UK16S3BU 01 whiteThe UK’s Royal Mint has issued three Shakespeare-themed coins, depicting comedy, history, and tragedy. These coins will circulate, though it’s not clear how much, but you can also buy them directly from the Royal Mint in special presentation packs, in “Brilliant Uncirculated standard” quality.

Such is the literary legacy of William Shakespeare, that The Royal Mint has struck three official £2 coins in his honour — a first for the United Kingdom. Each coin celebrates an aspect of Shakespeare’s famous work, and the only way to own all three coins in one presentation is with this superb three-coin set. Your coins are struck to sparkling Brilliant Uncirculated standard and housed together in a display folder, complete with quotes from his plays to inspire and delight.

I especially like the tragedy coin, which represents York’s skull from Hamlet, along with a rose. It’s a bit Grateful Dead as well; Skull & Roses…

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The designer, John Bergdhal, on the Royal Shakespeare Company website, is quoted as saying:

that the sword through the crown recalls the drama that unfolds in Shakespeare’s tales of times past. The rose and skull on the tragedy coin capture the sense of doomed romance present in many of the tragic plays. Finally, the jester’s hat and sticks are made to look cast aside, as if between acts.

And the edges of the coins also have inscriptions:

  • All the Worlds a Stage
  • The Hollow Crown
  • What a piece of work is a man

(I hope that it isn’t missing the apostrophe in the first one, as presented on the Specifications page…)

I’ve ordered a couple of sets. These are nice collectors’ items.