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You will be surprised that there have been quite
a few UK brands over the years that have appeared on commemorative coins – including The Snowman, Mr. Men Little Miss, The Gruffalo, Wallace and Gromit and Winnie the Pooh. 



Monday 13th June 2022 -  UK Brand Interview - Royal Mint

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Did you know The Royal Mint is one of the oldest businesses, with a history spanning 1,100 years. As spending habits change, so does the Royal Mint - expanding into new areas that are rooted in precious metals, and complimenting their heritage.

Brands & Retail UK visited The Royal Mint in Pontypridd and spoke with Phillippa Green the Royal Mint’s Licensing and Partnerships Manager who gave us a tour of the museum and The Royal Mint Experience - we tried to sneak into their vault but was unsuccessful due to the tight security. 

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Phillippa Could you tell us more about The Royal Mint's 1,100 year old history and your ever evolving business.

Phillippa - Coin collecting is an incredibly popular hobby. People collect coins they find in their change but the Royal Mint also offers a wider range of collectible designs, found on commemorative coins.

These Commemorative coins are highly 'collectable' - struck to a higher standard, often on solid silver or gold. Many people buy coins as gifts or because they enjoy the themes, and this turns into a passion for coin collecting.

To appeal to a wide range of collectors, we’ve worked with a number of licensed brands over the years that have appeared on UK coins – including our very first and longest standing brand licence - ‘Peter Rabbit’ the British iconic IP of one of participating brands ‘Penguin Ventures’. (editor - Penguin Ventures are presenting on Day 2 of the summer conference).

You will be surprised that there have been quite a few UK brands over the years that have appeared on commemorative coins – including The Snowman, Mr. Men Little Miss, The Gruffalo, Wallace and Gromit and Winnie the Pooh. The rise of childhood character coins has also led to a new generation of collectors.

Q - When we first chatted you mentioned the ‘Royal Proclamation’ process – are you able to tell us what this is...?

Phillippa - The Royal Proclamation is the last step in the product development process, where the coin is formally approved, then it turns from a piece of metal into UK legal tender. Royal Proclamations are published which means that the descriptions of the coin then enters the public domain for the first time. 

Q - I imagine the process of choosing a heritage brand to appear on coins is a carefully planned process – how do come about signing off on a brand? 

Phillippa -
Yes, indeed! We usually work 3-4 years in advance of launch - starting with research, design submissions, formal approvals and then manufacturing on site in South Wales.

All proposed coin themes go through a rigorous planning and design selection process governed by an independent panel known as The Royal Mint Advisory Committee; the RMAC. Their purpose is to ensure that UK coins are varied, and reflect the most significant or appropriate events for commemoration.  

Q - Does Her Majesty the Queen give you any input in the decision?

Phillippa - 
The coins won’t be launched unless the Queen has given approval, but as mentioned by the time it reaches that point,  it will have been through a long selection process overseen by the RMAC and HM Treasury and since I’ve worked at The Royal Mint she has always given her approval.

Q – What brands do you think would make a good Royal Mint collection coin in the future – maybe in ten years we will be seeing Fortnite coins?

Phillippa -
UK coinage commemorates some of the most revered British people, events and achievements of all time so all of our launches have a strong British link.. We have designs that represent a lasting legacy and contribution to British history and culture and we’re always looking for ways to celebrate the nation’s stories through anniversaries, iconic people or themes.  

For example, we have a successful Music Legends programme, where we have so far launched ranges celebrating; Queen, Elton John, David Bowie and The Who - with some really exciting acts lined up for launch in the coming years too. 

We also have a celebration of some of the most treasured British stories in development which started off with the launch of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 2021, but it certainly won’t stop there. 

We also recently announced our commemorative 50p celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride UK. This coin marks the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been celebrated on an official UK coin and it’s just one of the many commitments by The Royal Mint to increased equality, diversity and inclusion on our coinage. It was designed by LGBTQ+ artist and activist Dominique Holmes and it features the words ‘Protest’, ‘Unity’, ‘Visibility’ and ‘Equality’ – with colour print technology that captures the spirit of Pride UK with its iconic and beautiful rainbow colours. 

We want to ensure we keep celebrating and commemorating key milestones on coins, which will in turn become the historic coins of tomorrow.

Phillippa Green - Licensing & Partnerships Manager - The Royal Mint


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When I got home I visited The Royal Mint website ( and can see coin collecting is a big part of the website as you would imagine - The Royal Mint have a coin collecting hub for anyone wanting to find out more about starting or building a collection.

Also on the online store you can buy gold bullion bars direct from the website for delivery! (not sure how much I trust my postman)....and something else you can buy online is ‘DigiGold’ which is an investment in fractional ownership of gold bullions in the Royal Mint vault. 

My interest in coin collecting never lasted long. As a child I was given a £2 commonwealth games collectors coin back in 1986 but ‘accidentally’ put it in one of those fairground gift crane machines on Southend on Sea pier – I didn’t win a Peter Rabbit soft toy either.

So if you are in South Wales go and say hello to Phillippa - it’s a great museum day out as well.

Happy collecting. 

Ryan Beaird - B&RUK Editor


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