UK's Royal Mint produces royal wedding coin

Thu Mar 3, 2011 1:06pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Mint has produced an official coin to commemorate next month's wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

The 5 pound ($8.14) coin -- which will cost collectors 9.99 pounds to purchase and features an image of the couple in profile -- has been approved by William, Queen Elizabeth and the government.

The Royal Mint said the coin, designed by Mark Richards, a Fellow at the Royal Society of British Sculptors, was due to become legal tender on March 16.

"Public interest in this great event is already huge, and building every day, so we are anticipating massive demand for these official commemorative coins," the Royal Mint said on its website.

Last December, the Royal Mint produced its first ever royal engagement coin to mark the couple's marriage announcement, but it was met with criticism and derision from royal watchers who said the depiction of Middleton bore little resemblance to her.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato)