COINS commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are set to go into circulation in Stratford this weekend.
The three £2 Royal Mint coins, which were designed by sculptor John Bergdahl with help from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT), will be available in tills at the Shakespeare’s Birthplace gift shop on Henley Street from today – before the rest of the country.
The Royal Mint will also be in residence at the gift shop today and tomorrow with visitors having the chance to buy a series of special edition Shakespeare silver and gold proof commemorative coins and collectors items for the anniversary.
Sue Croxford, SBT’s head of retail, said: “We are delighted to join forces with the Royal Mint and be one of the first locations to have the new £2 Shakespeare coins in our tills before anyone else.
“As this is such an iconic design in honour of the world’s greatest playwright in this anniversary year, I’m sure the coins will be staying in the lucky receiver’s pocket for a very long time, rather than being spent.”
The three coin designs showcase the three main genres of the Bard’s plays – tragedies, histories and comedies.
His tragedies are depicted by a thorny rose next to a skull, while the histories are represented on a coin with a crown and sword, and a jester’s outfit carved on to the front of the coin represents the comedies.
The coins feature a different quote inscribed around the edge and have Shakespeare’s name stamped on the front.