Do you own a piece of 1953 Coronation memorabilia?

Well if you do if might feature on ‘A Celebration of Coronation Commemoratives,’ a new set of stamp sheetlets issued today to mark this year’s 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

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From china plates to postcards, biscuit tins to badges, ‘A Celebration of Coronation
Commemoratives’ is a stunning new tribute inspired by the work of Robert Opie

From Victoria to Elizabeth II

This definitive royal collection features 5 of history’s most recent monarchs – up to our present Queen and as far back as her great great grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Spanning 175 years of royal memorabilia from Victoria’s Coronation in 1838 to Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary in 2013, the new collection of commemorative stamp sheetlets take their inspiration from consumer historian and royal devotee, Robert Opie who has spent a lifetime creating scrapbooks from royal memorabilia:

“The historic occasion of a royal coronation, of course, attracts a deluge of souvenirs, from the traditional ceramic mug to a set of commemorative stamps.  Instinctively, we all want to keep a souvenir of such an event – a decorated tin, a jigsaw puzzle or just a royal picture postcard.”

 A link to the past

But these sheetlets aren’t just colourful montages of Coronation keepsakes – they chart other royal celebrations such as births, weddings and jubilees. More than that, they provide a fascinating insight into what life was like in the past.

Queen Victoria whose incredible record of 63 years on the throne resulted in a vast amount of memorabilia from gin flasks and songs sheets to the more traditional china mugs and plates. Collectively, they paint of picture of Industrial Britain at the height of the Empire.

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The new sheetlets feature Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II, the only two monarchs ever to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee

A boom industry

For the Coronations of Edward VII in 1902 and George V in 1911, royal souvenirs had become big business. An abundance of items like chocolate, biscuit, tea and tobacco tins were widely available as were postcards.

1937 saw the crowning of George VI and a wider range of branded souvenirs such as Cusson’s talcum powder, Cadbury’s and Fry’s. As you might expect, his older brother  doesn’t feature as he abdicated before he was crowned (unfortunately, souvenirs for Edward’s coronation had already been produced by the time he made his shock announcement).

The ultimate tribute

A ‘Celebration of Coronation Commemoratives’ is issued by seven British overseas territories – Bermuda, Tristan da Cunha, Isle of Man, Cook Islands, St Helena and Bahamas – with each country   issuing 1 Souvenir Sheet and 5 Commemorative Sheetlets. The first sets are released today to coincide with the anniversary of the Queen’s accession in 1952, the others follow later in the month.

Britannia DateStamp™ Silver Sets: sold out in 15 days

Just 15 days since it went on sale, the complete 495 edition of DateStamp™ “958” and “999” Silver Britannia Set has been fully reserved by collectors looking to capture an unprecedented, never-to-be-repeated moment in the history of this most iconic of British coins.

So why so special?

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The ‘old’ 958 Britannia last struck at the end of 2012

Here’s the background. For the last quarter of a century, the 1oz Britannia Silver has been struck in, not surprisingly, ‘Britannia Silver’ with a purity of 95.8% silver – or more commonly 958/1000. Out of its total 32.45 gram weight, 31 grams was pure silver (1 troy ounce), the rest an alloy.

New year, new Britannia

Until recently that is. Other silver 1oz classics have always been struck in 999/1000 silver, the trademark standard of silver bullion coins the world over.  Britannia at 958/1000 was the odd one out.

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In with the new – from 1st January 2013, the 1oz Britannia is struck for the first time ever in 999/1000 silver

And so, from 1st January 2013, we waved goodbye to the old ‘958’ Britannia and for the first time ever, welcomed in the new   ‘999’ silver 1oz coin – bringing her in line with the US Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf but also securing Britannia’s status as Britain’s purest silver coin.

The end of one era – the beginning of another

Specification changes like this one don’t come along very often. And when they do, collectors look for something very special to remember it by.

The limited edition Silver Britannia ‘DateStamp™’ Set pairs up one of the last 2012 strikes of the ‘old’ 958 Britannia with one of the very first brand new 2013 versions minted in the purest 999 silver.

A moment captured in time

To mark this unprecedented change in Britannia’s history,  each of the two ‘DateStamp™’ Set coins is presented in a tamper-proof capsule alongside a gold 1st class stamp, postmarked on the first or last day of issue – 31st December 2012 for the ‘958’ coin and 1st January 2013 for the new ‘999 coin. The perfect way to capture and preserve a real piece of coinage history.

Also adding extra value, each set also has its own unique serial number guaranteeing its authenticity and limited edition status.

Missed out on owning one of the 495 sets?  Other DateStamp™ coins are available, click here to see the full range.

What would you do with the Gold Sovereign?

We’re just a few weeks away from the Royal Mint releasing the details of the new 2013 Gold Sovereign – but what will they do for 2013 – 60th Anniversary of the Coronation Year?

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The 2012 Gold Sovereign featured a new one-year-only St George & the Dragon design to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

This year has seen one of the most popular years ever for the Gold Sovereign with the Proof Coin and key sets selling out in little more than a few weeks.

But what was the cause?  The fact it was Diamond Jubilee Year?  The new one-year-only St George & the Dragon design?

All Change for 2013?

And, more importantly, what should the Royal Mint do this year?  Return to the classic Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic St. George & the Dragon or create a new design to celebrate the Coronation Anniversary?

Have your say below…