The Royal Mint has today released a selection of coins that have been subjected to the rigours of the 2020 Trial of the Pyx, and offer the chance to own a piece of history. Each year The Royal Mint sends a selection of coins to the coveted ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall, and those now available to buy include:
- The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria 2019 UK £5 Gold Proof Coin
- The Queen’s Beasts The Falcon of The Plantagenets 2019 UK Five-Ounce Gold Proof Coin
- A Celebration of Sherlock Holmes 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin
One of the highlights of the 2020 Trial of the Pyx was the presence of the two-kilo and five-kilo editions of the Una and the Lion 2019 UK Gold Proof Coin.
The Trial of the Pyx is one of the oldest judicial practices in the United Kingdom. At the Trial, samples of circulating and commemorative coins produced by The Royal Mint are selected at random and weighed for accuracy. Now held at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London, the Trial was first recorded publicly in 1282, and is presided over by the Queen’s Remembrancer or their deputy, who are amongst the highest legal representatives in the country, assisted by an independent jury of members of the Goldsmiths’ Company.
During the ceremony jury members are presented with Pyx boxes (Pyx being the Latin word for chest). The coins are picked from a random selection provided by The Royal Mint and placed in copper bowls. The remainder are placed in wooden bowls and are then weighed for accuracy. The Trial is then adjourned until May to allow time for trial coins to be tested by the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office and the National Measurement Office, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s verdict was delivered virtually, for the first time in the ceremony’s history.
Graeme Smith, Queen’s Assay Master at The Royal Mint comments: “Every year coins produced by The Royal Mint go to the Trial of the Pyx, a ceremony which tests and confirms the quality and accuracy of each coin and is something which The Royal Mint prides itself on. The Royal Mint is the only mint in the world to undergo the rigorous independent testing that the Trial demands. I am delighted that the tested coins can now be purchased by coin collectors, this is the ultimate coin investment, allowing customers to own a true piece of British coin history that has been a part of one of the oldest judicial trials in the world.”
Whilst the Trial is steeped in ancient traditions, and attended by officers with some of the oldest job titles in the land (The Master and Deputy Master of The Royal Mint, The Queen’s Assay Master, The Queen’s Remembrancer), the Trial of the Pyx is as relevant today as it has always been, and continues to play an extremely important role, supporting The Royal Mint’s international reputation for excellence in production.
Every Trial of the Pyx coin being offered to collectors is accompanied by a collection of materials illustrating the coin’s distinct place in history. The range of coins available may carry small marks or smudges from having been handled during the Trial of the Pyx. To view the full range of exclusive coins and sets from the Trial of the Pyx visit: https://www.royalmint.com/our-coins/events/trial-of-the-pyx/