AP

UK holds ceremony replete with tradition to consider coins

Feb 7, 2023, 10:03 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 8:04 am

A coin is assessed during the "Trial of the Pyx,'' a ceremony that dates to the 12th Century in whi...

A coin is assessed during the "Trial of the Pyx,'' a ceremony that dates to the 12th Century in which coins are weighed in order to make certain they are up to standard, at the Goldsmiths' Hall in London, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. A jury sat solemnly in a gilded hall in central London on Tuesday, presided over by a bewigged representative of the crown in flowing black robes, but there were no criminals in the dock. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

LONDON (AP) — A jury sat solemnly in a gilded hall in central London on Tuesday, presided over by a bewigged representative of the crown in flowing black robes, but there were no criminals in the dock.

Britain’s coinage was on trial.

In a ceremony that dates back to the 12th century, the jury filed into the livery hall of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths to begin the process of weighing and measuring hundreds of coins to ensure they meet stringent standards set by regulators.

The tradition — known as the Trial of the Pyx — amounts to a very old type of consumer protection designed to safeguard the nation’s coinage from counterfeiting or other forms of debasement.

“It’s still really important to make sure that the coins the Royal Mint produce are really uniform,” said Eleni Bride, the librarian for the Goldsmith’s Company. “They are produced to a very high specification. This is to make sure people have confidence in them so you can detect counterfeits easily.”

Like the many old ceremonies that the U.K. continues to observe, the annual assessment of coinage is replete with traditions that link modern Britain to its historic roots.

That starts with its name, which comes from the ancient Greek word “pyxis,” or small box, which was later used in Latin, too.

Coins are collected throughout the year and deposited in so-called Pyx boxes, from which jurors randomly select the coins to be tested.

The coins selected on Tuesday will be weighed, measured, examined for their design and tested for metallic composition over the next three months before the jury reconvenes to give its verdict on whether they meet regulatory standards.

Last year, the trial examined 7,968 coins before delivering a positive verdict to the nation’s Treasury chief, who also serves as master of the mint.

The king’s Remembrancer, created by King Henry II in 1154 and Britain’s oldest judicial post, presides over the trial in a curly, white wig and robes.

Tuesday’s ceremony marked the first time coins bearing the likeness of King Charles III were tested. A 15-kilogram (33-pound) gold coin produced to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee was also among some 10,000 coins submitted for testing.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

1 day ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

3 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

7 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

8 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

11 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

UK holds ceremony replete with tradition to consider coins