The oldest surviving Trial Plate, now preserved in The Royal Mint museum, is of silver, dating from 1279.Trial Plates today are made from pure metals of platinum, gold, silver, copper, nickel and zinc.
Besides the annual Trial of the Pyx, rigorous quality tests are continually carried out during coin production to ensure that all coins produced at The Royal Mint conform to their correct specifications.
The Delivery of the Verdict, presided over by the Queen's Remembrancer, takes place three months later, after the Assay Office has verified the coins.
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Each year, the opening of the Trial is in February.
Officials from The Royal Mint bring chests (pyx) to Goldsmiths' Hall, containing coins put aside in the course of manufacture during the previous year.
Little has changed in the procedure since the reign of Edward I.
Throughout the year, coins are randomly selected from every batch of each denomination struck, sealed in bags containing 50 coins each, and locked away in the Pyx boxes for testing at the Trial.
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