Here at The Westminster Collection, we’ve had the privilege of working in partnership with the Royal British Legion for over a decade.
Each year, we issue bespoke coins and commemoratives for the RBL Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.
And we’re incredibly proud to have so far raised over £1 million for the Royal British Legion.
Unboxing the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece
The Masterpiece is a remarkable coin and this year, creating the Masterpiece has more of a personal touch than ever before.
Each coin has been meticulously painted by hand, making each one unique.
Never has the name “Masterpiece” been more appropriate. Each coin is a work of art, but how do you go about creating 350 pieces of unique artwork?
“The 2022 Masterpiece Poppy Coin is a timeless token of Remembrance. Not only is this coin a poignant reminder of all those who have served and sacrificed, but it also helps the Royal British Legion continue to be there for today’s Armed Forces community, no matter what.”
Charles Byrne , Director General of the Royal British Legion
One of a Kind – Creating a Masterpiece
This year’s Masterpiece coin has been expertly designed by Beata Kulesza-Damaziak. Beata has a studio in Warsaw, Poland, designing sculptures, book covers and has produced many coin designs.
Beata’s design has been struck in high relief on 5oz Pure Silver blanks, with different heights of relief applied to give a real depth to the design.
Keen-eyed observers will see a map of the Falklands on the very bottom layer, with a total of 40 poppies poignantly sitting on top to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
The largest and 40th poppy sits proudly in the middle of the coin. It’s that poppy that elevates the coin to status of “Masterpiece”.
Every single coin has had that poppy hand-painted by artist Adam Taylor, making each one unique.
Most colour on coins these days is printed using high-speed pad-printing machines or using modern UV printing techniques. Adam has used traditional model-painting techniques on the coins, which means each one has unique brush-strokes and subtle differences in the colours.
Adding acrylic paint to the high relief poppy gives it that iconic red colour and further enhances the coin design. The time, care and attention required on a project such as this, truly does make each one of the 350 a one-off.
Adam dedicated hour upon hour to these coins, adding the personal touches to make each one a true Masterpiece.
Each year, we work in partnership with the Royal British Legion to create bespoke coins and commemoratives, including a Poppy Masterpiece coin.
This year’s official Royal British Legion Poppy Masterpiece coin has just been released. And this 2022 issue is especially important as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece features 39 stylised poppies surrounding one central, hand-painted, red poppy.
Every 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece coin is individually hand-painted by our in-house artist Adam Taylor. He used traditional model painting techniques, which means each one has unique brush strokes and subtle differences in colour.
Gifting a Masterpiece
We met with Falklands Veteran Chris Caroe to learn about his experience during the conflict and his subsequent support of the Royal British Legion.
To thank Chris for his service and for sharing his story with us, we gifted him one of the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpieces. You can watch his reaction below.
If you’re interested…
We’re now taking commissions for this year’s Masterpiece (just like the one we gifted to Chris Caroe!) so you have a limited opportunity to own one for yourself. Click here to find out more about this impressive release and reserve yours >>
Want to know how a 1945 British Army Mess Tin, a WWII Spitfire and a D-Day Landing Craft have been repurposed to serve as a poignant tribute to the fallen? Keep reading to find out.
Since 2004, The Westminster Collection has felt honored to be in partnership with the Royal British Legion, supporting them year on year by raising funds which enable them to continue to provide financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the UK Armed Forces, their families and dependents.
In support of the Royal British Legion, each year we produce a stand-out coin to mark Remembrance Day. We call it the ‘Masterpiece’.
And now, we’re excited to announce details of this year’s ‘Masterpiece’ coin…
When you discover the story behind the metal used to create this coin, you’ll quickly realize that it’s one of the most unique and historically fascinating coins ever released. It really does live up to its name.
As this year marks the Centenary of the Royal British Legion, an exceptional Masterpiece Poppy Coin has been released, commemorating this important milestone. It represents the three military facets of RBL ─ the Army, RAF and the Navy.
This is why we commissioned a three-dimensional ‘1921 style’ Poppy to be crafted from three pieces of historic metal representing the three divisions of the military:
1. WWII Spitfire ─ to be precise, the MK356, which flew during the D-Day campaign and shot down a German Me Bf109
2. A British Army Mess Tin from 1945
3. Landing Craft LCT7074 ─ the actual craft that landed on Gold Beach during D-Day
Historic Metals ─ crafted into a Masterpiece…
We acquired the craft metal with the kind assistance of the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, allowing us to source the substance from the original steel plating of the landing craft LCT 7074. LCT 7074 landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, 6th June 1944, and the plating used is from the hull that was physically in contact with the actual beach on D-Day itself. Today, LCT is the only surviving Landing Craft Tank left from this momentous day.
You may notice dark spots visible within the red enamel of some Poppies ─ and these are the filings from the historic LCT 7074 Steel.
The material used derived from Army origins is a combination of ex-MK356 metal and 1945 dated ex-British Army Mess Tins, mixed to a 50:50 ratio. The MK-356, officially named the Spitfire Mk IX, took an active part in D-Day operations in June 1944. The original wing main spar was removed around the year 2008, and it is this metal that has been combined with the Mess Tins.
Mess tins were and still are used for a number of different things within the Army. Soldiers use them to heat food, eat from, boil water and to wash and shave in. They can be cleaned easily and used for storage of other items.
During the Second World War, aluminum was a scarce commodity primarily reserved for aircraft production, and whilst perhaps not as romantic as the Spitfire, these tins are significant items ─ because an army marches on its stomach!
What’s more, it has been struck from 5oz of fine 999/1000 Silver and is an impressive 65mm in diameter!