For the first time in its history, the Royal Mint is offering collectors the chance to own exceptionally rare ‘trial pieces', as it puts coins featuring James Bond, Elton John and David Bowie up for sale.
Among other coins, the highly collectible Kew Gardens 50p and the iconic ‘Three Graces’ – a collection that sold out in 25 minutes in December 2020 will be on offer on 26 September.
These bespoke items are expected to drive high levels of interest from collectors and art enthusiasts when they go to auction later this month, the Royal Mint said.
“Interest in trial pieces has grown significantly over recent years, as customers increasingly seek out exclusive and rare items for their collections," said Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint.
"Many customers will treasure the trial pieces as part of a collection or even investments – so we have added a security feature to safeguard their provenance."
A trial piece is one of the first samples struck using a new die, and is carefully inspected by coin makers at the Royal Mint to ensure it meets their exacting standards. The trial pieces are then stored for posterity and the design is officially approved by the Queen before coin striking can begin.
To ensure authenticity, each die trial piece bears a hallmark stating the quality of the metal and a unique latent security feature – designed by The Royal Mint’s chief engraver, Gordon Summers.
A die trial piece is one of the first coins struck and sets the standard for all coins issued. They are used to prove tooling, and clarity of design and detail for proof coins, ensuring they are accurate enough for a perfect strike to be used in production.
These pieces do not form part of the standard issue limit and have not been put on sale before by the Royal Mint.
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