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mr-dead

Royal Mint - VIP tour review

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Attended the behind the scenes Royal Mint tour yesterday, was due to take the wife but she was stuck with other commitments so took my 10yr old daughter instead (day off school for educational purposes).

Started the day at 09:00 meeting with my account manager and had some free tea & coffee + pastries.

We were then introduced to the artist that created the "landmarks of britain" and the poppy coins (modelled on a poppy from his mothers garden on the aniversary of her death) amoungst other coins, he talked us through and showed us the process on how he creates the coins based on photos he took all over the country.  They are then modelled in clay on a disc approx 15cm, after which a plaster cast is taken where more detail can be added and mistakes corrected.  A plaster cast of the plaster cast is then taken with additional details added + mistakes corrected.  This process is then repeated until he his happy with the result.  The final piece is then scanned using a laser taking up to 24 hrs to digitise the piece.

We were then taken to the closed to the public Royal Mint museum.  We were allowed some hands on time with some old coin hammering tools before being taken through the history of the original mint + shown an old cupboard that used to reside in Sir Issac Newton's office.  Then on to the fun bit.  Rows and rows of 5 shelf units with small wooden cabinets on each shelf filled with slide out trays.  Each tray was loaded with museum quality coins of every shape and description you can imagine.  Tray after tray of gold coins from slaters, to super rare guineas and sovereigns inc. Edward VIII that were not officially issued due to his abdication (worth over £500k a sov and they had a full set 😜) + some 1933 pennys (worth about £72k) @Numistacker  would have been in his element.  We were shown gold coins from each monarch from old hammered coins, to screw pressed gold coins and how the detail and process evolved over the ages.  All the coins were just sitting loose in the wooden trays, no capsules or glass covers so you could a really close up look but no touching allowed :)

We were also shown the original hand sketched drawing the artist created in about 5 minutes of Edward VIII in readiness for his new currency and how he was particuarly vain and faced the wrong direction as dictated by protocol as he wanted to show the parting in his hair to make the image more interesting (this was followed by several monarchs afterwards to cover up his vanity).

 

After this we then had a buffet dinner provided inc. a selection of sandwiches, mini pies, chicked satay sticks, deserts etc.

We then met with the mint production manager and he tooks us through the mint layout, what each section does from the foundry creating the metals through to the presses.

 

We then had a tour of the current operation.  We were shown around the 240 tonne press used to create 1kg gold coins and the recent olymic medals.  For some reason there were several Queen's Beast monster boxes strewn around the floor in this room with "Do Not Move" signs stuck to them.

My daughter struck her own silver proof £2 britannia coin (gold plated silver external ring with a silver inner)  this will be framed with her picture and a signed letter from the Chief Exec which we should receive some time next week.  This wasn't a freebie, its was £165 for the silver or you could strike your own Piedfort sovereign for £825.

We skipped the last part of the tour "the royal mint experience" as this bit is open to the public and I had to get back to pick the wife up from work but we will go back and cover this off soon.

 

Another bonus was building some contacts in the mint.  Where some coins are listed as sold out but they end up with some extra in stock they are no longer permitted to list them for sale but offer them on a personal basis at retail price.  After having a chat with my account manager and giving her a list of the sort of coins I am interested in I got an email yesterday afternoon offering me a 2017 £5 sovereign at list price which ill grab as its a no brainer :)

In summary, highly recommended if you get the chance if you like history or just looking at trays of gold coins worth silly money.  Those involved in the tour from the museum guide to the shop floor press operators really knowing their stuff and have a passion for what they do.

 

Some stock pictures as you are not allowed to take pictures within the building:

 

1.jpg

2.jpg

Edited by mr-dead

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8 minutes ago, fehk2001 said:

tour should be free ? 

 


Added 0 minutes later...

@mr-dead is that private tour so only you and your daughter ?

The tour is free by invite only for the behind the scenes part inc. the museum.  It was myself, my daughter and 2 other gents.

You just have to spend too much with Royal Mint so they allocate you an account manager then get the goodies :)

The 2 other guys on the tour have been twice before.  If I get another invite in the future perhaps I can put the +1 up as a forum competition prize.

Edited by mr-dead

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Just now, mr-dead said:

 

The tour is free by invite only for the behind the scenes part inc. the museum.  It was myself, my daughter and 2 other gents.

 

You just have to spend too much with Royal Mint so they allocate you an account manager then get the goodies :)

How much is too much? 🤣

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Wow,  what an interesting read. Thank you so much for sharing. Doubt somehow that I will ever achieve the status of having my own account manager so your post has given me a wonderful insight.

Would love to view those drawers of coins as much for the history as the gold.

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20 minutes ago, Saxman25o said:

when I checked earlier it appears  the 1/4  ounce proof  gold Falcon has not yet sold out ? they are awaiting stock so it says 

Return-ed stocks good luck if u are using this for grading 

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Missed this, a fascinating account, many thanks! :)

For balance I would just point out that I know a dealer who went along to one of these days and watched proof coins being minted and was left very upset indeed by the 'QC' and when questioned about it apparently the guide got quite nasty, and it took a call to management upstairs to come down to apologise and try to smooth things over. Perhaps it was a bad day for the guide and QC, but many recent high premium issues from the Mint have had very poor 'need to return' rates...

Anyway, sounds like a super day for you and your daughter @mr-dead, great stuff, thanks again for the report :)

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