Royal Mint Launches 2008 Piedfort Coins
The Royal Mint
launched their very limited 2008 UK Silver Proof
Piedfort Four-Coin Collection for £249.95 (~$490
USD). Piedfort coins are unique with their
contrasting double weight and thickness. The
name ‘Piedfort’ (Pee-ay-fore) actually comes
from the French word meaning "heavy measure."
The four coin silver proof collection includes
the £1 coin bearing a fresh rendition of the
Royal Arms, and this year’s three commemorative
£5 pieces honouring the 450th anniversary of the
accession of Queen Elizabeth I
£5 pieces honouring the 60th birthday of His
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and
the bi-colour £2 coin marking the centenary of
the Olympic Games held in London in 1908
According to the Royal Mint, Piedforts are
closely associated with France where they can be
traced back to the twelfth century. In England
the striking of such pieces began later and was
less frequent but medieval examples are known,
notably the thick silver pennies of Edward I.
The Mint states:
Minting was not a centralised activity in
England in the Middle Ages, coins being struck
in other locations as well as London. It
therefore seems likely that Piedforts were
distributed to engravers at these different
mints in order to show them what to copy. Making
the pieces deliberately thick and heavy ensured
they were not mixed unintentionally with
The Piedfort sytle later became a sort of
prestige set. Also according to The Royal Mint,
Thicker than normal coins were produced across
Europe during the early modern period,
particularly from the mid-sixteenth to the
mid-seventeenth century, as part of the broader
practice of striking prestige pieces.
At this time the exchange of valuable gifts
between rulers and members of their entourage
became an established courtly exercise.
Within this context coins struck on thick
blanks, together with other types of prestige
pieces, were prepared on behalf of kings and
noblemen primarily for the purposes of
presentation and display.
From Poland to the Spanish Netherlands, from
Sweden to northern Italy, coins of this sort
provided rulers with a convenien
Coin specifications, mintage limits, price and
The coins within the 2008 UK Silver Proof
Piedfort Collection are in proof quality, and
made from sterling silver. The bi-colour £2
commemorative of the centenary of the Olympic
Games has a .999 fine coat or plate of gold
along the outer ring.
A 3,000 mintage limit is in place with each set
priced at £249.95.
The collections may be ordered online through
the Royal Mint product page:
The 2008 UK Silver Proof Piedfort Four-Coin
Customers may also place orders by calling the
Royal Mint directly at 0845 60 88 222.
About the Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is a department of government and
its primary responsibility remains the provision
of the United Kingdom coinage. Its reputation,
however, extends beyond this and internationally
it has a reputation for making some fascinating
coins for over 100 countries.
The history of the Royal Mint itself stretches
back over 1100 years. There is an unbroken link
from the scattered workshops of the moneyers of
Anglo-Saxon London to a single mint within the
Tower of London, from a purpose-built premises
at Tower Hill to the huge modern coining plant
in South Wales.
In April 1975 the Mint was established as a
Government Trading Fund, operationally very
similar to a government-owned company.