In Great Britain, both coin collectors and everyday tourists are getting an interactive experience unlike any other at one of the most prestigious state mints in the world.
Getting The Royal Mint Experience
This is an honor normally only extended to mint officials, dignitaries, or other select VIPs.
The U.K.'s Royal Mint has been running an exhibit entitled "The Royal Mint Experience" where visitors to the mint are allowed to strike their own Isaac Newton commemorative 50-pence coin.
It costs £5 to participate, and anyone from the public (whether they are a British citizen or a tourist) can take part.
Although the Newton 50p coin has been available since last year, the new 2018-date coins are only available through the strike-your-own method at the exhibit. This makes them potentially much more collectible due to a lower final mintage, in all likelihood.
These coins honor Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th-century English scientist and philosopher who is considered the father of modern physics.
Their design shows the overlapping elliptical orbits of the planets around the sun. Newton's mathematical discovery that planetary orbits must follow the path of an ellipsis rather than a circle was a major breakthrough in physics and astronomy.
Stirring Excitement and Numismatic Interest
The innovative and interactive "The Royal Mint Experience" exhibit is definitely drumming up interest among coin collectors.
This phenomenon was explored in a recent column by Richard Giedroyc for Numismatic News.
Some collectors who cannot make the trip to Wales to visit the Royal Mint are offering to cover another person's expenses in exchange for striking the coin on the collector's behalf.
It's a logical idea, and shows the lengths that some people are willing to go in order to get their hands on one of these 2018 coins.
A similar situation arose in the United States when the U.S. Mint introduced its commemorative Gold Kennedy Half Dollar in 2014. (The year marked the 50th anniversary of the original half dollar featuring a portrait of President John F. Kennedy in 1964.)
Dealers and coin collectors were paying a hefty premium to (in many cases) strangers to convince them to stand in line and buy the coins on the first day the Gold Kennedy Halves were released.
While the Newton coins may not reach quite this level of hype, it's safe to say that they offer an intriguing collecting opportunity and a uniquely hands-on experience.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.