The United States Mint and The Royal Mint have collaborated to create two limited-edition sets marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, the Mint announced in a Sept. 3 release.
The story of the Mayflower is one that connects multiple communities, cultures, and countries. This transatlantic voyage brought 102 Pilgrims and migrants from Europe across the Atlantic and established a new foundation for governance in the New World.
The United States Mint and The Royal Mint have produced a joint two-coin gold proof set and a silver coin and medal proof set that will be released for sale this fall. The coin and medal designs come together to tell the story of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower‘s journey, and the impact the Pilgrims’ arrival had on the native Wampanoag people.
The 24-karat gold set features a one-quarter ounce proof U.S. $10 coin and a one-quarter ounce proof U.K. £25 coin. The silver ounce-proof £2 coin and medal set are struck in .999 fine silver.
The reverse of the U.K. coins and the U.S. coin and medal contained in the sets were designed by Chris Costello, who used multiple stylistic elements to tie them together. These include the choice of font and North Star on the U.K. coin, which connects to the image of the sun in the U.S. coin, symbolizing a new day. That symbolism is also a reference to the Wampanoag people who inhabited the region, and were known as the “People of the Dawn.”
“I am extremely proud of these coins and medals,” said United States Mint Director David J. Ryder. “These designs are yet another chapter in the long history of the United States Mint’s commitment to producing stunning medallic art. These sets are tangible representations of our longstanding friendship and alliance with Britain.”
Clare Maclennan, Director of Commemorative coins for The Royal Mint, said: “We are delighted to have created two unique sets which commemorate such a pivotal moment in our combined history. Chris Costello has beautifully retold the Mayflower story through numismatic art, while also highlighting important themes which continue to resonate with us in the U.K. and U.S. today.”
About the Designs
The British and American coin designs come together to tell the story of the departure and arrival of the Mayflower. The story begins on the obverse of the British coin depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the Monarchy. The reverse depicts a dynamic and exciting image of the Mayflower in the early stages of the voyage, guided by the North Star, carrying the hopes and dreams of the Pilgrims and their life in the New World. The story then continued on the obverse of the U.S. gold coin depicting a Wampanoag family watching from their world as the Mayflower arrives from foreign shores.
U.S. 24K Gold Coin Obverse
- Depicts a Wampanoag family from the border of the design as the Mayflower arrives
from foreign shores. A young boy steps on the border, representing the intersection of the Wampanoag people in their Patuxet homeland and the Mayflower passengers. Inscriptions are “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “PATUXET,” and “$10.”
U.S. 24K Gold Coin Reverse
- Depicts portraits of a Pilgrim man and woman, representing the beginnings of a transition from a monarchy to democracy. The dual portraits symbolize a democratic organization, with their resolute expressions focused on a self-determined future. A pair of mayflower blossoms flank the design. Inscriptions are “1620,” “PLYMOUTH,” “2020,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “AU 24K ¼ OZ.” and “UNITED STATES of AMERICA.”
U.K. 24k Gold Coin Obverse
- All U.K. currency features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, designed by Jody Clark.
U.K. 24k Gold Coin Reverse
- The coin depicts the Mayflower bursting out of the frame as it sails through the rough seas.
- This dramatic interpretation of the ship on its journey to the New World represents the determination of the passengers and crew to find a new way of life.
Silver Medal Obverse
- Features a Mayflower family bracing against the cold and windy weather, foreshadowing their coming hardships, while the ship is anchored in the harbor. A pair of mayflower blossoms flank the design. Inscriptions are “A CIVIL BODY POLITICK,” “1620-2020,” and “MAYFLOWER COMPACT.”
Silver Medal Reverse
- Depicts a Wampanoag man and woman employing a planting technique used to grow several crops that were staples for the Wampanoag people. This method helped keep the soil healthy, maintaining the resources for annual plantings and successful harvests. The inscription “SUSTAINERS OF LIFE” recalls not only this sustainable planting technique but also the critical skills the Wampanoag people afforded the Pilgrims by teaching them how to successfully plant and harvest the land. The additional inscription is “PEOPLE OF THE DAWN.”