First royal wedding �5 coins roll off the presses

OFFICIAL �5 coins commemorating the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton rolled off the presses at the Royal Mint yesterday.

The design, which was approved by the couple, the Chancellor and the Queen, shows the soon-to-be newlyweds in profile facing each other, with the Queen�s image on the reverse.

The Royal Mint � based in Llantrisant � said it was expecting to sell more than 250,000 coins worldwide, as anticipation mounts over the royal wedding next month.

The new coin, designed by Mark Richards, is only the second produced by the Royal Mint to mark a royal wedding � the first being a 20p piece in honour of the Prince of Wales� wedding to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Last year, the Royal Mint produced its first coin to mark a royal engagement but it drew criticism from some who claimed the likeness of Miss Middleton was �unflattering�.

The new �5 coins officially became UK legal tender after being presented at a meeting of the Privy Council. But despite the coins being sought-after, experts predict they will not vastly exceed their �5 face value � unlike the precious metal versions which come in silver, gold and platinum.

Matt Hill, editor of weekly magazine Stamp and Coin Mart, said: �Generally the value of commemorative coins does not increase very much because they are mass-produced.

�For example, there are medals which marked the wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert which are valuable, but they are more of a historical item. However, coins which commemorated the wedding of Prince Charles are of less financial worth. Unless something is strictly limited edition or has a good quantity of gold or other valuable materials then the value tends to remain the same. However, I am sure that it will not stop the new �5 coins being popular.�

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