• 50 Pence 2020, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Dinosauria Collection, Iguanodon
  • 50 Pence 2020, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Dinosauria Collection, Iguanodon
Description

The Natural History Museum has partnered with The Royal Mint to create The Dinosauria Collection, a series of coins that celebrate Britain’s contribution to the discovery of dinosaurs. The first time a dinosaur has featured on an official UK coin, the collection features Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus.

Along with specimens of Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus, the fossilised remains of Megalosaurus led anatomist Richard Owen to conclude that all three belonged to a distinct group of reptiles, coining the term ‘Dinosauria’ in 1842 to describe this new taxonomic group. His discovery fuelled public imagination and ‘dinomania’ shows no signs of abating today.

Featuring a design by palaeo-artist Robert Nicholls who specialises in producing anatomically accurate reconstructions of natural history specimens, this 50p coin was designed with the expert guidance of the Earth Sciences Department of the Natural History Museum. Available as a gold and silver Proof, colour-printed silver Proof, colour-printed Brilliant Uncirculated exclusive to The Royal Mint and standard Brilliant Uncirculated edition, it’s a fitting tribute to a landmark British discovery.

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·2020
J.C

Reverse

Depicts a Iguanodon, between Mesozoic plants. Below a fossilised dinosaur thumb spike. The designer's initials RN (for Robert Nicholls) are above the exergue line, to the right of the thumb spike.

Iguanodon (meaning "iguana-tooth"), named in 1825, is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that existed roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids of the mid-Jurassic and the duck-billed dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous. Iguanodon were large, bulky herbivores. Distinctive features include large thumb spikes, combined with long prehensile fifth fingers able to forage for food. In early restorations, the spike was placed on the animal's nose. Later fossils revealed the true nature of the thumb spikes, although their exact function is still debated.

The genus was named in 1825 by English geologist Gideon Mantell but discovered by William Harding Bensted, based on fossil specimens found in England and was given the species name I. anglicus. Iguanodon was the second type of dinosaur formally named based on fossil specimens, after Megalosaurus.

As one of the first scientifically well-known dinosaurs, Iguanodon has occupied a small but notable place in the public's perception of dinosaurs, its artistic representation changing significantly in response to new interpretations of its remains.

IGUANODON
RN
MANTELL 1825

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.916
Weight 15.5 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness -
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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