Maundy Money are coins traditionally offered by the Monarch to be a gift to your poor at Royal Maundy. The ceremony, and that is associated with Christianity, is held on Maundy Thursday that’s the day before Good Friday. The Maundy set is made up of four coins, denominated one penny, two pence, three pence and four pence. The number of sets provided to each man and woman is equivalent towards the age with the Monarch in years.
Royal Maundy probably dates back towards the 13th Century. Maundy derives from mandatum which Jesus said meaning ‘that ye love one another’. It was the act of washing the feet with the poor and giving food and clothing towards the poor. The Royal Families from the middle ages copied the ceremony as being a way of showing humility.
By 1699 the Monarch opted to send out a representative instead of attend themselves, but not long after the act of washing feet was abandoned. By the nineteenth century the Royals belief that giving money was far easier than food and clothes and originally gave coins from the day but later gave specially made silver coins.
It hasn’t been until 1931 that King George V restarted the tradition that this Monarch attended in the flesh. Queen Elizabeth typically attends and contains only missed several ceremonies. The ceremony was traditionally in or near London (mainly Westminster Abbey) in recent years has moved round the country at various Cathedrals for instance Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, York Minster and Armagh.
The coins once was given to your poor however these days are provided to people nominated for his or her work completed in the local Church. So on (say) the Queen’s 90th birthday, she would give 90 sets to selected men and 90 sets to selected women. The coins will be issued within a leather purse; a white one has the Maundy coins, plus a red purse containing current coinage as a possible additional gift.
The Maundy Coins
The four coins are specially made: one penny, two pence, three pence and four pence. They are not exactly the same coins such as circulation and are also quite small (between 11.1 mm and 17.6 mm).
Since decimalisation these happen to be upgraded legally from penny to new penny. They are made out of Stirling silver (92.5% silver) and although specifically made due to this ceremony they may be still legal tender. The design is virtually unchanged from 1822.
The reverse, that is a crowned numeral inside an oak wreath, was developed by Jean Baptiste Merlen in 1822 and contains only been altered slightly since that time.
The obverse shows the head in the monarch understandably. However, when you look at the Queen Elizabeth obverse you can see that this portrait may be the original portrait used when she first issued coins; however the Queen has already established about five portraits the main (by Mary Gillick) remains used.
Even back Victorian days the recipients of Maundy money soon sold their sets for just a premium, especially round the time with the Jubilee when Americans prized the souvenir. The purses might also fetch a handsome amount.
Besides the sets given away by the Monarch, several sets are minted for official gifts as well as for collectors. These are issued in the case as opposed to a purse. Many were provided to Mint workers or another officials. Maundy sets may very well be ordered on the bank until 1908, when 9,929 were minted for the reason that year. Dealers scrambled for sets and sold them at high profit. This eventually got slightly out of hand and also the Mint reduced production heavily. In the past few years the mintage numbers are actually around 1600-1900 sets.