• 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Dinosauria Collection, Plesiosaurus
  • 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Dinosauria Collection, Plesiosaurus
Description

The Royal Mint, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, has launched a commemorative coin collection celebrating fossil hunter and pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning (1799–1847).

This is the second coin collection that features prehistoric creatures and is entitled “Tales of the Earth.” 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 one of Britain’s greatest fossil hunters, Mary Anning (1799–1847) who became known around the world for finds she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis in the county of Dorset in Southwest England. Anning's findings contributed to changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth. Her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton; the first two nearly complete plesiosaur skeletons; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and fish fossils.

After her death in 1847, Anning's unusual life story attracted increasing interest. Charles Dickens wrote an article about Anning's life in February 1865 in his literary magazine All the Year Round. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

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·2021
J.C

Reverse

Depicts a Plesiosaurus and its paddle between Mesozoic plants. The designer's initials RN (for Robert Nicholls) on the right.

Plesiosaurus (Greek: πλησίος (plesios), near to + σαῦρος (sauros), lizard) is a genus of extinct, large marine sauropterygian reptile that lived during the early part of the Jurassic Period, and is known by nearly complete skeletons from the Lias of England. It is distinguishable by its small head, long and slender neck, broad turtle-like body, a short tail, and two pairs of large, elongated paddles.

The first complete skeleton of Plesiosaurus was discovered by Mary Anning in Sinemurian (Early Jurassic)-age rocks of the lower Lias Group in December 1823. Additional fossils of Plesiosaurus were found in rocks of the Lias Group of Dorset for many years.

PLESIOSAURUS
RN
MARY ANNING 1823

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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