09 June 2022
The Royal Mint has launched a commemorative 50p celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride UK and has revealed that five million copies of the coin will be entered into circulation later in 2022, 'making the landmark design accessible to all.'
The coin marks the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been celebrated on official UK coinage, developed in collaboration with Pride in London.
The 50p design features Pride in London’s values of Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality in rainbows on the reverse (tails) of the coin. 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 UK, The Royal Mint invited participating artists to submit entries in a competition to create a reverse design for a coin celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride UK.
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.
Speaking about their design, Dominique Holmes said:
“Working to the scale of a 50 pence piece was interesting for me as I’m used to working on a larger scale. 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 an 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."
The 50p will be available to purchase via The Royal Mint website and includes gold, silver, and brilliant uncirculated versions.
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