A few weeks ago we were invited to the Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant to see exactly what it is they do there. I bet you a Peter Rabbit 50p that you didn’t know that all of the coins in circulation today are made here in Llantrisant? Over 90 million coins are made each week; that’s a staggering 5 billion a year. And that doesn’t include the commemorative coins and medals that are made here. They even make coins for 60 other countries around the world.
The Royal Mint first had its home in the Tower of London (from 1279), then moved to Tower Hill in 1812, before being moved to Llantrisant in 1968 ready for decimalisation. In May 2016 the Royal Mint opened it’s doors to the public providing a guided behind the scenes tour of the minting room. We were invited to have a look around and we had a great day! My 4 children have very different attitudes to money; Emma loves to spend and never saves, both Jack and Charlie are savers and little Ava doesn’t really have a clue about money yet!
Once we had been through security we were shown a short introductory video, telling us short facts about the Mint. It was a suitable length for little ones and Ava sat through it without any fuss! From there we were taken across to the Minting rooms where we learnt about the different coin making equipment such as blanks and dies. The children were allowed to handle the dies and were asked some simple questions. It was fascinating to see all of the different dies, I think that was my favourite bit.
From there we went to a viewing point of the factory floor and the windows were opened slightly so that we could hear the noise. The children enjoyed watching the forklifts tipping the dies into the relevant coin making machines and loved seeing freshly made coins shooting to into huge containers. As expected, no photos were allowed of the factory floor for security reasons. I must say, they machines were smaller than I expected! Once everyone had finished watching we were taken to an area where you could mint your own £1 coin. (£3.50 for one or £5 for two) The children enjoyed pressing the special green button to start the process and I was excited to learn that no other £1 coins have been made in 2016 (as they are producing the new 12 sided £1 coins which have a very cool hologram on them!) so our coins might be worth something oneday!
After we had all said cheese for a very rare family photo we went through to the interactive room/museum. This part was really brilliant and I enjoyed seeing the medals that the Mint produced for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Ava enjoyed the interactive Wishing Well where the children threw blanks in and nursery rhymes (based around money) sang out!
Everyone enjoyed the coin rolling game where you had to get the blanks to roll through the holes!
There was an interactive panel where you could move coins around and find out more about them, the history of coin making and examples of celebration coins that they have produced.
Everyone was starving by this point so we headed to the cafe for some lunch and we weren’t disappointed! The curry was lovely (and a decent portion!), the sandwich meals were fresh and good quality and Jacks request for something that wasn’t being cooked that day was agreed to instantly. That part really made my day as eating out with Jack and his restricted diet can be problematic, but the staff at the Mint were kind and accommodating without hesitation. We didn’t look around the gift shop but when we passed through to collect our photo, I could see that it was well stocked and reasonably priced.
Tickets cost £13 for adults, £10.50 for children, under 5s go free, and a family ticket (2 + 2 or 1 + 3) are £38.50 where booked online at Royal Mint Experience
We would like to thank the Royal Mint Experience for inviting us own for the day, we had a great time!