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

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

16 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

17 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

UK holds ceremony replete with tradition to consider coins