The Royal British Legion Armistice Medal – Inspired by veterans from Bravo 22 Company, created by Mint Editions

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2018 marks 100 years since the day the Allies of World War I and Germany signed an armistice for the cessation of all hostilities on the Western Front. This took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

For this special centenary year we have worked closely with The Royal British Legion, including five veterans from Bravo 22 Company, as well as numismatic artist Michael Guilfoyle, to design a poignant Armistice Commemorative Medal for the Centenary.

RBL 2018 Bravo 22 Armistice Medal Blog Images - The Royal British Legion Armistice Medal – Inspired by veterans from Bravo 22 Company, created by Mint Editions

Bravo 22 Company

Bravo 22 Company, which is made possible by The Royal British Legion and The Drive Project, has been successfully running theatre and art projects across the UK since 2011.

The projects are open to all members of the Armed Forces Community, including serving personnel, veterans and their family members and are designed to improve self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well as help individuals along their paths to recovery.


The design process

The design process began with a creative workshop led by numismatic artist Michael Guilfoyle, at the Legion’s Pop In centre in Bristol. Five alumni from Bravo 22 Company were invited to join the workshop, all of whom have served in the Armed Forces. The participants were encouraged to draw on their experiences in the military to create a fitting tribute for the Armistice 100 year centenary anniversary.

 

 

Mike started the session with an introduction to medal design and explained the process from the initial ideas stage through to final production. Coins and medals generally offer a relatively small canvas to the artist, so Mike explained the importance of using a simple composition to create a strong and impactful design.

To generate some key themes, Mike had everyone write down words they associated with the First World War and Armistice. These were then used to inspire the visual design stage, where everyone began to sketch ideas.

The rest of the workshop was spent developing the rough sketches into more refined ideas.

RBL 2018 Bravo 22 Armistice Medal Blog Images8 - The Royal British Legion Armistice Medal – Inspired by veterans from Bravo 22 Company, created by Mint Editions

The finished design

Taking inspiration from the original designs of the veterans, Mike was able to create the striking and poignant designs that feature on the medal.

RBL 2018 Bravo 22 Armistice Medal Blog Images9 - The Royal British Legion Armistice Medal – Inspired by veterans from Bravo 22 Company, created by Mint Editions

If you’re interested: RBL 2018 Bravoo 22 Armistice Antique Medal Obverse Reverse - The Royal British Legion Armistice Medal – Inspired by veterans from Bravo 22 Company, created by Mint Editions

The Royal British Legion 2018 Armistice Medal is available to own today. Due to its significance, the medal has been issued in partnership with The Royal British Legion and Bravo 22 Company. If you choose to own one, we will ensure a donation is made to them on your behalf.

Click here for more details >>

Errors, Mules and Mis-strikes: Why the 2014 Year of the Horse Silver Coin is so sought after

We all have our favourite coins to collect, whether it be historic coins, special 50p designs or coins from around the world.

But one thing that piques the interest of almost all collectors, including myself, is the elusive ‘error’ coin.

 

Mule coins 300x297 - Errors, Mules and Mis-strikes: Why the 2014 Year of the Horse Silver Coin is so sought after

Examples of error coins – top: nickel brockage error, bottom: Indian 25 paise mis-strike

 

Considering the high levels of technology involved in minting coins and the number of different quality controls in place, it is extremely rare that a coin is minted with an error. And it is even rarer for an error coin to be released to the public.

However, over the years there have been sporadic cases of error coins being struck and issued to the public. Just a few things that would be considered an error would be an off-centre strike, a crack in the die or even use of the wrong die completely!

And that last one is exactly what happened to the 2014 Year of the Horse Lunar Silver Coin when it was incorrectly struck with the distinctive denticle obverse of the 2014 Britannia coin.

 

UK 2014 Chinese Lunar Year of the Horse Silver Five Pound Error Coin Set - Errors, Mules and Mis-strikes: Why the 2014 Year of the Horse Silver Coin is so sought after

Comparison of 2014 Year of the Horse error and non-error coin

 

After an investigation, it was discovered that approximately 38,000 Year of the Horse coins were struck with the incorrect denticled edge on the obverse. And once The Royal Mint confirmed this as a genuine error, these coins understandably became incredibly sought after.

 

N019 Year Of The Horse explanation - Errors, Mules and Mis-strikes: Why the 2014 Year of the Horse Silver Coin is so sought after

2014 Year of the Horse explanation of error

 

What makes these error coins particularly desirable is that, because it was issued as a bullion coin, many were sold around the world to coin dealers and investors. That means that they are much harder for the British public to track down. Plus, of course, in terms of pure numbers struck they are considerably scarcer than previous errors such as the ‘undated 20p’.

In fact, Ebay listings have seen the value of these coins soar to around 30 times their original value! So if you are lucky enough to own the 2014 Year of the Horse coin, I’d suggest you go and have a closer look at it!

 


If you’re interested…ImageGen 300x286 - Errors, Mules and Mis-strikes: Why the 2014 Year of the Horse Silver Coin is so sought after

We have a small number of the ‘Year of the Horse Silver Mule Sets’ available to buy. This set contains the Year of the Horse error coin alongside the correct version of the coin for easy comparison. This ‘mule’ is an absolute must for any collection and is extremely rare, so secure yours today.

Click here for more details >>>

The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Since 1795, the 10-dollar Gold coins in circulation in the United States have been referred to as “Eagles”. These coins were legal tender until their withdrawal in 1933. However, there is one Eagle in particular that has become a numismatic legend.

A presidential intervention

You see, the obverse of the Eagle had long bore the goddess of freedom (Liberty), however in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt complained to the Secretary of Treasury that US coinage lacked artistic merit.

1905 half eagle rev - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

1905 Eagle Coin

As a result, Roosevelt personally commissioned New York City sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to re-design this Gold coin; however, it was certainly not without incident!

Augustus Saint Gaudens - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Augustus Saint Gaudens

Firstly, as the coin was designed by a sculptor, rather than a professional engraver, there were a number of issues in production, particularly due to the high relief.  As a result, several versions of the coin had to be minted before achieving a sample appropriate for full production and release into circulation.

1907 eagle reverse 1 300x149 - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

1907 Indian Head Coin

Secondly, Roosevelt felt strongly that a Native American war bonnet should be included in the design as a “picturesque” and “distinctly American” symbol. So, under President Roosevelt’s instruction, Gaudens retained the Liberty profile on the obverse, simply placing a feather headdress on her head.  Later, the coin would receive criticism for this absurd addition, with one art historian declaring that it missed out on being “a great coin” due to the President’s interference.

Liberty - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Lady Liberty with Native American War Bonnet

Finally, further issues arose when the motto “In God we Trust” was replaced by “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, which translates to mean “Out of Many, One”. In fact, such was the public outrage, Congress passed a bill mandating its inclusion on any further coins. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber added the words and made minor modifications to the 1908 design.

mottos 300x149 - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

The coins changing mottos

A numismatic legend!

However, as is often the case, the flaws in the original 1907 Indian Head Eagle have made it one of the most desirable coins in the world.  

In January 2011, what is probably the best-known example of an Indian Head Eagle, one of only 50 originally minted coins in the rare proof finish, was sent to auction – It sold for an incredible $2,185,000!


If you’re interested…

2017 Most Valuable Coins if the World US Indian Head Gold Proof Coin Obverse Reverse - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Today you can own one of the most valuable coin designs in the world…

This pure gold coin weighing just 1/100oz is an affordable way of owning one of the most valuable coin designs in the world – the 1907 USA Indian Head.

Click here to secure yours today >>