IT is one of Scotland’s best-loved legends, with thousands of people flocking from around the world every year hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature.
Now the Loch Ness Monster is to feature on a new set of 10p coins issued by the Royal Mint to represent “what makes Britain great”.
Mapping out the A to Z of both everyday and iconic British items, from the Angel of the North to a zebra crossing, ten of the coin designs were influenced by the public vote, including Tea, Fish & Chips and Cricket, as well as the Loch Ness Monster.
The coins are being issued as part of the mint’s Great British Coin Hunt initiative, which began during the London 2012 Olympic Games, when 29 new 50p coins – each representing an Olympic sport – were issued in 2011 and 2012 to mark the home games.
Searching for the coins in change to collect the set became popular and new sets of UK coins have been released each year.
The Royal Mint asked the public to vote for their favourite British icons, with 84 per cent of the public opting for Nessie over Robin Hood and George and the Dragon as the most-loved myth. Last year was a record year for the Loch Ness Monster, with more ”official” sightings than any other year this century.
Anne Jessopp, chief executive at the Royal Mint, said: “These designs were selected because we feel they represent a diverse mix of elements that make up the country we all love
“There is a lot to be proud of in the UK – whether it’s at the highest level, our Houses of Parliament representing democracy and freedom of speech, technological advancements such as Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, or just a good cup of tea, it’s all here in the designs.
“We hope the British public is inspired to take part in the Great British Coin Hunt by checking their change for those miniature works of art that spell out just some of the many iconic themes that are Quintessentially British.”
As well as the more everyday items, the collection acknowledges some of the UK’s scientific and technological achievements – including W is for World Wide Web, representing Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the internet, and G is for Greenwich Mean Time.
Dr Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said: “This is a departure from the standard way in which The Royal Mint has celebrated what is great about Britain in the past. We have marked great events, celebrated engineers, politicians and of course royalty. This series really drills down into the heartland of what makes Britain British. It’s the granularity of British life celebrated on the coinage.”
Accompanying the physical collection, The Royal Mint has introduced the Great British Coin Hunt app, allowing coin hunters to create a digital collection of the coins they find in their change.
Users can download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play, to scan the coin with their camera, unlocking exclusive content and placing their coin into a digital folder. They can also link the app to their social media to share the treasures they find in their pockets.
There will also be a heatmap within the app, showing where different coins are being found around the country and directing them to swap shops where they can trade coins with fellow collectors.
THE A TO Z
A: Angel of the North
B: Bond… James Bond
D: Double-decker bus
E: English breakfast
F: Fish and chips
G: Greenwich mean time
H: Houses of Parliament
I: Ice-cream cone
K: King Arthur
L: Loch Ness Monster
N: National Health Service
O: Oak tree
P: Post box
U: Union flag
W: World wide web
X: X marks the spot
Z: Zebra crossing