Video: the ancient Trial of the Pyx at Goldsmiths’ Hall

Trial-of-the-Pyx.-Royal-Mint
Trial-of-the-Pyx.-Royal-Mint

Watch footage of one of Britain’s longest-standing judicial processes, which ensures the quality of our silver and gold.

Trial-of-the-Pyx.-Royal-Mint
A coin produced to celebrate the christening of Prince George is inspected during the Trial of the Pyx 2014

The Trial of the Pyx is an annual examination of the coin of the realm and is a role that the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths – a guild that received Royal Charter in 1327 – has performed since 1248.

A pyx is traditionally a chest retained at the Royal Mint in which sample coins are stored pending testing (the word ‘pyx’ is derived from ‘pyxis’, latin for ‘box’). The trial has the status of a court of law and is overseen by the Queen’s Remembrancer – the oldest judicial post to survive since the Middle ages – who summons a jury, made up of all members of The Goldsmiths’ Company. Over 50,000 coins are brought to Goldsmiths’ Hall on Foster Lane in London each February, with a selection tested and the verdict delivered that spring.

Watch video from the Royal Mint explaining the ancient tradition.

For our full feature on The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths see the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of BRITAIN, on sale in the UK on 8 August, and in the US (Nov 2014 issue) on 12 September.

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