Wedgwood & The Royal Mint Coins: A shared history of craftsmanship & innovation

Both Wedgwood and The Royal Mint have reputations built upon by centuries of British craftmanship and innovation. In 2019, we collaborated with The Royal Mint for the first time to create the highly collectible Wedgwood Coin collection to mark our 260th anniversary. The Royal Mint has a rich and long-running connection with the British Royal Family that began in 1561, similar to our historical connection dating back to 1762.

Together with The Royal Mint, we have crafted a selection of coins that commemorate Wedgwood’s 260th anniversary, marking an incredible point in British history. These two iconic brands have come together to create an opportunity to own a piece of British design history that can be passed down from generation to generation.

Celebration of British craftmanship

Crafted with care and centuries of minting excellence, the four £2 coins in the collection commemorate 260 years of Wedgwood. Each coin features the intricately crafted and iconic Portland Vase, first created in 1789 and the design is considered Josiah Wedgwood’s highest achievement of craftmanship in Jasperware. The vase was a copy of the famous Roman cameo glass vase first acquired in 1627, but instead crafted from Josiah’s unique Jasperware formula. Today the Portland Vase is crafted in numerous size variations and colours and is still hand made in England to this day.

Interview with Wedgwood's design director, Dik Delaney

What were your initial thoughts on the collaboration between Wedgwood and The Royal Mint from a design perspective?

“This was a fantastic opportunity to bring two iconic brands together with similar values, heritage and that are both synonymous with premium craftsmanship.

There’s always something intriguing about working within new areas of design and having the opportunity to express Wedgwood’s DNA through a new medium. There is really something quite exciting about designing something that will be held in someone’s hands that is outside of our current product assortment.”

What was it like to work on a design aesthetic for such a small surface area?

“Designing to such a small scale was always going to be a challenge, but it was something that we were always confident to achieve as we are quite familiar with working with fine artwork and details at various scales, especially with our Jasperware pieces.”

The Portland Vase is one of Wedgwood’s most iconic pieces, were there any other product features in mind for the coin collection?

“Making a decision on the content was a considered process. We looked across the Wedgwood timeline and drew inspiration from key icons and innovations through Wedgwood’s 260 years. For example, other areas considered were Josiah Wedgwood’s development of Jasperware, which is a celebration of his scientific approach to developing new innovations in ceramic materials. Another consideration was engine turning, Josiah was using cutting edge technology of the day and developed his own engine turning lathe, which is still in operation today. We also considered Wild Strawberry, which has been one of our strongest collections in the Wedgwood portfolio over the last 60 years.”

Are there any hidden elements to the coin design that may not be noticed on initial inspection?

“We had considered putting subtle background details as a secondary message which wouldn’t have been initially obvious on first viewing. But after visualising it was considered to distract from the clear representation of the Portland Vase.”

What makes owning a piece from the Wedgwood coin collection so special?

“This is a fantastic opportunity to own a limited-edition coin that beautifully demonstrates high levels of British craftmanship. For Wedgwood customers, it’s a wonderful reminder of the 260 years celebrated as a premium English brand.”

Four coins steeped in British heritage

To purchase a piece from the Wedgwood Coin collection, visit The Royal Mint’s website.

Brilliant Uncirculated Coin – This iconic design celebrates the history and legacy of Wedgwood on this first ever Wedgwood UK coin

Silver Proof Coin – The coin edge inscription reads ‘Everything gives way to experiment’, inspired by Josiah Wedgwood’s motto

Silver Proof Piedfort Coin – A limited edition coin struck in 925 sterling silver

Gold Proof Coin – A valuable piece of history struck in 22 carat gold