British Royal Mint marks gold standard anniversary on commemorative coin

To mark the anniversary of the first formal gold standard, Britain’s Royal Mint has released its latest commemorative design celebrating the monetary system’s place in financial history.

Finished to a proof standard and available in one- and quarter-ounce editions, the gold standard commemorative coin features an original design by nearly 18-year mint designer Dominique Evans and has a “limited-edition presentation” (LEP) of 250 and 500, respectively. The anniversary is celebrated on a proof coin for the first time, following a bullion range previously released by the Royal Mint with the same reverse design.

“My grandfather was a bank manager who had a large set of scales from the bank, which I have inherited,” said Evans. “They naturally became the integral part of the design, and I am delighted that they have become part of a coin design of which my grandad would have been so very proud. The gold standard is such an important piece of financial history; it feels wonderful to have my design used on a proof version of the coin, especially one with such a limited mintage. It feels like a real collector’s item.”

The mint has also released a special anniversary set pairing a modern proof coin commemorating the introduction of the gold standard with a 1931 sovereign struck in the year Britain left its previous monetary system 90 years ago. The set has an LEP of 300.

The mint also paired the 2021 proof coin commemorating the gold standard’s introduction (left) in a set with a 1931 sovereign (right).

THE GOLD STANDARD

First written into law in 1821, the gold standard was a concept linked to the mind of former mintmaster Sir Isaac Newton.

Newton issued a report in 1717 leading to the gold guinea being assigned a fixed value. Following the Coinage Act of 1816, Britain’s gold standard was adopted as the first system of its type in the world.

Several countries with large economies, including Canada, the United States and Germany, followed the British lead. Backed by the newly revived sovereign, it became a global monetary system until the outbreak of the First World War drove gold coins out of circulation. As chancellor of the exchequer, Winston Churchill returned Britain to a gold standard in 1925, but it was abandoned altogether in 1931 as economic pressures mounted.

For full details about the gold standard coin, visit the Royal Mint website.

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