Posted on June 15, 2018
The history of a nation is often captured in the physical form through iconic architecture. When one thinks of the United States, for example, these icons include structures ranging from the Washington Monument and the White House to the Empire State Building, Hoover Dam, and the Golden Gate Bridge. With a history that vastly predates the United States, Britain has more than its fair share of iconic architectural landmarks. In 2017, the Royal Mint introduced a limited-edition four-coin silver bullion series commemorating the major landmarks of the nation.
Now, the coins in the Landmarks of Britain collection are coming to JM Bullion. These silver bullion coins all contain 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver and have limited mintage figures of 50,000 per design. Each coin’s design is the creature of Laura Clancy and Glyn Davies who previously worked with the Royal Mint on a £100 for£100 series in December 2014. The coins are sold individually in protective capsules. Learn about each of the individual designs coming to the JM Bullion catalog in the paragraphs below!
Located in the City of Westminster in Central London, Trafalgar Square was built around an area of the city originally known as Charing Cross. The third coin in the series and second of 2018 is the 2018 1 oz British Trafalgar Square Silver Coin. The public square known as Trafalgar Square was redeveloped by a man named John Nash to commemorate the impressive British Royal Navy victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The naval conflict took place during the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain and was fought off Cape Trafalgar, Spain on October 21, 1805.
The site at Trafalgar Square was originally developed in the 13th century in London as the King’s Mews, a combination of stables, carriage houses, and in the modern era, a garage for the British Royal Family. King George IV moved the mews from Charing Cross to Buckingham Palace, freeing up the space for redevelopment in the mid-19th century. The anchor piece of Trafalgar Square is the 169-foot tall Nelson’s Column honoring Admiral Horatio Nelson who led British Royal Naval forces in the battle.
On the reverse of these coins, you’ll find one of the other iconic symbols from Trafalgar Square. Nelson’s Column is visible in the background field of the design, but the foreground of the coin is dominated by the image of a powerful Lion of England. Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square is guarded at the base by four bronze lion statues.
Leading off the collection was the 2017 1 oz British Landmarks of Britain Big Ben Silver Coin. Arguably the most iconic British landmark known around the world, Big Ben is perhaps misconstrued by many. The structure itself is officially known as Elizabeth Tower. As the highest point on the northern end of the Houses of Parliament, the Elizabeth Tower contains its famous clock and a great bell. The passing of each hour and its accompanying chimes have been part of everyday life in London for more than 150 years now. Tourists who take their photo with the iconic landmark often believe the clock itself to be Big Ben.
In reality, it is the giant bell inside which bears the nickname. The bell is named for Sir Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner for Works in Britain from 1855 to 1858. The coin’s design on the reverse puts the viewer at the foot of the Elizabeth Tower looking up at its clock and bell tower housing.
The second silver coin for sale in this collection debuted with the 2018 British Landmarks of Britain Tower Bridge Coin. This design focuses on the engineering marvel that is the lift bridge over the Thames River in London. Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge that was constructed between 1886 and 1894. It consists of two towers connected by horizontal walkways at the top and bottom which are meant to withstand the horizontal tension on the structure from the suspended sections on either landward side.
In the design of the Tower Bridge coin, viewers look along the length of Tower Bridge heading away of the Tower of London. The bridge is one of five historic bridges in the city of London crossing over the Thames and is often confused as the London Bridge which is located roughly a half-mile upstream.
For the final release in the Landmarks of Britain silver for sale, the Royal Mint features the image of Buckingham Palace. Arguably the most recognizable royal palace in the world today, Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters for the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom. The palace was first constructed in 1703 as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham and was then known as Buckingham House. The site of Buckingham Palace had been in private hand for 150 years prior to 17032 and was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte.
The reverse of the upcoming Landmarks of Britain Buckingham Palace Silver Coin will feature the principle façade of Buckingham Palace known today as the East Front. Originally constructed in 1850, it was the last major structural addition to the palace and includes the balcony from which the royal family will greet public crowds.
The coins in the Landmarks of Britain Series all share the same obverse design. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse side of all four coins in this limited-edition series from the Royal Mint. The coins have the new fifth-generation effigy of Her Majesty in right-profile relief. This design was created in July 2015 by Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark, who at 33 years old become the youngest engraver to complete the monarch’s effigy.
The 2017 Big Ben coin features a hammered finish behind the Queen’s effigy, but from 2018 onwards the background of the obverse side includes the new guilloche design element. This delivers a visual similar to braided ribbon. Engravings on the obverse of each coin include “2 Pounds,” “Elizabeth II,” and “D.G.Reg.F.D.”
As the coins of the Landmarks of Britain Series become available from JM Bullion, you’ll find them in our dedicated British Landmark Series section of silver coins. Feel free to reach out to our customer service team if you have questions about these exciting coins or connect with us on Facebook to find out about our latest releases and exciting upcoming coin issues.