Celebrating 20 Years of Supersonic History: Remembering the Last Flight of Concorde

Today is a very significant day in aviation history! The iconic Concorde jet, renowned for its supersonic speed and luxury, bid its final farewell on October 24, 2003. This last commercial passenger flight G-BOAG took off from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, soaring through the skies at twice the speed of sound, and touching down at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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Simon Boddy, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons (no changes made)

On board were 100 passengers, including famous personalities and an adventurous Ohio couple who had secured two tickets on eBay for a staggering $60,300.

This final journey marked the end of an era, as the typical roundtrip trans-Atlantic fare, which cost around $9,000, was now history. Simultaneously, other Concorde flights embarked on their last voyages from Edinburgh and the Bay of Biscay, drawing large crowds of spectators.

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Arpingstone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Concorde’s Legacy

Concorde, a marvel of British and French joint innovation, took to the skies in January 1976 for its first commercial flight. It represented a significant leap in aviation technology and design, and its sleek, delta-winged design enabled it to complete the transatlantic journey between New York and London in a mere three and a half hours, cruising at an astonishing speed of 1,350 miles per hour. Concorde was more than just a means of travel, it was an emblem of speed and luxury, captivating the world’s imagination.

Challenges faced by Concorde

Despite its iconic status, Concorde was not without its challenges. Some individuals living under its flight path criticised the substantial noise it generated, disrupting their everyday lives. Tragically, a dark chapter in Concorde’s history unfolded on July 25, 2000, when an Air France jet crashed shortly after take-off from Paris. This catastrophic incident claimed the lives of all 109 people on board, as well as four others on the ground. Following the crash, all Concorde flights were suspended for over a year, with investigations, safety checks, and improvements taking place.

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SDASM Archives, No known restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

The final commercial flight of Concorde on October 24, 2003, marked the end of an era in aviation. This iconic jet, born from international collaboration, redefined the possibilities of air travel with its incredible speed and luxury. While Concorde had its share of challenges, including noise complaints and a tragic accident, it remains an iconic symbol of human ingenuity and ambition. Concorde’s legacy lives on, reminding us of the thrill of pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the skies.

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20th Anniversary of Concorde’s final commercial flight. Explore the range by clicking the image above or link below

To mark this significant day in aviation history and to celebrate the legacy of this legendary supersonic jet, we have curated a special range over the years for our collectors. Featuring Gold plated coins, Signed framed prints and Limited edition ingots, our Concorde Collectables range has something for everyone – See our Concorde Collectables range by clicking here.

The UK’s NEW Coinage

The coins that we use every day are changing.

From the 1p to the £2, eight new coins will soon be entering our pockets and our piggy banks.

So, as we welcome the new era of King Charles III, both the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ of our circulating coins will have brand new designs.

Read on to unveil The Royal Mint’s brand-new designs, learn about the history of Definitive coins and why this is the biggest change for British coins in 15 years…

The Coins of a New ‘Carolean’ Era

The coins, each designed by The Royal Mint, have been authorised by HM treasury and approved by King Charles III himself.

Over the past seven decades, our circulating coinage has undergone many changes, showcasing five different portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, and two distinct reverse designs.

And even though we have seen His Majesty’s effigy on the obverse of several commemorative issues, this will be the first time we’ll see his portrait on the coins we find in our everyday change.

All reverse designs share a unique feature, setting each denomination against a stylised logo with 3 interlocking ‘Cs’, representing King Charles III.

Before they gradually enter circulation, The Royal Mint have introduced the first strike of these coins in commemorative quality – with a special Privy Mark…

Inspired by Our Natural World

What’s more, each coin embodies King Charles III’s passion for nature & sustainability, presenting various symbols of Britain’s vast wildlife on the reverse designs. Having been a Patron of The Wildlife Trust since 1977, Charles’ affiliation for the natural world was a key inspiration for the designs of the UK’s new coinage.

The new £2 coin design represents the union of the United Kingdom with intermingling flowers from the four nations of the UK: the Rose, the Thistle, the Daffodil, and the Shamrock.

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For the £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 2p, and 1p, The Royal Mint have thoughtfully translated various wildlife creatures into innovative reverse designs.

For example, the £1 coin presents a pair of Bees, the 50p showcases a Salmon in water, the 20p a Puffin, the 10p a Scottish Capercaillie, 2p a Red Squirrel, and the 1p a sleeping Dormouse.

Finally, the 5p coin features a stunning combination of oak leaves and acorns – a perfect tribute to our natural world and England’s national tree.

The History of ‘Definitive’ Coinage

The eight different coin denominations which make up our everyday change (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2) began circulating in 1971. This followed Britain’s shift towards Decimalisation, a plan which had been in the making for over 10 years.

Multiple artists participated in a private design competition, and among them was Christopher Ironside, the chosen designer of the decimal coins. Ironside’s designs remained on the reverse of the definitive coins for 40 years, until Matt Dent proposed the idea of spreading the Shield of the Royal Arms over the definitive coins in 2005.

“This piecing together of the elements of the Royal Arms to form one design had a satisfying symbolism – that of unity, four countries of Britain under a single monarch.” – Matt Dent

A Special Touch for Collectors…

The best part is, you can now secure the commemorative editions of the UK’s new coinage.

And in addition to new designs on both faces, these coins also feature a distinctive ‘Privy Mark’ on the obverse, a unique and sought-after element.

Designed to distinguish these coins from the ones you’ll eventually find in circulation, the first commemorative strikes display a delicate crown positioned alongside the effigy of His Majesty.

From the official Brilliant Uncirculated pack, to the prestigious Proof Set, or the strictly limited DateStampTM, you can click here to view the range with prices starting from £33 (+p&p) and secure yours before it’s too late >

Queen Elizabeth II – In Memoriam

One year has now passed since the world mourned the loss of a remarkable monarch, a beloved leader and a symbol of strength and grace.

And our latest video has been dedicated to the memory of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Watch below.

Click here to view our In Memoriam range >>