As church bells rang out across the land and the nation celebrated the news of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement, somewhere in the darkest depths of Surrey an entrepreneurial coin designer was toiling away in their workshop. Their ambition? To win the rights to design the first legal tender coin commemorating the upcoming royal wedding. Industry and initiative handsomely rewarded with news that the Queen herself has issued official written approval for the coin.
Taya Pobjoy, managing director of Pobjoy Mint in Kingswood who produce a wide range of commemorative coins for various territories such as British Antarctic Territory 2008 World’s First Antarctic Coin or The British Virgin Islands 2010 Olympic Coin collection and even a coin to mark the death of Michael Jackson said: “We try and be as quick off the mark as possible.” Adding: “We applied for royal approval as soon as we heard the news and we are delighted to be the first in the country to make the coin.
Despite a face value of only 25 pence the 2010 Proof Sterling Silver Prince William Engagement Coin, to be marketed as an Isle of Man 2010 Prince William Engagement Coin will be available at £49.32. The 2010 Unc Cupro Nickel Prince William Engagement Coin will be available at £11.02.
Ahead of the game the Royal Mint in Llantrisant supposedly undertook top secret production preparations of a commemorative coin to celebrate the wedding before the engagement was even announced. Needless to say this drove press speculation to fever pitch.
The Mail on Sunday spoke to the Royal Mint on three occasions in the week leading up to the engagement and three times they mint did not deny it, saying: ‘Like most business organisations we are forward-looking and plan ahead for commercial opportunities.’
As it transpires the coin will be a £5 collector’s piece scheduled to be on sale before next year’s wedding.
Why the fuss? The sheer collectibilty of commemorative coins. With many thousands of coin counters and collectors all over the world the demand for special limited edition coins is vast. Whilst most people collect for the beauty of the coins some do it to make money. Depending number in circulation coins can change hands for great deals of money. For example, with only 14,497 ever minted the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Paralympic Wheelchair Athlete Silver Dollar now changes hands for hundreds of dollars.
Little chance of the William/Kate coin ever being worth so much, but a nice momento for many nonetheless.