17 Oct New 50p coin celebrating diversity in Britain enters circulation next week | UK News
Around two-and-a-half million coins celebrating the contributions ethnic minority communities have made to the UK will enter circulation on Monday.
The coins will feature the words “Diversity built Britain”, along with a geodome representing connection and strength.
The Treasury says that the new coins show the intent of the Royal Mint and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to feature a wider range of people on coins and notes in the future.
Dominique Evans previously designed coins marking VE Day and the sapphire anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, and came up with the new 50p using her experiences of growing up as a mixed-race woman as inspiration.
She said: “When designing this coin, I began by thinking about the people who inspire me and what diversity has meant in my life. I believe that no matter where you are born, we all belong under the same sky and this was the starting point of the design.
“The background of the coin features a geodome with a series of interconnecting lines and triangles that form a network. Each part is equal, and symbolises a community of connection and strength.”
The coin was commissioned by Mr Sunak after discussions with the We Too Built Britain campaign, which supports fair representation of the contributions of ethnic minority communities.
He said: “I have seen first-hand the contribution made by ethnic minority communities to Britain’s history.
“This coin, and the rest of the series, will act as a fitting tribute to the very profound impact ethnic minority communities have made on Britain, and I am grateful to the Royal Mint for turning this around at record speed.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Ms Evans, saying: “Her design is the first in a series of coins the Mint will be producing, celebrating those who have helped shape our national history and culture.”
The government plans to consult with We Too Built Britain and other groups representing ethnic minority communities on the themes of future coins in the series.
The Royal Mint and the West India Committee will also be sending education packs to primary schools in England and Wales following the release of the coins.
Zehra Zaidi, a campaigner who recently attended a roundtable event held by Mr Sunak, said: “Ethnic minority people, as well as all under-represented groups, need to see themselves represented in British institutions.
“It is a part of an invisible social contract and it can build cohesion, promote a sense of belonging, inspire young people and unite us as a nation, showing that we all have an equal stake in society.
“We are a diverse, modern and global Britain – let’s show that. This coin helps bridge our nation’s past, its diverse present and its future, looking outward, positively, together.”