One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern), Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern), Coin from United Kingdom
CoinOne Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern)

The £1 coin in base metal (as opposed to the gold sovereign, which has a nominal face value of one pound too), nickel-brass was introduced in 1983, as a replacement for the £1 banknote. A variety of designs were issued into circulation between 1983 and 2016; they were all demonetised in 2017 and replaced by the current 12-sided bimetallic one pound coin.

Various reverse designs represented first the United Kingdom as a whole, then in rotation Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, alternating each year in that order. The third series in this rotation was designed by Edwina Ellis and featured famous bridges in each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom as a tribute to British architecture and engineering achievement. The first coin in the series showed the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland - a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland and one of the major engineering achievements of the Victorian age; it was released in 2004 and was then followed by the Menai Bridge £1 2005 representing Wales, the Egyptian Arch Bridge £1 2006 representing Northern Ireland and the Millennium Bridge £1 2006 representing England.

Normally, the Royal Mint does not make its pattern coins available to the public. However, there have been a couple of cases when patterns were released. In this case, patterns in precious metals for the coins of the series were issued to collectors - all of them dated 2003 and having the word PATTERN instead of the value and denomination ONE POUND on the reverse. By long-standing tradition, they are also further distinguished from regular coins by having a plain edge; in this instance, they also have a hallmark on the edge, which was a first.

Coins of this type are not and never have been legal tender.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintageunknown
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Obverse
United Kingdom / One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern) - obverse photo

The obverse shows the crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (her effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.

In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).

Around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH · II · D · G REG · F · D · 2003. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith 2003.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH · II · D · G REG · F · D · 2003
Reverse
United Kingdom / One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern) - reverse photo

A representation of the Forth Railway Bridge inside a border of railway tracks. Around below, the inscription PATTERN. The designer's initials EE (for Edwina Ellis) are visible at one of the column bases of the bridge.

Reverse Inscription PATTERN
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionHallmark of the metal content
Notes

There are no "regular", base metal coins of the type. The existing coins are one of the types listed as varieties below: silver or gold. The coins were released in a set of four containing:

1. Forth Railway Bridge Pattern £1 2003
2. Menai Bridge Pattern £1 2003
3. Egyptian Arch Bridge Pattern £1 2003
4. Millennium Bridge Pattern £1 2003.

When the coins were initially released, Chards said about them: "We have never had an explanation from the Royal Mint as to why this set was issued as "patterns", and also why they are all dated 2003 when we expected them to be dated 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. We can only conjecture that they are not permitted to produce or release legal tender coins bearing a future date, and there may have been some complex legal reason why permission could not be obtained to release them as legal tender coins. Whatever the reasons, the coins bear the inscription "PATTERN" where they would normally say "ONE POUND". They also have a plain edge rather than a reeded and inscribed edge, and the coins are hallmarked on their edge, the first time this has been done on British coins, although we note this has also been done on the new 2004 pattern issue."

One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern): Known varieties
Variety Gold Proof FDC
Images United Kingdom / One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern) / Gold Proof FDC - obverse photo United Kingdom / One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern) / Gold Proof FDC - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Material0.917 Gold
Details

Issued in four-coin set, Spink PPS2, not listed in Krause. 19.61 grams 22-carat gold (AGW 0.5779 oz), 22.50 mm. Issue limited at 3,000 sets.

Variety Silver Proof FDC
Images United Kingdom / One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern) / Silver Proof FDC - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Material0.925 Silver
Details

Issued in four-coin set, Spink PPS1, not listed in Krause. 9.50 g sterling silver (0.2825 ASW), 22.50 mm. Issue limited at 7,500 sets.

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One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeOne Pound (Pattern)
Issued2003
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley
Face Value1 (x Pound)
Total Mintageunknown
Material
DesignerEdwina Ellis
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
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One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern): Photos
ImageDetails
2003 Bridges £1 Gold Proof Pattern Collection
Copyright: Chards
Notes: Gold Pattern - box.
Source
2003 Bridges £1 Gold Proof Pattern Collection
Copyright: Chards
Notes: Gold Pattern.
Source
2003 Bridges £1 Gold Proof Pattern Collection
Copyright: Chards
Notes: Gold Pattern.
Source
2003 Bridges £1 Silver Proof Pattern Collection
Copyright: Chards
Notes: Silver Pattern - box.
Source
2003 Bridges £1 Silver Proof Pattern Collection - Forth Railway Bridge
Copyright: Chards
Source
One Pound 2003 Forth Railway Bridge (Pattern): Catalogue Reference IDs