GovWire

New 'Diversity Built Britain' coin unveiled

Hm Treasury

October 16
23:15 2020

  • new coin launched following discussions with the We Too Built Britain campaign
  • 2.5 million Diversity Built Britain 50p coins will enter into circulation next week
  • designed by Dominique Evans - one of the UKs foremost coin designers - reflecting her own experience of diversity

Around 2.5 million of the coins, which recognise and celebrate Britains diverse history, will be released on Monday. The coin features a geodome, which represents a community of connection and strength, with each section working together to build something greater.

It was designed by Dominique Evans, one of the UKs foremost designers, who has previously designed coins to mark VE Day, the Sapphire Coronation and Jane Austen. It was inspired by Ms Evans own personal experience growing up as a mixed-race woman.

The new 50p signals the intent of the Royal Mint and the Chancellor to include a wider range of people on coins and notes in the future.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, commissioned the coin earlier this year following discussion with the We Too Built Britain campaign, which works for fair representation of minority communities contributions across all walks of life.

He held a roundtable on Thursday with coin designer Dominique Evans, Blondel Cluff CBE (CEO of the West India Committee), campaigners Zehra Zaidi, Professor Patrick Vernon, and Deputy Master of the Mint Anne Jessopp to mark the launch of the coin.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

I have seen first-hand the contribution made by ethnic minority communities to Britains history. That is why I backed the We Too Built Britain campaign and requested that the Royal Mint introduced this coin to celebrate it.

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.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said:

Congratulations to Dominique Evans the designer of The Royal Mints new 50 pence coin - Diversity Built Britain.

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.

I had the great pleasure of welcoming Dominque to a Cabinet meeting, along with Anne Jessopp, the first female Deputy Master of the Mint and Blondel Cluff CEO of the West India Committee and Advisor to The Royal Mint.

This new coin echoes the governments commitment to building a fairer society for all.

Alongside the release of the coins, the Royal Mint and the West India Committee will also issue education packs to primary schools in England and Wales, so children have the opportunity to learn about these achievements.

The government will consult with stakeholders including We Too Built Britain and other groups representing minority communities on the themes of future coins in this series.

Dominique Evans, coin designer at The Royal Mint, 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 words Diversity Built Britain talks about the differences between us, and the connection which gives us unity. The design also looks to the future, and the bonds which will continue to grow and make us stronger together.

Zehra Zaidi said:

Ethnic minority people, as well as all under-represented groups, need to see themselves represented in British institutions. They need to see their contributions to Britain recognised. 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 lets show that. This coin helps bridge our nations past, its diverse present and its future, looking outward, positively, together.

Further information

Anne Jessopp, CEO of The Royal Mint, said:

This is one of the most significant coins produced by The Royal Mint, and signals a change in our nations coinage.

For over 1000 years the nations story has been told on coins struck by The Royal Mint, but often the contribution of ethnic minority communities has been unrecognised this marks the beginning of a new chapter with more coins to follow.

In addition to creating this pivotal 50p, we have launched a new diversity hub on our website where people can share their stories, and access free educational resources. Working in partnership with the West India Committee we have created education packs which will be issued to every primary school in England and Wales, and are available for anyone to download. The first of these packs explores the contribution of Black Britons, and has been launched to coincide with Black History Month.

  • further images of the coin can be found on HM Treasury Flickr
  • the Chancellor had a call with Dominique Evans, Blondel Cluff CBE, Zehra Zaidi, Professor Patrick Vernon and Anne Jessopp to talk about the coin on Thursda

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