The Royal Mint has launched a commemorative 50-pence coin celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride in London, the annual LGBTQ+ festival held in England.
The coin marks the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been celebrated on official U.K. coinage, developed in collaboration with Pride in London. Five million coins will also enter general circulation later this year.
The 50-pence design, revealed last month, features Pride in London’s values of “Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality” in rainbows on the reverse. With state-of-the-art colour printing technology, the iconic colours of the Pride progression flag are recreated with special-edition colour versions of the silver and brilliant uncirculated coins.
Following an LGBTQ+ art exhibition hosted by Pride, the Royal Mint invited participating artists to submit entries in a competition to create a reverse design for a coin celebrating the festival’s 50th anniversary. The winning submission selected by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee was the work of Dominique Holmes, an east London artist, writer, and LGBTQ+ activist with a varied artistic background that includes tattoo artistry.
“Working to the scale of a 50 pence piece was interesting for me as I’m used to working on a larger scale,” said Holmes. “The main challenge was ensuring that the important messages of protest and visibility could be clearly understood on the coin. I had to keep a 50p next to me at all times as I worked to keep my sketches in check.
“Seeing the design and the message of Protest and Pride on the coin itself was quite moving. Growing up in the 80s and 90s in the UK, I never saw this sort of positive LGBTQ+ representation, and I feel very proud to have worked on something that celebrates and commemorates such a historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community and the Pride movement so publicly.
“This is a significant milestone in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Pride means so much to me and to so many people across the UK and beyond, and it’s important that we take time to celebrate the progress made over the last 50 years, whilst continuing the important work for our community.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Dominique on the ’50th Anniversary of Pride’ coin,” said Nicola Howell, the mint’s chief commercial officer. “Their design is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Pride U.K., and we know how excited collectors will be to find one in their change. We are always looking to work with talented British artists from a range of backgrounds who are passionate about bringing their own diverse experiences to life on an official U.K. coin.”
|Coin||50 Years of Pride Gold Proof Piedfort Coin||50 Years of Pride 50p Gold Proof Coin||50 Years of Pride 50p Silver Piedfort Proof Coloured Coin||50 Years of Pride 50p Silver Proof Coloured Coin||50 Years of Pride 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coloured Coin||50 Years of Pride 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin|
|Alloy||916.7 gold||916.7 gold||925 gold||925 gold||Cupro-nickel||Cupro-nickel|
|Obverse Designer||Jody Clark||Jody Clark||Jody Clark||Jody Clark||Jody Clark||Jody Clark|
|Reverse Designer||Dominique Holmes||Dominique Holmes||Dominique Holmes||Dominique Holmes||Dominique Holmes||Dominique Holmes|
|Quality||Proof||Proof||Proof||Proof||Brilliant Uncirculated||Brilliant Uncirculated|
|Additional Features||N/A||N/A||Colour Printing||Colour Printing||Colour Printing||N/A|
|Limited Edition Presentation||50||200||1,500||4,000||Unlimited||Unlimited|