London Trial of the Pyx

Where: London at Goldsmith's Hall in Gutter Lane
When: February or March



The Pyx is a container for coins and the Trial is a ceremony which checks that the coinage is of suitable quality and weight. Sample coins are put in the pyx through the year from the Royal Mint and each February or March the Freemen of the Goldsmiths Company choose a convenient date upon which to inspect them. It’s been a regular event since the days of King Henry III in the thirteenth century, and was held originally at Westminster Hall,only moving permanently to Goldsmiths Hall in 1870. The sample coins are counted and weighed, then sent for testing to check their composition : after a period of about eight weeks the jury meet again for the Verdict and the company retire for their Pyx Luncheon.

Helpful Hints

The Trial and Luncheon are both private events so don’t try to attend. The inclusion of the custom on this site is to ensure that readers are aware of the nature of the event rather than to encourage a visit (and also just to give a brief account of what happens as this is a custom with an ancient pedigree which may be of interest even if we can’t get in!).

Photo by Johnwobert.

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