The U.K.-based Royal Mint has unveiled the design of a collectible 50-pence coin celebrating 100 years of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
It marks the mint’s first issue since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and bears her effigy on the obverse. The 1,100-year-old company last month unveiled the official U.K. effigy of King Charles III; however, the “100 Years of Our BBC” coin features the late queen’s existing effigy as the mint has decided to forgo restriking coins to minimize waste and unnecessary environmental impact.
“Like the Royal Mint, the BBC is an original British maker who has put innovation at the forefront of its evolution,” said Rebecca Morgan, the mint’s collector services director. “Coins are miniature pieces of art which tell the stories of our nation, and we are delighted to be working with Britain’s leading national broadcaster to create a special ’50p’ in recognition of their 100 years.”
Since its inception in Britain in 1922, the BBC has reached audiences all over the world with its original public service mission to inform, educate and entertain. The new coin, designed by artist Henry Gray, honours the BBC’s global reach with a depiction of the earth at the heart of the design. In recognition of its long-standing remit and 100-year milestone celebration, the inscriptions “INFORM, EDUCATE, ENTERTAIN,” “100 YEARS OF OUR BBC” and “1922-2022” emanate from a broadcasting mast emerging from the earth, slightly tilted on its axis.
“An ever-present British institution for most people’s lives, the BBC has had a marked influence on our culture and broadcast some of the most extraordinary moments in British history,” said Morgan. “On the reverse side, the commemorative design honours BBC’s worldwide influence with a depiction of the earth which has been frosted combining traditional craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology to create contrasting textures.”
With the obverse’s depiction of the late queen, who died in early September, “we do anticipate a high demand for these coins from collectors,” Morgan added.
In celebration of the launch, the coin was photographed alongside the AXBT microphone featured in the collection of “100 Objects that made the BBC” at the Broadcasting House in London, England.
The coin’s design “perfectly captures the BBC’s huge reach and impact over 100 years as the world’s leading public service broadcaster,” said BBC Director-General Tim Davie.