UNITED KINGDOM
HEATON - ( H )
YEARS OF ACTIVITY
Open at Close at
August 1853 1919
HISTORY

The Birmingham Mint, a coining mint, originally known as Heaton's Mint or Ralph Heaton & Sons, in Birmingham, England started producing tokens and coins in 1850 as a private enterprise, separate from, but in cooperation with the Royal Mint. Its factory was situated in Icknield Street, on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter. It was created by Ralph Heaton II, using second-hand coin presses bought from the estate of Matthew Boulton.

The Birmingham Mint won its first contract to strike finished coins for Britain – 500 tons of copper, struck between August 1853 and August 1855, with another contract to follow in 1856. These coins had no mint mark to identify them as from Birmingham. During the peak of operation the four original Boulton screw presses were striking about 110,000 coins per day.

In 1912, an order for 16.8 million bronze coins for Britain, and in 1918 and 1919, further orders for 7.1 million pence saw the mint striking coins for the home market. However, also in 1912, the Mint saw its first competition as the Kings Norton Metal Company was also contracted to supply bronze blanks to the Royal Mint, and in 1914 struck coins for the colonies.

In 1923 the almost monopoly position of the Mint as supplier to foreign (non-empire) countries was lost as the Royal Mint was given permission to supply to the world market, although the Mint continued to supply the Royal Mint.


H - Heaton ( United Kingdom )


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