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2024 Annual Sets | First set to include King Charles III Definitive Coins
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2024 ANNUAL SETS
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A City in Miniature

A City in Miniature

Our City Views coin dedicated to Rome features a reverse design based on a nineteenth-century piece by the French artist Jacques Alphonse Testard (b.1810) who captured the city’s sprawl from atop Janiculum Hill. Known as Rome’s eighth hill, this peaceful spot offers a spectacular panorama of the historical buildings and monuments that form this iconic skyline. A popular postcard scene, the hill has inspired many famous artists to paint the view from this vantage point, including Joseph Turner.

A City in Miniature

The main dome of St Peter’s Basilica, taken from a section of Testard’s sketch, dominates the reverse of the coin. Built on the tomb of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, the basilica is one of the most renowned examples of Renaissance architecture and features artistic treasures such as Michelango’s Pietà. This intensely holy place is a major pilgrimage site, with the Vatican grottoes below the basilica holding the remains of numerous popes and saints. Adjoining the basilica is St Peter’s Square, which can hold more than 300,000 people, and is one of the most famous and beautiful squares in the world. Drawing huge crowds, the Pope regularly leads liturgies in both the basilica and the square.

The task of recreating this cityscape in miniature fell to The Royal Mint’s Product Design team. Capturing so much tiny detail on a coin presented a huge challenge, as Product Designer Dan Thorne explains:

“The most important thing for me while modelling such an intricate design was to capture as much detail as possible. The challenge here was to create a relief that preserved as much of the charm of the original engraving while still being readable on a much smaller scale. This prompted us to pursue new ways of thinking, creating methods and techniques that have not been used before.”

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