Around 2.5 million new coins have been entered into circulation last week to celebrate the diversity of the country by emphasising the population of black and ethnic minority groups. It was designed by Dominique Evans, one of the UK’s foremost designers, who drew on her personal experiences of growing up as a mixed-race woman.
The coin features a geodome, which represents a community of connection and strength. These two each equal parts working together to build something greater and something better. The coin also features the words “Diversity Built Britain”. The creater, Evans 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 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.
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. “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 back story of the new 50p is to celebrate those who have helped shape Britain’s national history and culture. Adding to the new release 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 the contributions and achievements made by underrepresented groups.
Zehra Zaidi, who leads the Banknotes of Colour campaign, said: “Ethnic minority people, as well as all underrepresented 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. “
She also added: “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.”