Monday 16 December 2019

Royal Mint appoints first female boss in over 1,000 years

Anne Jessopp was named as the organisation’s new chief executive and deputy master.

Anne Jessopp has become the first female head of the Royal Mint (Ben Birchall/PA)
Anne Jessopp has become the first female head of the Royal Mint (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

The Royal Mint has appointed its first female chief executive in its 1,100 year history.

Anne Jessopp was on Friday named the organisation’s new chief executive and deputy master.

The Mint said she will spearhead work to provide Britain with “cutting-edge secure currency” and develop the commemorative coin and bullion arm of the business.

The Royal Mint produces up to 90 million coins every week and one of Ms Jessopp’s first jobs will be overseeing the introduction of the new 50p coin, which will mark the centenary celebrations of women’s suffrage.

Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury and Anne Jessopp are shown coins on the production line at the Royal Mint factory in Llantrisant (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ms Jessopp said: “I am delighted to be appointed to lead this unique and important British organisation.

“The Royal Mint has an impressive history of over 1,100 years and its longevity is due to its ability to adapt as society changes.

“This was never truer than today, as we reinterpret The Royal Mint for the 21st century, building on the values that have been at the heart of the organisation throughout our history – authenticity, security, precious metals, craftsmanship and design.”

Her first ceremonial role will be to lead the annual Trial of the Pyx, which was first held in 1282 to test the integrity of the nation’s coins, ensuring they are the proper weight and size, and contain the right amount of precious metals.

The Mint noted: “Remarkably, the history books reveal that if the coins fail the test, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is the ceremonial Master of the Mint, risks losing a hand as punishment.

“It should be made clear that in the trial’s long history, 94 Minters have had their right hands cut off by order of the King.

“However, this has not happened for hundreds of years.”

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