From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece

In support of The Royal British Legion

‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’

Churchill 20 August 1940

Eighty years ago, from 10 July – 31 October 1940, Britain was forced to defend its shores against the onslaught of the German Luftwaffe that had already stormed across Western Europe. This battle was mainly fought in the skies and came to be known as the famous ‘Battle of Britain’ following the speech given by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 18th June.


Although the RAF were vastly outnumbered by the German Luftwaffe during this decisive battle, it was a combination of tactics, technology and training that ensured victory over the Nazi regime. Through this conflict, a British icon was born which became the symbol of British defiance in the air, the Spitfire.

Spitfire PM631 1024x573 - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
The iconic Spitfire in flight

Now, a piece of metal from that legendary plane has been used to create the latest numismatic masterpiece: The 24-Carat Gold-Plated Silver 5oz Poppy Coin.

2020 RBL Masterpiece Poppy obverse reverse 10p comparison - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
The 24-Carat Gold-Plated Silver 5oz Poppy Coin

Creating a Masterpiece

Extremely limited, the Masterpiece Poppy Coin is a regular sell-out and this year’s is set to be extra-special. Limited to just 300 the story of its creation is fascinating.

It has been struck in sterling silver with a stunning 24 carat gold-plated matte finish, achieved using a minting technique called sandblasting. This particular finish allows you to touch the coin and hold a genuine, iconic piece of history in the palm of your hands.

2020 RBL Master Piece Poppy reverse flat - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
The stylised Poppy has been crafted from metal from a Spitfire

But the most fascinating part is that in the centre of the engraved poppies featured on the reverse of the coin is a 3-dimensional, stylised Poppy, crafted purely from metal that has been taken directly from a legendary Spitfire plane. The poppy has also been laser engraved with the official serial number of the plane from which the metal was taken – PM631.

A Word from Chris Bennet, TMB Art Metal

Chris Bennet, from TMB Art Metal specialises in using provenance material in the fabrication of products and was responsible for procuring the Spitfire and the creation of the Poppy for the Masterpiece.

  • Lasar Engrave - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
  • Molten Metal - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
  • Poppy tree - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece
  • Red enamel - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece

We were lucky enough to speak to him and he gave us a little more detail.

TMB Art Metal [is pleased to be involved] in the creation of a special edition of Masterpiece Poppy Coins incorporating metal from Spitfire PRXIX PM631, which first flew in 1945. The ‘PR’ refers to Photo Reconnaissance as, equipped with a 37 litre Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, the successor to the famous Merlin, PM631 was built for high altitude photography. Unlike many of the thousands of Spitfires built throughout WWII, PM631 was fortunate to escape the cutters torch and is now preserved and operated by the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby.

The Poppies themselves are cast using metal from PM631’s original Duralumin wing main spar, which was removed and replaced circa 2005 during restoration procedures to enable this rare aerial icon to remain flying. The spar was acquired by TMB directly from the BBMF. The poppies were cast and meticulously finished in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

In support of The Royal British Legion

Now the Masterpiece Poppy Coin is certainly the pinnacle of craftsmanship, but perhaps more importantly, it’s issued in support of The Royal British Legion. That means for every coin sold a donation of £59.50 will be made.


An invitation…

I would now like to invite you to be one of just 300 people to own the 2020 Masterpiece Silver 5oz Poppy Coin.

2020 RBL Master Piece Poppy reverse lifestyle 3 - From a Defence Icon to a Numismatic Masterpiece

I have secured a small number so can only extend this invitation to a limited number of clients. Make sure you secure yours before they inevitably sell-out >>


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.