[ the list ]


The Royal Mint

Coining it for 1,100 years

There can’t be many older world class institutions in Britain than the Royal Mint. It’s over 1,000 years old. It has been creating coins since AD 886 and has made bullion coins since the 14th century. Some of the latest off the line include the controversial 50p Brexit coin and one to celebrate the band Queen.

Owned by HM Treasury through an Executive Agency, the Royal Mint Trading Fund, the Royal Mint makes and distributes United Kingdom coins as well as supplying blanks (the metal discs which are minted into coins) and official medals. Over 30 billion coins are estimated to be in circulation in the United Kingdom today. Last year, it delivered 632 million coins to UK cash centres.

It describes itself as “the largest and most technically advanced integrated minting facility in the world” as well as being “the world's leading export mint.” From its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales, where it has been based since 1968, it also supplies some 100 issuing authorities around the world with coins, blanks and medals. The Royal Mint has around 15 per cent of the worldwide market.

Production capacity at the very secure 35-acre site, which employs about 900 people and operates round-the-clock throughout the year, can hit 90 million coins and blanks a week. That’s almost five billion coins annually. The patented high security features of the latest £1 coin has made it the world’s most secure coin.

It’s a trove of fascinating stories (which are the rarest British coins?) as well as being a highly skilled manufacturing and export business with “a real stake in the industrial life of the nation.” And you can pay to use Royal Mint Secure Storage to store your own items of value within its high-security walls.

And what of the future? As the Royal Mint’s last annual report commented: “Cash continues to hold a vital role in society – particularly for the most vulnerable – and we are committed to supporting HM Treasury to ensure it is safeguarded for the future. However, we must balance this with the reality that cash use is declining and our journey to reinvention must start now. This year we launched a new three-year plan with a clear vision: to reinvent The Royal Mint for the twenty-first century, ensuring we are recognised as the most trusted and authentic British organisation.”

And we love its vision: "To be recognised as the world's best mint."


The Royal Mint
British Library

British Library

The largest library in the world

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The prince of the plant world: nothing compares to Kew

UK Biobank

UK Biobank

The world’s most important health data resource


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or connect with us

World Class Britain Briefing

A five minute read every fortnight. Sign up to our newsletter, and share in our curiosity (and our surprising discoveries).

* indicates required