The ancient Trial of the Pyx ceremony takes place each February. We usually discuss the event after the fact, but here's a story about the lead-up to the annual event, the appointment the Assay Master. The Royal Mint's Head of Coin Design Paul Morgan will take over that role in 2024.
The King's Assay Master role is appointed to serve the reigning monarch and to ensure the integrity of the British coinage and has existed for hundreds of years. The Assay Master role tests the quality of the coins and precious metals, underpinned by traditional craftsmanship and innovation at The Royal Mint. The role also includes upholding the integrity of UK Hallmarking standards by auditing the four UK Hallmarking offices annually in accordance with the Hallmarking Act of 1973. As The Royal Mint continues its transformation as a business, the role is rooted in the heritage and tradition that provides the 1,100-year-old business' authenticity and ensures the quality the Mint is known for.
Head of Coin Design Paul Morgan will take on the role following a thirty-year career at The Royal Mint. The centuries-old role will also be supported by a Deputy Assay Master, with Technical Manager Daniel Thomas being appointed to this position.
Kings Assay Master role left to right Graeme Smith. Paul Morgan and Daniel Thomas
The upcoming Trial of the Pyx ceremony at Goldsmiths' Hall will mark Graeme's final duties before handing over the Assay Master responsibilities. The new coins featuring the effigy of King Charles and the 15-kilogram solid gold masterpiece for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will undergo testing at the Trial of the Pyx in February – one of the oldest judicial ceremonies in the world where, each year, a selection of the nation's coinage is tested in accordance with the Coinage Act of 1971.
Both Graeme and Paul will attend the 2023 Trial which is presided over by the King's Remembrancer in the country and assisted by an independent jury of members of the Goldsmiths' Company. From April 2023, Paul and Daniel will take on their new roles fully.
Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, Anne Jessopp, comments:
Everyone at The Royal Mint is grateful to Graeme Smith for his leadership and dedication to upholding the highest standards and trust in UK coins, as Assay Master to His Majesty The King and the Late Queen Elizabeth II.
The Royal Mint has a proud history of making coins for British monarchs and I am delighted that Paul Morgan will be bringing his vast experience to the role, ably supported by Daniel Thomas, who has accepted the role of Deputy Assay Master. With the transition of coinage to mark the new monarch underway, having two of our most passionate and dedicated people at the helm during this period places us in a strong position to continue to deliver financial integrity for the nation well into the future. As our business continues its transformation, both Paul and Daniel will ensure the quality and craftsmanship that we are known for is upheld
To read the complete article, see:
The Royal Mint appoints Paul Morgan as King's Assay Master role
Wayne Homren, Editor
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