2016 GB 50 Pence Silver Battle of Hastings Proof

2016 GB 50 Pence Silver Battle of Hastings Proof

Recognizing an event that changed history forever, this coin commemorates the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Coin Highlights:

  • Contains 0.2572 oz of .925 fine Silver.
  • Comes in a box and includes a certificate of authenticity.
  • Maximum coin mintage of only 6,000 proofs.
  • Obverse: Portrays the fifth definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jody Clark.
  • Reverse: Features a figure based on images thought to be King Harold, with the famous arrow to the eye. The date of the battle is at the center of the design.
  • Guaranteed by The Royal Mint.

Celebrate this historic date and add this 2016 GB 50 Pence Proof Silver Battle of Hastings coin to your cart today!

In 1066, one of the most significant pages in English history was written. At daybreak on October 14th that year, thousands of men faced each other across the land that is now known as Battle, a few miles from Hastings. To the south; William, Duke of Normandy, and his Norman army that included a strong cavalry and the power of the crossbow. To the north, King Harold of England and his mighty infantry, equipped with fearsome battle axes. By some accounts they were evenly matched, by others, a vastly larger Norman force faced a weary English army. The fight would be long and hard, the strong English shield repelled attack after attack until the Normans finally gained the upper hand. But then, the English King fell and Harold's army fled the battlefield, leaving the conquering William to claim England and the crown, as his own.

In 2016 we remember the 950th anniversary of The Battle of Hastings - the date that made history. Mark the occasion, and note the day that the nation's time line was altered forever with this magnificent 50 pence coin. The reverse by John Bergdahl features the famous fate of King Harold, while the obverse features the fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen.

One of the oldest institutions in the world, the Royal Mint began producing coins for England, and eventually Great Britain, more than 1,100 years ago. The mint also produces and exports coins for other countries, as well as military medals, and other products for the British government. The Royal Mint has been witness to the legendary kings and queens, political upheavals, social and governmental progress, and scientific and technological breakthroughs.

The minting of coins began in England around the end of the second century B.C. Around A.D. 650, coins were made by craftsmen called “moneyers” in London. In 886, during the reign of Alfred the Great, the London Mint was designated to be a single institution, though there were many other mints in operation around this time. In 1279 the London Mint was moved to the Tower of London where it remained for the next 500 years. Famed physicist Sir Isaac Newton was the Warden of the Mint in 1696 and as such was responsible for investigating cases of counterfeiting. Three years later he was made Master of the Mint, until his death in 1727, and was responsible for moving England from the Silver standard to the Gold standard in 1717.

The Royal Mint had outgrown its home in the Tower of London so during the 18th century the rickety wooden shacks the mint occupied were rebuilt to accommodate mechanized and rolling mills and coining presses and provide more space. Soon, however, the mint outgrew this new location and in 1809, the mint moved from the Tower of London to an adjacent site in East Smithfield called Tower Hill. By 1899, the Royal Mint was striking 100 million coins a year.

In 1967 it was announced that mint would move from its location at Tower Hill to Llantrisant, Wales, following Parliament’s decision to decimalize currency and in 1968 the first coins were officially struck by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the new location in Wales. In 1986, the Royal Mint celebrated 11 centuries of continuous minting. In 2009, the Royal Mint was vested into a government-owned company to provide greater operating and commercial freedom.

One unique aspect of the Royal Mint is a procedure known as the Trial of the Pyx, dates back to 1282 and ensures newly-minted coins meet required government standards. The trials have been held once a each year since their inception and have changed very little over time. These trials are presided over by a judge with a jury of expert assayers and were held at the Palace of Westminster before they were moved to the modern-day site at the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. The ceremony was so named after the boxwood chest in which coins were placed for presentation to the jury.

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