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Celebrate in Coins the Royal trans-Atlantic Wedding

May 21, 2018 0 Comments

Most of the world had their eyes on the TV on Saturday, May 19, for the wedding between the brother of a future king of England to a Californian black actress. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, well known for her role in the TV show ‘Suits’, and they are now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There are lots of memorabilia for this wedding, and coin-collectors too have plenty of choices for interesting coins to add to a collection, or as a gift for a family-member who has followed every moment and waiting for all the latest news and images. There are lots of commemorative medals, but let’s stick to coins with face values on them.

Obviously the first place to start would be the Royal Mint, which makes all of Britain’s coins, and they haven’t let collectors down. What might be considered the ‘official’ wedding coin is an edition of just 15,000 sterling silver (92.5% pure) £5 coins, featuring a portrait of the couple commissioned just for this coin. It was drawn by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark at the couple’s home in Kensington Palace, London, and the design has been approved by Buckingham Palace itself. Clark also did the standard portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that makes the obverse of the coin, so the coin is entirely his own design.

Commonwealth countries have also been keen to issue wedding coins, and the Royal Canadian Mint has a $20 coin in pure silver, with a portrait taken from one of the official engagement photographs on the reverse, and the Queen on the obverse. The designs are made special by the addition of three Swarovski crystals, to represent the three-stone diamond engagement ring Harry gave Meghan. Below the portrait is a garland of maple leaves, English roses and shells that appear in Prince Harry’s personal coat of arms.

Australia too has not let this opportunity slip by and has issued both a silver and a gold legal tender coin. These are made at the Perth facility of the Australian Mint, since Prince Harry spent time in Perth with the Special Air Service Regiment. The one-ounce pure silver coin, limited to an edition of 15,000, has a face value of $1. It features a full-color photographic portrait of the couple against a background of Windsor Castle. The gold coin is ¼ oz of gold, with a face value of $5, is limited to just 750 coins, and has a Palace-approved design featuring wedding bells.

Wedding Bells also figure on the Isle of Man commemorative £2 silver coin. This island of the coast of England has a semi-autonomous status, and so can issue its own sterling coinage. The coin has a broad rim in 24 carat gold, and just 595 will be minted.

The islands of New Zealand, also in the Commonwealth, also use a full-color photographic portrait of the happy couple. Just 1.500 of their $1 coin will be stamped, which also features a pair of red roses, on a pure silver coin.

The Cook Islands, a tiny Commonwealth country in the South Pacific, has also issued a wedding coin. This is also probably the smallest coin, less than ½ inch across (11 mm) and made of just 1/100 oz of gold. Denominated at $5, this is perhaps the most obscure of these celebratory coins.

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