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The E-Sylum (8/18/2013)

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An article by Lisa Bellavin on discusses the new 50 pence coin bearing Christopher Ironside’s ‘lost’ Royal Arms design. -Editor

Ironside Royal Arms 50 Pence coin After nearly forty-five years, The Royal Mint has revived a coin design created by one of the 20th century’s most influential designers, Christopher Ironside. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, a special 50 pence coin bearing Ironside’s ‘lost’ Royal Arms design will enter circulation this year, and will also be minted in collectable precious metal editions.

Ironside’s Royal Arms design lost a competition in 1969 when the Royal Mint Advisory Committee was tasked with choosing between two designs for the nation’s new decimal fifty pence piece.

The committee chose Ironside’s seated figure of Britannia. But, the highly-regarded Royal Arms design was liked so much by members of RMAC, trial pieces were made in the hope that one day a use would be found for them. That remained unseen until now.

This year the design is reborn in many forms. The Royal Mint has issued a 50p brilliant uncirulated piece, a 50p gold proof, a 50p silver piedfort proof and a 50p silver proof coin.

In a nod to Ironside, the 2013 version of the coin includes the designer’s initials, C.I.

Ironside’s wife Jean recalled an article written in 1969 in which her husband said, “The work of a great many artists who are geniuses is never recognised and probably eventually disappears. But if one is a coin designer, one’s work lasts possibly long after death, everyone becomes familiar with it and it forms a small part of the history of the country for which it was designed.”

To read the complete article, see: Royal Mint Revives 'Lost' Design (

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