Saahnd as a Paahnd

(Or ‘sound as a pound’ if you live outside Dagenham)

It was Budget day again this week. The annual day where you rejoice and lament at the same time. You find that the cost of beer has gone down (Hurrah!!) but the price of fuel goes up (Booo!!) and at the end of the day, you are exactly where you started.

But this Budget brings exciting news! That of a brand new £1 coin. A 12 sided coin which will be the hardest in the world to fake will soon be rattling away in our pockets.

I’m excited.

It’s very rare that coins completely change shape and size. That doesn’t mean, however, that these changes are not constantly being planned. We have examples within the collection of coins that never made it into production, but show a continual desire from the mint to improve the design and manufacturing technique.

A good example of this is decimalisation. Decimalisation day occurred in 1971. When did the UK first start thinking about decimal coinage though? 1960’s? 1940’s?

Well, in the museum we have examples of Victorian decimal coinage. It was never adopted but shows the idea of decimalisation was alive for over a century before it actually happened.


A Victorian Centum – Not £100, but a tenth of a pound



A bi-metal coin from the Victorian period. Maybe we’re not as advance as we think we are!


And the final picture is of a bi-metal proof. It is a coin, made with two metals. It’s a wonderful example of seeing a mint trying to understand new techniques and new styles.


Look closely. Two faces, Two colours, Two metals, One Love

 So, if you think that the new one pound coins have only been designed recently you’re probably wrong. The techniques and designs will have been around for a long time!  


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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