Description

The British decimal fifty pence (50p) coin – often pronounced fifty pee – is a unit of currency equaling one half of a pound sterling. Over the years, the coin has celebrated every aspect of British culture, including the stories behind the people and institutions that put the great into Great Britain. As the nation’s most collectable coin reaches a milestone moment, 50 years in circulation, The Royal Mint presented a special commemorative set to mark this momentous occasion.

These carefully curated coins showcase some of the signature designs that have graced the 50p during the last half century. Designs celebrating the first sub-four-minute mile, the Scouting movement, the Girl Guides and Kew Gardens join Christopher Ironside’s original seated Britannia.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewellery has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Jody Clark

·ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·50 PENCE·2019
J.C

Reverse

The legs of a running athlete with a stylised stopwatch in the background and the value 50 PENCE below.

Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister (1929-2018) is an English former middle-distance athlete, physician and academic, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile.

In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres and finished fourth. This strengthened his resolve to be the first 4-minute miler. He achieved this feat on 6 May 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford, with Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher providing the pacing. When the announcer, Norris McWhirter, declared "The time was three...", the cheers of the crowd drowned out Bannister's exact time, which was 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Bannister's record lasted just 46 days. He had reached this record with minimal training, while practising as a junior doctor.
Bannister went on to become a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. When asked whether the 4-minute mile was his proudest achievement, he said he felt prouder of his contribution to academic medicine through research into the responses of the nervous system.

Engraver: James Butler

50
JB
PENCE

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness -
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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