The Royal Mint releases medals to immortalise Coronation Street stars

From: The Royal Mint
Published: Fri Dec 17 2010

The Royal Mint has immortalised five 'Queens' of the small screen in metal to mark the 50th anniversary of the nation's longest-running soap, Coronation Street.

Coronation Street legends Vera Duckworth, Hilda Ogden, Bet Gilroy, Deirdre Barlow and current Rovers firebrand Becky McDonald have been joined by their on screen husbands on a series of beautifully rendered medals, designed to mark five decades of the Weatherfield saga.

This is the first time the Royal Mint has ever commemorated a soap opera with TV memorabilia. The medal designs faithfully capture intimate details of the lives of the characters that will be instantly recognisable to millions of Street fans, including Stan and Hilda's famous flying ducks and Deirdre Barlow's specs.

Recently departed Jack Duckworth has been reunited with his other half in a design that features the warring couple in their younger days, complete with the infamous stone cladding from the Old Rectory at number nine. Steve and Becky McDonald pose in front of the flock wallpaper of the Rovers, while Bet Gilroy's beehive is captured curl by curl.

A sixth medal completes the Coronation Street series featuring an engraving of the Street's famous watering hole, The Rovers Return finished in silver and fine gold plating.

Commenting on the designs, Dave Knight, the Royal Mint's Director of Commemorative Coin said: "Every year the Royal Mint captures the likeness of statesmen and royalty around the world, but faithfully capturing the essence of ten, hugely loved television icons who, for the last 50 years have been regular visitors to millions of sitting rooms across the country, was a particular challenge. Coronation Street is a great, British institution and it's only fitting that the Royal Mint should commemorate its cultural significance with the first ever soap inspired medals."

To mark the Street's 50 year milestone, a unique, 22 carat gold version of the Rovers Return medal was struck by the Royal Mint. The gold medal was auctioned at Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Appeal gala auction in Manchester.  The appeal is made up of three charities chosen by cast members; The Christie Hospital in Manchester, the NSPCC and Cancer Research UK.

Coronation Street executive producer, Kieran Roberts said: "It's a genuine honour to have this series created for our 50th Anniversary. The characters featured on the medals have been immortalised in a way normally reserved for kings, queens and historical icons. Vera and Hilda would be over the moon."

Official Coronation Street products, the medals are presented in a beautifully designed box depicting the famous Corrie cobbles and include a story-card capturing the history of each famous couple, along with a certificate of authenticity.

About the Royal Mint:
The Royal Mint has a history dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812, the Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London's Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in Llantrisant, South Wales.

There were estimated to be 28.2 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2009, with a total face value of £3.6 billion – all manufactured by the Royal Mint.

1.3 billion UK coins were issued during 2008-09.

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