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United Kingdom issues 2014 World War I Commemorative Coins

United Kingdom issues 2014 World War I Commemorative Coins

“It was nine o’clock at night upon the second of August – the most terrible August in the history of the world.”

His Last Bow (LAST)

His Last BowPublished in September 1917 in Strand Magazine, LAST is unusual in the 60 stories of the Canon – the narration is in the third person, not, as usual, by Dr. Watson, and it is a spy story. Due to its portrayal of British and German spies, its publication during World War I and its patriotic themes, the story has been interpreted as a propaganda tool intended to boost morale for British readers.

In 1914, a conflict began that would plunge the world into war on an epic scale. It was a deadly conflict that would claim the lives of millions over the next four years. In 2014, The Royal Mint plays a part in remembering the start of the First World War, beginning five years of commemoration. These coins launch a new series that builds each year until 2018 – such a fitting way to mark the centenary of an important time in British history.

All coins feature the obverse design of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

QEII WWI 2 Pound

Lord Kitchener design by John Bergdahl

In 1914, Lord Horatio Kitchener was appointed to mastermind a recruitment campaign that would go on to create one of the largest volunteer armies ever known in Britain. This design was selected to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War because the poster has come to be strongly associated with the outbreak of the war and is recognised by much of the population. It is intended to highlight the Government propaganda campaign to conscript army volunteers at the start of the war.

Though many posters encouraged the men of Britain to enlist, the image of Kitchener himself has come to stand for the call to fight for King and country that saw men respond in their thousands. It is to this instantly recognisable image that the experienced artist John Bergdahl turned to create his stirring design: ‘Your country needs you!’.

£2 – Inner Alloy: Cupro-Nickel – Outer Alloy: Nickel-Brass – 12 grams – 28.40mm

Edge: The lamps are going out all over Europe

QEII WWI 5 Pound Gunnery

Howitzer Gun design by Edwina Ellis

QEII WWI 5 Pound Victory

Propaganda design by David Lawrence

QEII WWI 5 Pound Walter Tull

Walter Tull design by David Cornell

QEII WWI 5 Pound Royal Navy

Royal Navy design by David Rowlands


British Expeditionary Force design by John Bergdahl

QEII WWI 5 Pound Home Front

Home Front design by David Rowlands

Five leading artists have created £5 coins that explore themes as diverse as technology, the role of the armed forces and support services, social impact, key battles and of course some of the heroes of the war. The coins in the 2014 set depict the Howitzer gun, explore the impact of propaganda and honour the first black officer in Britain’s armed forces, the Royal Navy, the British Expeditionary Force and the hard work on the Home Front. These first coins begin an intriguing, moving series that you will want to collect until we mark the armistice, and hopes for peace, in 2018.  Like all British coins it carries the coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on its obverse. And on the reverse is Britannia, a potent national symbol for centuries. Here she is depicted by sculptor John Bergdahl full of quiet belief, placing her trust in the first British troops to set sail across the Channel.

£5 – .925 Silver – 28.28 grams – 38.61mm

QEII WWI 10 Pound

Britannia design by John Bergdahl

The Five-Ounce coin bears an evocative design by an experienced coinage artist. John Bergdahl’s reverse recalls the first wave of troops departing Britain, voyaging across the Channel for war in Europe. They are watched over by a Deco-style Britannia, with a lion at her side, familiar guardians of Britain. These beautiful details on the coin’s 65mm diameter reverse have been enriched by The Royal Mint’s premium Proof finish. Each of these coins – containing a full five ounces of fine silver – is presented in its own handsome case and is accompanied by a fascinating booklet that reveals the story of Britain at the outbreak of war and the first events in the long battle to come. A Certificate of Authenticity confirms its low mintage – for it will be owned by just 1300 collectors.

£10 – .999 Fine Silver – 156.925 grams (5 ounces) – 65 mm – 1,300 maximum mintage

QEII WWI 10 Pound. Gold

Britannia design by John Bergdahl

This outstanding Gold Proof Five-Ounce coin joins The Royal Mint’s commemoration of the First World War centenary. With a reverse design by John Bergdahl, enriched by the Royal Mint’s premium Proof finish, this coin, among the largest in the UK, makes an elegant tribute. The coin is presented in an elegant case and is complemented by a booklet that explores Britain at the outbreak of war and the inspiration behind the coin’s design. A certificate attests to the coin’s low mintage – only 110 will be struck.

£10 – .9999 Fine Gold – 156.925 grams (5 ounces) – 65 mm – 100 maximum mintage

QEII WWI 20 Pound

Britannia design by John Bergdahl

In the summer of 1914, as conflict on the continent loomed, troops on both sides were mobilised and the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force departed these shores for France. A century later, Britain remembers those who gave so much in those first months of war, striking only the second ever UK £20 coin to honour the anniversary. Exclusively available in the United Kingdom and direct from The Royal Mint, where it was struck, this is the £20 coin for everyone, not just collectors – made of fine silver, it carries a poignant new design and, most importantly, is priced at just £20.

£20 – .999 Fine Silver – 15.71 grams – 27 mm – 250,000 maximum mintage

QEII WWI 500 Pound Silver

Soldiers Moving design by John Sandle

The First World War Outbreak Silver Proof Kilo Coin, is now available with a design by Michael Sandle RA, a respected artist known for his war-themed work. It will be joined in 2018 by another Kilo coin that will mark the First World War coming to an end.

In his moving reverse Michael Sandle has depicted soldiers moving from the trenches into no man’s land, ghostly figures in full capes and familiar ‘Brodie’ helmets shrouded in mist, inspired by the artist’s sadness at the tragic loss of so many brave men. This magnificent coin is handsomely presented, complete with a booklet on the outbreak of the war, a Certificate of Authenticity confirms this is one of only 430 of these – the UK’s premier silver coins – to be released.

£500 – .999 Fine Silver – 1005 grams (1 kilo) – 100 mm – 430 maximum mintage

QEII WWI 1000 Pound Gold

Soldiers Moving design by John Sandle

On 6 August, 1914 Prime Minister Herbert Asquith announced grave news to the nation: Britain had entered what would become known as ‘The Great War’ – a war that would change the world forever. In 2014, a century on, The Royal Mint honours this poignant anniversary with a five-year programme of commemoration, telling the far-reaching story of the war from outbreak to armistice. The First World War Outbreak Gold Proof Kilo Coin is now available – the ultimate commemoration – with a design by Michael Sandle RA, a most respected artist known for his war-themed work.

This haunting reverse depicts soldiers moving from the trenches into no man’s land, the ghostly figure of a soldier in full cape and familiar ‘Brodie’ helmet marching through the mist, conveying the tragedy of the war and the loss of so many men. His moving design makes excellent use of the full 100mm field of Britain’s largest coin, which contains no less than a full kilogramme of fine 999.9 gold. This is an exceptional coin, handsomely presented in a sophisticated case with a booklet on the outbreak of the war. And only 25 will ever be struck – they will be found only in the most exclusive collections.

£1,000 – .9999 Fine Gold – 1005 grams (1 kilo) – 100 mm – 25 maximum mintage

All of the coins listed in this post are currently available for purchase on the Royal Mint’s website.

Coin images from The Royal Mint