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British Royal Mint Recognizes Prince of Wales' 60th Birthday
By World Coin News
December 19, 2007


Three new commemorative reverse designs will debut in the 2008 United Kingdom proof set, struck by the British Royal Mint.

The first of the commemorative crowns has been struck to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales, while the second crown commemorates the 450th anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth I. A special design for the reverse of the 2 coin celebrates the centenary of the first time the Olympic Games were held in London.

The 1 coin celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2008 and bears upon its reverse the royal arms, which appeared on the coin when it was first issued in April 1983.

Specially designed presentation cases and folders have been produced for the 2008 collections. Within the total authorized mintage, limited to 50,000 base metal proof sets, three different kinds of packaging have been produced, each intended to offer collectors a choice of style and presentation. An veneered presentation case has been created to house the Executive Proof Set, limited to only 5,000 sets.

An additional 15,000 Deluxe Proof Sets are offered in a black leather case, while a limited edition of 30,000 sets is offered as a Standard Proof Set in a black case with the Royal Mint emblem featured in gold on the lid.

Each version of the 2008 proof set contains all 11 of the United Kingdom circulating coins, including those outlined above.

The portrait of Prince Charles appearing on the 5 crown is the work of Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of the queen has appeared on British coinage since 1998. The inscription THE PRINCE OF WALES 1948 - 2008 appears around the upper perimeter of the coin with the words ICH DIEN ("I serve") at the base. This phrase, of course, is taken from the badge of the Prince of Wales.

The second 5 crown is the Queen Elizabeth I anniversary crown.

Silversmith Rod Kelly has taken inspiration from the magnificent "Armada" portrait of Elizabeth by George Gower. The queen is crowned and set within a mandorla created by four decorative arches.

A Tudor rose has been placed at each connecting point, while the two side arches each contain a leaf pattern reminiscent of the carvings made by the queen's loyal servant and friend Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

The year of her accession and the year of the anniversary are both shown in Roman numerals with the inscription ELIZABETH REGINA. To mark the centenary of the first London Olympic Games, a commemorative 2 coin has issued.

The reverse design is by Royal Mint engraver Thomas T. Docherty, who chose as the central feature of his design a running track. The 2008 Executive Proof Set is $149 in U.S. funds and $179 Canadian.

The 2008 Deluxe Proof Set is $89 U.S. and $105 Canadian.

The 2008 Standard Proof Set is $69.95 U.S. and $ 84.95 Canadian. Orders and inquiries should be addressed to the Royal Mint, 14101 Southcross Drive West, Dept. 2007PR, Burnsville, MN 55337, or call toll-free (800) 221-1215. Collectors in Canada should contact the Royal Mint, P. O. Box 33518, Hamilton, ON L8P 4X4. Telephone (800) 563-5943. Add $7.95 postage and handling and seven percent GST and provincial taxes where appropriate. The Web site may be viewed at www.royalmint.com. E-mail address is usa@royalmint.com.

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