New Issue: Royal Academy of Arts £5 coin celebrates more than a 250th anniversary

The U.K.’s Royal Mint will mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) with the launch of a commemorative £5 silver Proof coin featuring an architectural detail of Burlington House.

The coin design, which depicts a historical view of the building, was created from an original engraving by Sir David Chipperfield, the architect who is transforming the RA by linking Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, which will open this May.

In describing his anniversary coin design—developed with graphic designer John Morgan—Chipperfield said it was based on “an architectural detail of the main facade of Burlington House taken from an engraving in the third volume of Vitruvius Britannicus, the influential architectural treatise by Colen Campbell.

“The four categories of the RA are directly captured or referenced: architects, sculptors, painters and engravers, printmakers and draughtsmen. The text encircles and frames the scene.”

“The striking of the Royal Academy 250thy Anniversary coin will highlight more than the RA250 celebrations – it will also shine a light on a number of important historical, cultural and symbolic links that have been maintained between The Royal Mint and the Royal Academy of Arts since it first opened in 1768,” said Dr. Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum.

The coin’s obverse depicts the right-facing effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.


Royal Academicians who have links to the Royal Mint include two Royal Mint Chief Engravers—Richard Yeo, a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts who produced designs for the coinage of George III, became chief engraver of the Royal Mint in 1775, and William Wyon, who produced portraits of George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria became chief engraver in 1828.

Other Academicians who have worked with the Royal Mint include Arnold Machin, who produced a portrait of the Queen—the first to appear on decimal coins—as well as the 1972 silver Wedding Anniversary crown and the 1977 silver Jubilee crown. Later, David Mach and Christopher Le Brun, current President of the RA, produced designs for 21st-century Britannia coins and the ever-popular Kew Gardens 50 pence.

Tom Phillips, James Butler and Sir Anthony Caro are other significant Royal Academicians who have designed coins and medals for the Royal Mint.

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2,750 pieces

Metal content

.925 Sterling silver


28.28 grams


38.61 mm

Reverse designer

Sir David Chipperfield

Obverse designer

Jody Clark



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