Britain’s Royal Mint has issued a commemorative 50 pence coin to mark the 50th anniversary of Pride UK.
The coin, which will not enter circulation, was designed by London artist, writer and LGBTQ+ activist Dominique Holmes.
This is the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been celebrated on official UK coinage and forms part of the Royal Mint’s wider commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to its website.
The usual image of Queen Elizabeth II is featured on one side, while the reverse features five small rainbows — the symbol of Pride. The central rainbow bears the word “pride,” while the others are embellished with Pride in London’s values of protest, visibility, unity and equality. State-of-the-art printing technology was used to create the special edition color effect, the mint said.
The design also features the black, brown, pink, blue and white stripes of the Progress Pride flag, developed in 2018 by nonbinary US artist and designer Daniel Quasar.
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The statement quoted Asad Shaykh, director of marketing and communications at Pride in London, as saying: “It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand, PROTEST, VISIBILITY, UNITY & EQUALITY — will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen.
“This queer brown immigrant has come a long way, powered by hope, love and this city. Nowhere in the world had this been possible, except the UK. Pride in London feels very proud today.”
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Clare Maclennan, director of commemorative coins at the Royal Mint, said in the statement: “The 50th Anniversary of Pride UK is a milestone celebration, and it is a privilege to mark 50 years of progress with this 50p coin. This is the first ever UK coin dedicated to Britain’s LGBTQ+ community, with colour printing technology capturing the spirit of Pride UK with its iconic rainbow colours.”
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The coin will be available to buy from the Royal Mint website this summer.
Back in 2019, the Royal Canadian Mint similarly issued a $1 coin that combined the words “Equality” and “?galit?” with the work of Vancouver-based artist Joe Average.