What’s the Exchange Rate?

Yesterday, the Larks and Ravens visited The Royal Mint where UK money is made.

It left us with more questions than answers in our attempt to unravel value..

The “friendly entrance” to the Visitor Centre suggests someone’s keen to protect something valuable in here…

visitor centre

Then there’s a shop selling money. What is this £5 coin worth? … oh … £1980  if I buy it… but still only £5 if I spend it…

royal coin

However, please note that whilst the coins are legal tender, banks are not obliged to accept the coins” So, this is “legal tender” that banks (“I promise to pay the bearer” etc aren’t obliged to accept? Can I buy a pint at the pub with it? Would it taste different from a pint bought with a  normal £5?

Magpies being attracted to shiny objects is a myth but what about humans?  “The background surface or field areas of proof coins are highly-polished, shiny and mirror-like. In fact, when you stand back and look at a proof, you’ll see your reflection on its surface.”


Digital money might be more straightforward in value exchange terms- you can’t buy a debit card and £5 spent via a card is always £5….. well at least I think so…

But, at The Royal Mint, where making money is indeed making money, asking when coins might finally be phased out is greeted as a sacrilegious question…


About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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