The Boris Johnson government will release 2.5 million 50 pence coins on Monday with the words ‘Diversity Built Britain’ to mark what is described as ‘profound contribution’ of minority communities to the history of the United Kingdom, and a shift in the nature of coinage.
It is the first of a series of such coins to be issued. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s office previously confirmed that Mahatma Gandhi’s image is being considered by the Royal Mint on one of the coins. There is also a demand to so honour Indian-origin World War II British spy, Noor Inayat Khan.
The background of the new 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.
Sunak 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”.,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “Congratulations to Dominique Evans the designer of The Royal Mint’s new 50 pence coin…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”.
Officials said that the new coin signals the intent of the Royal Mint and Sunak to include a wider range of people on coins and notes in the future. Sunak commissioned the coin following talks with ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign, which seeks fair representation of minority communities’ contributions across all walks of life.
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 nation’s coinage”.
“For over 1000 years the nation’s 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”, she added.
Zehra Zaidi of the ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign 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 recognized”.
“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”.