The 1970s saw it evolve from a government department to a trading fund, later to an executive agency and finally in 2009 to a limited company, giving it ever greater commercial freedom. In the last 10 years the Royal Mint has continued to expand with new business developments in bullion and precious metals, gifting, and collector services.
Our primary duty remains the supply of coins for use in the United Kingdom. And the last five decades have seen an unprecedented rate of change in the size, shape and composition of our coins. In particular, advances in plating technology have enabled 1p and 2p pieces to be struck in copper-plated steel instead of bronze and 5p and 10p pieces in nickel-plated steel instead of cupro-nickel.
Today the Royal Mint is the largest single supplier of plated coins and blanks in Europe, with continued research and development ensuring its position as market leader in plating and security technologies. This was demonstrated by the introduction of the technically innovative 12-sided £1 coin in 2017.