins sometime in the third century. The mint’s operating history during that time was short-lived, and it was only open for a mere 40 years before closure.

Fast forward to two centuries ago, and the “modern” Royal Mint opened in 1810 on Tower Hill. Large steam-powered heavy machinery was used in production, which signified the fact that the Royal Mint had definitely entered the industrial age. Time flew, and progress went with it, and at the beginning of the 20th century the steam-powered equipment was fully replaced by electricity.

The British Sovereign coin is has been in production in the UK on and off since 1817. Several commonwealth countries, including Australia, South Africa, and Canada have also minted the British Sovereign in the past. Currently they are minted at the Royal Mint location in Wales, and also in India under full control of the Royal Mint.

Other products minted at the government-owned Royal Mint include items intended for export, and it is known as the world’s leading exporting mint. The items include, but are not limited to commemorative and military medals, and similar items intended for schools, businesses, and governments.