UK Chancellor Rishi Sounak, on October 17, unveiled a new 50-pence Diversity coin in a bid to celebrate Britain’s diversity and to recognise the contributions of minority communities. According to a press release, the new coin was launched following discussions with the ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign. Around 2.5 million coins, with the message ‘Diversity Built Britain’ and featuring geodome, will enter the general circulation next week.
The @RoyalMintUK's new 50p coin, shown here with designer Dominique Evans, celebrates the diversity that helps make the UK what it is today & the immense contributions ethnic minority communities have made.— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) October 17, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/CQvnvoc3TC#DiversityBuiltBritain pic.twitter.com/XMZDWOP5Mx
The new coin features geodome, which represents a community of connection and strength, with each section working together to Builth something greater. The coin marks the start of a series that will cover a wider range of Britain’s ethnic minority contributions on coins and notes in the future, with British Indian spy Noor Inayat Khan among those in the running. 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.
Sunak said, “I have seen first-hand the contribution made by ethnic minority communities to Britain’s history. That is why I backed the “We Too Built Britain” campaign and requested that the Royal Mint introduced this coin to celebrate it”.
He added, “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”.
The coin has been designed by Dominique Evans, who is one of the UK’s foremost designers and who has previously designed coins to make VE Day, the Sapphire Coronation and Jane Austen. The design was inspired by Evans’ own personal experience growing up as a mixed-race woman. UK PM Boris Johnson said that her design is the first in a series of coins the Mint will be producing, celebrating those who have helped shape the national history and culture.
As per the press note, Johnson said, “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 government’s commitment to building a fairer society for all”.
Alongside the release of the 50p 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. Moreover, the British government will also consult with stakeholders including ‘We Too Built Britain’ and other groups representing minority communities on the themes of future coins in the series.