UK Royal Mint’s Silver Sixpence for Christmas

December 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The UK Royal Mint has put together an ideal holiday gift idea for many coin enthusiasts with the release of a Christmas Silver Sixpence. Included with each purchase is an authentic 50% silver sixpence struck between the years of 1920 and 1946 when the Royal Mint operated at Tower Hill in London.

1945 Silver Sixpence

UK Royal Mint image of a Silver Sixpence. The Mint is offering one of the silver coins as a Christmas gift idea for £19.99

Silver Sixpence coins have long been considered a symbol of good luck. Their use in Christmas Puddings and as gifts to brides is a tradition that dates back many generations, with this new Royal Mint release offering contemporary opportunities for well wishers.

Christmas Silver Sixpence – Coin Design, History and Specifications

Sixpences were first struck in England during the reign of Edward VI in 1551. As their name suggests, they had a value of six pence which equated to 1/40th of a pound sterling.

Minting of the coin was from sterling (92.5%) silver beginning in 1816 until 1921 when the composition changed to 50% of the precious metal. A cupro-nickel blend replaced the silver content altogether in 1947 until the last general issue sixpence appeared in 1967.

Their use as good luck charms is prevalent throughout the history of England. Probably most notable among that use is the inclusion of a silver sixpence in the Christmas Pudding. Tradition tells of each member of the family taking a turn to stir the pudding while making a wish. The cook would then add a sixpence to the mixture to be found later by one lucky member of the family. That person was allowed to keep the strike as a reminder of his foretold luck throughout the following year.

Bride-to-be’s are also though to have improved luck if graced with a sixpence. Even the well-known adage of "Something old, something new / Something borrowed, something blue" is completed with "And a sixpence for her (left) shoe."

Purchasers of the Christmas Silver Sixpence from the UK Royal Mint will receive one classic 50% Silver Sixpence struck between the years of 1920 and 1946. Obverse designs on these coins will vary based on the date but will be a portrait of either King George V or King George VI. Reverse designs will also vary ranging from a lion atop a crown to a design with oak leaves and acorns to a crowned monogram.

Each silver sixpence will ship in a soft fabric draw-string pouch inside a Christmas-themed card with room left on the card for the inclusion of a personal note. Above the pouch will be the message of:

"A lucky silver sixpence to bless and support you through life’s journey and a reminder that your thought’s and dreams can come true."

The Christmas Silver Sixpence can be ordered directly from the Royal Mint for £19.99 plus postage via its website of www.royalmint.com.

About the UK Royal Mint

The Royal Mint is one of the premier minting institutions of the world and can trace its lineage back over a millennia. It operated for over 500 years out of the recognizable Tower of London beginning in the late 1300′s. Operations moved to London’s Tower Hill by 1812 with its current facility established in 1967 at Llantrisant, South Wales. Through its history, it was responsible for minting the coinage of the country as well as over-seeing the creation and operation of numerous branch mint’s around the world.


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