Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

This year marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force, arguably the most important military anniversary to be celebrated in British history. In fact, there are numerous official events and ceremonies planned up and down the country to mark the occasion – including a service at Westminster Abbey with an RAF parade and flypast!

It has been a glorious 100 years, full of extreme courage, bravery and self-sacrifice by the men and women who served and continue to serve.

RAF 100th Jersey Five Pound Proof Coin Obverse Reverse - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

The RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin

And, to mark this historic occasion, a brand new Official RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin has just been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey. In my opinion, it is one of the most striking military coins ever issued and is the perfect tribute to ensure the remarkable feats of technology and courage of our RAF are never forgotten.

 

So what’s the story behind the design?

Mike Guilfoyle 300x200 - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

Mike Guilfoyle

For such an important anniversary, we knew the design had to be particularly special and we felt there was no better person for the job than ex-Royal Mint designer, Mike Guilfoyle.

Mike has 30 years of experience designing coins that have circulated around the world and has produced some of the most stunning British Isles coins ever minted. We were lucky enough to see the design process through with him.

From the start it was clear we wanted to include the most renowned planes from the RAF’s history and Mike came up with multiple options for us.

RAF 100th Jersey Five Pound Proof Coin Design - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

The RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin Design

However, it was the idea to show the incredible changes in technology over the last 100 years that really captured our imagination. The coin features three of the most important aircraft from the last century; the Sopwith Camel, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Lockheed Lightning II which brings us right up to the present day and looks towards the future of our RAF.


Highly detailed design – intricate striking

Through careful research and communicating closely with the MOD, Mike has been able to render each plane in exquisite detail.

RAF Five Pound Proof Coin Close Up - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

The RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin Reverse

But this high level of detail and care didn’t just stop at design level. You can clearly see it’s been replicated right through to the striking of Mike’s design on the coins – what really took me aback is that none of the detail has been lost – that’s because the use of Modern Minting techniques used to produce the coins has resulted in one of the most intricately struck coins I’ve ever seen.

What makes it even better is that each plane has been enhanced with 24-Carat Gold Ink to really show off the detail and make it stand out against the Proof background.

The most iconic aircraft of the RAF

Here’s a bit more about why these three special planes have been chosen to feature on the coin:

The Sopwith Camel

Camel 300x200 - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

Sopwith Camel

The Sopwith Camel has become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

In fact, J. M. Bruce tells us that “The total number of enemy aircraft shot down by Camels was 1,294, a greater number than were defeated by any other single type of aeroplane of the 1914-18 war”[1]

With that astonishing achievement this aircraft continued to serve until 1923 – an incredible lifespan for a plane in this era. [2]

Considering that the Sopwith Camel was serving from the very beginning of the RAF’s official formation and it was such an important part of the First World War, its place in RAF history is well-secured and was a clear choice to be featured on this stunning coin.

The Supermarine Spitfire

Spitfire 300x200 - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

Supermarine Spitfire

The Spitfire has to be one of the most famous British fighter aircraft in history and it has become the most iconic aircraft of the Second World War.

In fact, this aircraft has become synonymous with one battle in particular; the Battle of Britain. Alongside the Hawker Hurricane, this aircraft helped to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain and was seen as such a superior aircraft for it’s time that The RAF Museum states “at the height of the Battle of Britain…a German ace…in a moment of anger and frustration, turned to his Commander in Chief and demanded a squadron of Spitfires! [3]

With that in mind, and considering the Spitfire still astonishes the crowds at air shows today, featuring this plane was another unanimous decision.

The Lockheed Lightning II 

Lightning 300x200 - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

Lockheed Lightning II

Now, this multi-role supersonic stealth aircraft is an incredible example of just how far technology has come and is definitely a plane which will play a key part in the RAF’s future.

In fact, 2018 sees the 617Squadron, becoming the first RAF Squadron equipped with the Lightning II aircraft, of which the UK has so far taken delivery of 9. [4]

To me, these three incredible aircraft represent an ever-evolving RAF that is consistently at the forefront of technology, making this coin a fitting tribute to the courageous work of the RAF, the men and women who have served over the last 100 years and those who will continue to serve in the future.

[1] https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1955/1955%20-%200527.html
[2] https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/collections/sopwith-f1-camel/
[3] https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/collections/supermarine-spitfire/
[4] https://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/Lightning.cfm

RAF 100th Jersey Five Pound Proof Coin - Just released: The Official RAF Centenary Coin and the story behind the design…

The RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin

If you are interested…

You can be one of a limited number of collectors to own the Official RAF Centenary Five Pound Proof Coin.

The three iconic aircraft have been highlighted in 24-carat gold ink and this stunning coin has been struck to the highest Proof standard you can find on a collectable coin.

Click here for more details now >>

 

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FIRST LOOK: World’s first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Revealed for the first time today, Royal Mail are set to release 15 new Game of Thrones stamps celebrating the global-success of the hit fantasy TV show, filmed primarily in the British Isles and featuring a star studded cast brimming with home-grown talent.

Scheduled for release on 23 January 2018, the new stamps will feature 10 of the best loved characters from all seven series’, including Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Ned Stark, as well as an exclusive Miniature Sheet, comprising the Iron Throne, the Night King, Drogon and Ghost.

GoT stamps 100 se tennant 1024x364 - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Royal Mail’s Game of Thrones Stamps

The stamps are Royal Mail’s first ever Game of Thrones stamp issue, and the  first Postage Stamps to feature Game of Thrones, the world over.


Here’s your first look at the new stamps alongside a bit of info about each one…

Sansa Stark - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Sansa Stark

SANSA STARK 

Eddard Stark’s oldest daughter, Sansa, was held in King’s Landing by the Lannister’s after her father’s murder.  Initially naive and trusting, she learned how to play the Game of Thrones by observing the devious Petyr Baelish.  Following a battle to reclaim her ancestral home, she became the Lady of Winterfell.

Jon Snow - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Jon Snow


JON SNOW

The King in the North is a loyal and honourable man. After joining the Night’s Watch, he rose to become the Lord Commander, but his insistence on making common cause with the wildlings led to mutiny and his demise.  Resurrected, he returned to Winterfell and defeated Ramsay Bolton.

Eddard Stark - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Eddard Stark

EDDARD STARK

The head of the Stark family was an honourable, upright and decent man in a dark world. Asked by his oldest friend Robert Baratheon to govern as Hand of the King, he found himself out-manoeuvred at every turn.  His execution on trumped-up charges fuelled the War of the Five Kings.

 

Olenna Tyrell - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Olenna Tyrell

OLENNA TYRELL

Sharp of tongue and fierce of wit, Olenna Tyrell was the matriarch of the Tyrell family.  After losing almost all her family in an explosion orchestrated by Cersei Lannister, Olenna vowed revenge and joined forces with Daenerys Targaryen hoping to bring the Lannister lions to their knees.

Tywin Lannister - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Tywin Lannister


TYWIN LANNISTER

The head of the Lannister family was a consummate tactician who ruled his adult children with an iron will.  Having engineered victory in the War of the Five Kings thanks to his astute military tactics, Tywin was later undone by his refusal to respect and appreciate Tyrion Lannister.

Tyrion Lannister - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Tyrion Lannister


TYRION LANNISTER

The youngest Lannister, Tyrion spent most of his life shunned by his family, who failed to appreciate his sharp political mind. Falsely accused of poisoning Joffrey, he was freed by his brother Jaime only to then murder their father.  He has pledged his allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen.

Cersei Lannister - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Cersei Lannister


CERSEI LANNISTER

Robert Baratheon’s widow spent years hiding a dark secret: her three children were not Robert’s but the product of a long-standing relationship with her twin brother Jaime.  Now all three children are dead, and Cersei sits on the Iron Throne in King’s Landing.  She is determined to see off all other contenders.

Arya Stark - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Arya Stark

ARYA STARK

Eddard and Catelyn Stark’s youngest daughter was more interested in learning to fight than becoming a lady.  After her father’s death, she survived on her wits, eventually training with the Faceless Men in the Free City of Braavos.  She subsequently returned home to Winterfell and reunited with her siblings.

Jaime Lannister - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Jaime Lannister

JAIME LANNISTER

Cersei’s cynical twin brother has a major flaw – his love for his sister.  Captured early on in the War of the Five Kings by Robb and Catelyn Stark, he was freed by the latter against her son’s wishes.  Increasingly troubled by Cersei’s behaviour, he was last seen leaving King’s Landing.

Daenerys Targaryen - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Daenerys Targaryen


DAENERYS TARGARYEN

Revered by her followers as the mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen recently landed in Westeros to claim the Iron Throne.  Shortly after her arrival, Jon Snow, hoping to convince her to help him fight the forces beyond the Wall, offers the support of the north.


 Winter is here with Royal Mail’s official Game of Thrones stamps

The issue consists of independently custom-designed stamps, with unprecedented detail to showcase 10 central Game of Thrones personalities, 4 non-human characters and the Iron Throne itself.

The set of ten best-loved character stamps show exclusive photographic representations of central characters from across all seven seasons in the Game of Thrones’ series.  Each stamp is centred on an individual character and is a complex montage of multiple images from the series; creating ten bespoke images that embody the crux of each character’s story.  Each individual design is assigned a ‘colour identity’, aligned with the character and their environment, as well as being a reflection of the production values and themes of the series.

GoT Minisheet 1024x396 - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Game of Thrones Miniature Sheet

The Miniature Sheet centres on the non-human characters in the Game of Thrones series with a very different emphasis to the mint stamps.  Despite this, they adhere to a similar design concept; creating distinctive backgrounds through an overlay of imagery to provide insight into the character’s stories.  All 4 stamps are carefully constructed in a way that reflects the characters’ environments; however, they are all united by the Iron Throne Definitive at the centre of the sheet, mirroring what lies at the heart of the season as winter comes.


Game of Thrones A4 Framed Card mock up 1 - FIRST LOOK: World's first ever Game of Thrones Stamps just revealed

Game of Thrones Framed Collector Card

If you’re interested…

You can reserve all of the new Game of Thrones stamps right now on a limited edition Collector Card – professionally framed and ready to hang.

Click here for details >>

 

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Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

Each year, The Royal Mint marks important British anniversaries, events or accomplishments on our coins and today we are delighted to reveal the UK’s new coin designs for 2018.

Scroll down to take a first look – I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

Representation of the People Act 50p

2018 UK 50 pence represenation bu coin 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

Representation of the People Act 50p by Stephen Taylor

This 50p celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 the right to vote. Arguably one of the most significant Acts in modern British history, it laid the foundation for equality and democratic freedom that the UK has today. The stunning design features a detailed image of five figures in glorious celebration.

 

First World War Armistice £2

2018 UK 2 pounds first world war BU coin 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

World War One Armistice £2 designed by Stephen Raw

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, concluding four years of bloody and gruelling combat, the like of which had never been seen before. ‘On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ the guns fell silent on the Western Front, a victory for the Allies but at a cost of over nine million soldiers’ lives. The words ‘the truth untold the pity of war’ are engraved on the reverse of this coin.

 

Royal Air Force Centenary £2

2018 UK 2 pounds RAF bu coin 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

The Royal Air Force Centenary £2 by Rhys Morgan

This coin marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF. It is the oldest independent air force in the world. Involved in critical missions throughout every decade and confrontation, the RAF have protected Britain’s skies since its inception and were integral to the victories in WWI and WWII. The iconic design on this £2 coin shows the iconic RAF Badge.

 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein £2

2018 UK 2 pounds frankenstein bu coin 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Thomas Docherty

This £2 coin pays tribute to Mary Shelley, marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of her most famous gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’. There’s no other iconic character in Horror than that of Frankenstein’s monster! It can be regarded as the first sci-fi novel ever written. The engraving, ‘The Modern Prometheus’ on this £2 coin, is a reference to the classical myth for which this story draws parallels with.

 

The 5th Birthday of HRH Prince George £5

2018 UK 5 pounds prince george bu coin 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

HRH Prince George’s 5th Birthday £5 coin by Jody Clark

This coin celebrates the 5th birthday of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. Born on the 22nd July 2013, Prince George is the first born to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and third in line to the throne. Over the past five years, from his birthdays to his first day of School, we have seen him grow into a charismatic young prince, winning a space in all the nation’s hearts. This beautiful traditional design features St George atop his stallion slaying the fire breathing Dragon.

 

All of these designs are stunning and there’s no doubt that these coins will only become more desirable in the years to come. I’m sure you already have your favourites, let us know in the comments!


If you’re interested…

2018 UK Datestamp case 5 coins 300x208 - Revealed: The Royal Mint UK commemorative coin designs for 2018

You can secure the brand new 2018 coins in the limited edition DateStamp™ UK Specimen Year Set. Each of the new coins have been struck to Brilliant Uncirculated quality and encapsulated alongside a 1st Class Stamp which has been officially postmarked by Royal Mail with their first day of issue – 1st January 2018.

Click here for more details >>

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