London Mint

The Mint .—This structure, situated a little north-east of the Tower, is the establishment in which the coinage is in great part made, and wholly regulated.  The rooms, the machinery, and the processes for coining, are all full of interest.  The assaying of the gold and silver for coinage; the alloying and melting; the casting into ingots; the flattening, rolling, and laminating of the ingots to the proper thickness; the cutting into strips, and the strips into circular blanks; the stamping of those blanks on both surfaces; and the testing to ascertain that every coin is of the proper weight—are all processes in which very beautiful and perfect apparatus is needed.  Copper and bronze coins are mostly made for the government at Birmingham.  From a statement made in parliament, in August, 1869, by the Right Hon. Robert Lowe, we gathered that 98 millions of sovereigns  had been coined in the Mint since 1850.  But of these no fewer than 44 millions had been lost to our coinage, because many of the sovereigns, being overweight, had been sent to the Continent to be melted down as bullion!  There are nearly 500 millions of copper coin in circulation; and of silver coin, from crown pieces down to threepenny pieces, something like the astounding number of 286,220,000.  Permission to view this interesting establishment could at one time only be obtained by special application to the Master of the Mint, who has an official residence at the spot; but since the death of the late Master, Dr. Graham, that office will not in future be filled up.  A letter to the Deputy Master will probably obtain the required order to view.  We should add that the removal of the Mint to Somerset House is now seriously contemplated.  It is urged that the price of its present site, if sold, would readily defray cost of removal.