This 1986 Northern Ireland Flax Plant silver proof one pound coin is the third in a four coin series featuring the national emblems of the countries of Great Britain. Designed by silversmith, Leslie Durbin, CBE, this proof coin is struck in 0.925 sterling silver. This coin comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.
On 28 March 2017, the circulated round pound was replaced by the 12 sided £1 coin. On the 15 October the round £1 coin ceased to be legal tender.
The eminent silversmith, Leslie Durbin, whose commissions include the special hallmark for Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee, prepared four designs to appear on the reverse of the one pound coin from 1984 to 1987. The designs represent the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. He has chosen to unify the series by showing each of the floral emblems encircled by the Royal Diadem, the crown worn by Her Majesty to and from the State Opening of Parliament.
The edge is not only milled but also inscribed. The inscription in Latin reads:
"DECUS ET TUTAMEN"
This may be translated as "an ornament and a safeguard". This inscription dates back to the first machine-struck coins minted in 1662 and was a device to prevent "clipping", and was used on the first pound coin in 1983.
On the milled edge of the coin is the Llantrisant mint mark - a cross crosslet. This is the first United Kingdom coin to be struck with this distinctive feature. The shape of the cross alluding to Llantrisant, which translated from the Welsh means "Church or Parish of the Three Saints".
Northern Ireland is renowned for its scenic beauty and its lush green pastures. Yet its most intriguing feature is perhaps to be found in the rugged columns off the coast of County Antrim - The Giant's Causeway.
Irish Folklore holds that the structure was laid down by the giant epic warrior, Finn McCool. Having invited the Scottish colossus, Benandonner to fight him, Finn McCool generously provided stepping stones to spare Benandonner from getting his feet wet before the contest. The truth behind the Causeway is barely less spectacular. About 50 million years ago, Antrim was at the heart of a great volcanic region. When the plates of the earth's crust moved apart to form what is now the Atlantic Ocean, sheets of molten lava were forced upwards through the opening fissures. As the lava cooled, like the mud of a dry river bed, shrinkage cracks occurred. These extended downwards to form the hexagonal columns evident today.
The obverse bears the new, third portrait of The Queen introduced in 1985. The same Diadem also appears on the obverse as part of the new portrait of The Queen. This portrait, modelled by Raphael Maklouf, appeared on United Kingdom coinage for the first time in 1985.
A flax plant, encircled by the Royal Diadem, appears on the reverse of the 1986 one pound coin representing Northern Ireland. The design is the work of distinguished silversmith Leslie Durbin.
Flax is the oldest textile known to man. Evidence of flax in different stages of working was unearthed during excavations of Bronze Age settlements dating from 8000 B.C. One of its uses at this time was for the making of fishing nets.
It is thought that the use of linen in Northern Ireland may have been introduced by Phoenician traders around 370 B.C. The development of Irish linen as a domestic industry may later have been encouraged by the monks of Northern Ireland, and there is a clear reference to the linen trade in A.D. 1273, when it was reported to be flourishing. Today, Northern Ireland remains one of the main linen manufacturing areas of the world.
The flax fibres run the full length within the plant, and therefore the flax is pulled, not cut, at harvesting. It is therefore appropriate that Leslie Durbin has chosen to show the plant with its roots.
|Version||Diameter (mm)||Weight (grams)||Metal||Alloy||Actual Metal Weight (troy ounces)||Issue Limit|
|Uncirculated in Folder||22.50||9.50||Nickel-brass||19,908|
|Silver Proof||22.50||9.50||Silver||0.925 Silver||0.2825||37,598|
|Piedfort Silver Proof||22.50||19||Silver||0.925 Silver||0.5650||15,000|
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