It is not easy to design something meaningful which is less than a couple of cm across, but those who work on our coinage do just that. A new set of pounds coins, based on the flowers and plants of the four countries of the UK, have been released last year and this. On the right are the rose and an oak spray of leaves and an acorn for England.
The set of four were designed by Tim Noad, a gifted artist and the best heraldic artist at the College of Arms in London for many years. His precise attention to detail is quite astonishing, yet he can capture the characteristics of flowers and plants in a few simple strokes. On the right are the thistle and bluebell for Scotland.
And here are the shamrock and flax for Ireland, showing just how his training in the stylised designs in heraldry show through in strong pattern and fine detail, but with no superfluous strokes.
And lastly, the designs for Wales – a daffodil and leek.
With the announcement in the 2014 Budget that the pound coins are going to be replaced by 12-sided coins in 2017, let’s hope that Tim is one of the designers.