Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the press day for the new Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant, South Wales. The attraction, run by Continuum Attractions, celebrates the rich heritage of the Mint and the importance of coins throughout history.
While I’ve always had a healthy interest in money, I soon realised how little I knew about the coins rattling around in my purse.
Did you know, for instance, that one in three pound coins in circulation is a fake?
The attraction, designed by Mather & Co, and AV by Figment Productions, features a short intro film, a view of the factory floor (the sound of money is amazing!), a film showing the life of a coin and a fantastic projection showing the various locations of the Mint through history.
There are 5 zones: Money Around the World, How Coins are Made, Military and Sporting Commemorative Medals, the Meaning of Coins and Collecting Coins.
There are also some great interactive elements for kids including a hidden “see a penny pick it up’, a wishing well you can throw pennies into, and an interactive Penny Farthing.
The tour guides deserved their own commemorative medals for the sheer volume of information they had memorised for the guided tours: the force needed to press each coin, the number of coins made per minute, the production rate of the factory’ Small change is a surprisingly big deal.
Royal Mint – Five Fascinating Facts
I learnt so much on the tour and I think that’s why it will appeal not just to coin enthusiasts, who no doubt will love it, but to families and tourists alike.
My Top 5 Fascinating Facts:
- This is the first time the Royal Mint has opened its doors to the public in its thousand year history. Originally based in the Tower of London for 500 years, the Mint moved across the road to Tower Hill to accommodate steam machinery. It finally moved to the much bigger site at Llantrisant to accommodate the huge amount of new coins needed for decimalisation.
- The Royal Mint is the World’s largest exporter of coins, producing coins for over 100 countries worldwide – 15% of the worldwide market.
- The Royal Mint Experience is the only place in the country where you can mint your own pound – I got to push the button and 650 tonnes of pressure marked my blank coin with the last round pound design.
- 1 billion new 12-sided pound coins are being produced in the factory ready for introduction in March 2017. The new coins are extremely intricate to help dissuade counterfeiters.
- The inscription on the A?2 Coin – “Standing on the shoulders of giants” ‘ is a quote by scientist and mathematician, Sir Issac Newton, who was Master of the Mint for 30 years.
We are delighted to have Continuum Attractions as Gold Sponsor for the Northern Powerhouse Panel Session at BlooloopLIVErpool on the 29th June 2016. The session will be led by Continuum CEO Juliana Delaney and include Jamie Christon, MD of Chester Zoo, Nick Thompson, Deputy Managing Director at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and Heritage GB.