Obverse. Photo © Royal Mint
  • 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Innovators in Science, Charles Babbage
  • 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Innovators in Science, Charles Babbage
  • 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Innovators in Science, Charles Babbage, Box with a certificate of authenticity
Description

A piedfort is an unusually thick coin, often exactly twice the normal weight and thickness of other coins of the same diameter and pattern. Piedforts are not normally circulated, and are only struck for presentation purposes by mint officials (such as patterns), or for collectors, dignitaries, and other VIPs.

Charles Babbage (1791–1871) was an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.

Babbage is considered by some to be "father of the computer". Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer, the Difference Engine, that eventually led to more complex electronic designs, though all the essential ideas of modern computers are to be found in Babbage's Analytical Engine. His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as "pre-eminent" among the many polymaths of his century.

The fourth coin in the Innovation in Science series celebrating the 150th anniversary of Babbage’s death.

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 the name ‘Babbage’ in lowercase, extending the ascenders and descenders on the letters ‘b’ and ‘g’ and using a geometric modernist typeface started to suggest the levers and cogs seen in the difference engines, accompanied by numbers representing the name Babbage in numerical code.

A difference engine is an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions. It was designed in the 1820s, and was first created by Charles Babbage. The name, the difference engine, is derived from the method of divided differences, a way to interpolate or tabulate functions by using a small set of polynomial co-efficients. Some of the most common mathematical functions used in engineering, science and navigation, were, and still are able to be computed with the use of the difference engine's capability of computing logarithmic and trigonometric functions, which can be approximated by polynomials, so a difference engine can compute many useful tables of numbers.

Engravers: Nigel Tudman and Jas Bhamra

charles
babbage
2 1 2 2 1 7 5
NT

Edge

50 Pence

5th portrait, Silver Proof Piedfort Coin
KM#
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.925
Weight 16 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness -
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

5th portrait, Stephen Hawking

Innovators in Science

Cupronickel, 8 g, ⌀ 27.3 mm
5th portrait, Silver Proof Coin, Stephen Hawking

Innovators in Science

Silver, 8 g, ⌀ 27.3 mm
5th portrait, Silver Proof Piedfort Coin, Stephen Hawking

Innovators in Science

Silver, 16 g, ⌀ 27.3 mm