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Soho Mint

Soho Mint was created by steam engine, each capable of striking 70 to 84 coins per minute.

In addition to copper domestic coins, silver coins were made for some of the colonies, and various medals and trade tokens were struck.[3]

After the demise of the Soho Mint some of the machinery was bought at auction, in 1850, by the new Birmingham Mint of Ralph Heaton II.[4]

Cartwheel penny

The common coinage, copper halfpennies, was subject to severe counterfeiting. No copper coinage had been issued by the Royal Mint since 1754 apart from inadequate issues of halfpence and farthings from 1770-75.[2]

In order to differentiate his proposed copper coins from counterfeits Boulton specified them as follows:[3]

2 ounces weight, diameter 8 to the foot
1 ounce, diameter 17 to two feet
1/2 ounce, diameter 10 to a foot
1/4 ounce, diameter 12 to a foot

Their weight in pure copper should be so close to the intrinsic value of the material that counterfeiting would be uneconomic.[2] The diameter was made strictly defined by striking within a collar so that diameter, thickness and weight could be used to prove the quality of the metal.[2]

In 1797 the first, and only, copper twopenny and the first penny coins were produced under contract although the smaller denominations did not follow until later.[5] These coins were comparatively large, having a broad raised rim with the inscription pressed below the surface and became known as the cartwheel pennies. Over 45 million were minted in two years.[6]

See also


Coordinates: 52°29′56″N 1°55′35″W / 52.49888°N 1.92630°W / 52.49888; -1.92630

External links

  • Britain's Cartwheel Coinage of 1797
  • On Matthew Bolton and the Soho mint
  • British Coins - Free information about British coins. Includes an online forum.
  • A website celebrating Matthew Boulton, his mint and its products

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