Historic Trial of the Pyx Coins Presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on Behalf of The Royal Mint

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / December 27, 2023

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is honored to once again partner with The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom for an auction sale of historic British numismatics. Presented in February 2024 will be a special auction of coins that have been tested and evaluated as part of the annual Trial of the Pyx, an ancient and rigorous evaluation ceremony with origins that stretch back over seven centuries. This is the first time such a diverse and robust offering of these Trial of the Pyx test coins will be presented in a public auction, and it is sure to draw attention from collectors and investors around the world.

The Trial of the Pyx is conducted annually by The Royal Mint to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the nation’s coinage. Dating to 1282, it is one of the oldest judicial ceremonies in England. During the trial, a selected panel of expert assayers from the Goldsmiths’ Company, an independent organization, examines a sample of coins produced by The Royal Mint the previous year. The coins are tested for weight, diameter, composition, and design, verifying their compliance with legal standards set by the Coinage Act. The findings are reported to the Royal Remembrancer, who presides over the trial on behalf of the Crown. The trial concludes with an announcement of the verdict, confirming the quality and accuracy of the coinage.

Learn more about the time-honored tradition of the Trial of the Pyx with our seven minute mini-documentary. This exclusive feature offers an unparalleled glimpse behind the scenes of this historic event. Through captivating interviews with key figures and rare footage, we explore the intricate details of this meticulous process that is a cornerstone of monetary integrity and heritage.

This special auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries will feature an impressive selection of gold, silver, and platinum coins tested in the 2023 Trial of the Pyx. Comprising a wide range of categories, they include numismatic classics such as the Sovereign and Britannia series, as well as celebrations of modern pop-culture icons including James Bond, Harry Potter, and The Rolling Stones. This selection is particularly noteworthy for spanning the numismatic legacies of two monarchs – Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III – as well as many coins struck to celebrate Her Late Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Highlights in this offering include examples of the Gold 5 Ounce 2022 Britannia Proof coin, the Gold 5 Ounce 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gold Proof coin, the Platinum £5 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Proof Piedfort coin, the Gold 2 Ounce 2022 Rolling Stones Proof coin and the 2022 Harry Potter Proof coins.

“This auction event will certainly have global appeal on multiple fronts,” stated Stack’s Bowers Galleries President Brian Kendrella. “The subject matter featured on the coins runs the gamut from pop culture to the British Monarchy to actual British coinage, and we expect the prices realized will include some very affordable collector’s items alongside extremely valuable rarities. Our entire team is excited about bringing this historically important offering to market.”  

The auction will feature both individual items and multi-coin lots, offering collectors a variety of options to purchase these exciting test pieces. The coins will be encapsulated by leading grading service Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) and will feature custom labels recognizing their historic significance. Every coin also bears distinct evaluation marks associated with the Trial of the Pyx, making each a truly unique treasure.

Lucy Mackenzie, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Stacks Bowers Galleries with this next auction of Trial of the Pyx coins. The Trial of the Pyx is one of the United Kingdom’s longest-established judicial ceremonies, ensuring the quality and accuracy of our coinage since 1282. The coins included in this auction are those tested in the 2023 Trial of the Pyx, and provide an opportunity for collectors to secure a unique piece of its history.”     

This offering represents a union of America’s most prestigious and accomplished numismatic auctioneer with the United Kingdom’s oldest continually operating company and the second oldest mint in the world. The Royal Mint was founded over 1,100 years ago, responsible for the coinage of England and, thereafter, the United Kingdom, and has since grown to become the world’s leading export mint, respected for the exceptional quality of their collectible and bullion coinage. Stack’s Bowers Galleries was founded in New York City in 1933 and has built a reputation as America’s leading auctioneer of rare coins over the past century, handling some of the greatest rarities and most valuable collections ever sold. Together, these historic firms are delighted to present these test pieces from the 2023 Trial of the Pyx to collectors.

This joint-effort between Stack’s Bowers Galleries and The Royal Mint comes on the heels of a similar partnership between the two organizations in August 2023, where a special auction sale of Royal Succession Sovereign and Britannia coins realized more than $5.1 million in total prices, including a Gold 1 Ounce 2023 Britannia that sold for $50,000.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is honored to have been selected by The Royal Mint to auction these special Trial of the Pyx test coins and is excited to present them to the collecting community in February 2024. For more information about these historic Trial of the Pyx coins or to register for bidding in the auction, please contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries at Info@StacksBowers.com or 800-566-2580.

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s nearly 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. 

The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with galleries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris and Vancouver. Stack’s Bowers Galleries hosts an annual Global Showcase in August featuring United States coins and currency, Ancient coins and World coins and currency in its Costa Mesa auction gallery. They are also the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, the Spring and Fall Hong Kong shows, and the Maastricht Paper Money Shows.

About The Royal Mint

With a history spanning more than 1,100 years, The Royal Mint is Britain’s oldest companies and the original maker of UK coins.  Today The Royal Mint is a premium British maker, providing carefully crafted coins and precious metal products for the UK and overseas.  Based in Llantrisant, South Wales it has three main focuses as a business: Currency, Consumer (collectable and rare, historic coins) and precious metals investment.

Collecting with The Royal Mint:

Every coin tells a story, from a rare gold Sovereign to a Peter Rabbit™ 50p coin. The Royal Mint aims to inspire collectors young and old and nurture a love of collecting through unique designs and popular themes. As the maker of UK coinage, we have unparalleled knowledge about coins, from the historic coins of our past, through to the collectable commemorative coins of today. Sourcing and authenticating pre decimal coins is a natural fit for The Royal Mint as we struck each one.

Investing with The Royal Mint:

As a world authority on precious metals, The Royal Mint has traded and made products in gold and silver for centuries. Since launching its designated precious metals investment arm six years ago, The Royal Mint has grown rapidly to become the home of gold in the UK – increasing its market share and becoming the largest producer of bullion coins in Britain. As well as offering physical precious metal investment options in the form of bars and coins, The Royal Mint also offers a range of digital investment options including DigiGold, Little Treasures, designed for children, and Gold for Pensions

Celebrating with The Royal Mint:

For over a thousand years The Royal Mint has marked the moments that changed the world on coins – from coronations to conflict, from commemorations to celebrations. The designs are captured on commemorative coins, minted in a range of metals.  Commemorative coins do not always enter circulation but give collectors the chance to purchase coins to keep and cherish.  Recent themes have included David Bowie, Winnie the Pooh, Decimalisation and Team GB. Each commemorative coin is carefully struck up to three times in order to create a superbly detailed finish, and ensuring each one meets the standards The Royal Mint is famous for. 

The Royal Mint Experience

The Royal Mint opened its popular visitor centre, The Royal Mint Experience, at its home in Llantrisant, South Wales in 2016. Since opening the award-winning attraction has welcomed around 400,000 visitors through its doors and is the place to explore the 1,100-year history of coins.


The Royal Mint retains copyright ownership © of all images. These may only be used for editorial purposes and cannot be sold or used for other marketing purposes without the permission of The Royal Mint.

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