Silver and gold NI coins are released

Floral �1 coin
Floral �1 coin
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A Northern Irish-themed pound coin is being released in silver and gold editions, the Royal Mint has said.

Each year the mint creates different designs for the coin, and this year’s Northern Irish version includes the shamrock and flax plant; the latter being the source of linen fibre which powered the Province’s industry.

The coins will enter general circulation from the end of this year, and the precious metal ones were released to buy from the mint on Tuesday.

The other 2014 design is a motif celebrating the flora of Scotland,

In a statement, the mint said: “Since its introduction in 1983, the £1 coin has provided a platform on which to celebrate the four parts of the United Kingdom, with designs representing the Royal Arms, capital cities, bridges, and national emblems.

“Continuing the themed series that started in 2013 with the England and Wales floral £1 coins, the flora of Scotland and Northern Ireland are celebrated on the circulating and commemorative £1 coins of 2014.

“The release of the Northern Ireland £1 coins in precious metal completes the series”.

The statement quotes designer Timothy Noad saying: “In designing a series of coins representing each country of the UK, it is important that the motif on each coin is clearly recognisable and also keeps within the heraldic rules and conventions. I often find inspiration in medieval manuscripts, illumination and the work of William Morris, as well as the study of nature”.