*** The UK’s FIRST Dinosaur 50p coins are on sale now. Click here to order yours >> ***
When I was growing up I was fascinated by dinosaurs. In fact, I still am. And I expect you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t even just a little bit curious about the giant reptiles who walked the earth nearly 250 million years ago.
So, I’m sure you can understand my near-childlike excitement when the Royal Proclamation issued on 8th November 2019 confirmed that a brand new series of dinosaur-themed 50p coins will be released this year!
Read on to find out these rorarsome new releases and how you can become one of the first collectors to own one…
Three themed dinosaur 50ps released
Three designs have been confirmed for release in 2020 – we don’t know if there will be more, but at the moment it’s looking like a 3-coin series. The dinosaurs featured include:
- Megalosaurus – Greek for ‘great lizard’ and at seven to eight metres long it certainly lives up to its name! In 1676 the first Megalosurus bone was discovered in Oxfordshire and publication of the find is thought to make this dinosaur the very first to be described in scientific literature.
- Iguanodon – large herbivores with distinctive spike-like thumbs. After Megalosaurus, these were the second type of dinosaur to be formally recognised. Their name comes from its teeth which are similar to modern iguanas, and gave palaeontologists the first clue that dinosaurs had been reptiles.
- Hylaeosaurus – an armoured dinosaur with at least three long spines along its shoulders. However, much of the anatomy of this dinosaur is still unknown due to the fact that very limited remains have been found.
The UK’s first ever dinosaur coins
Significantly this is the first time dinosaurs will have ever featured on a UK coin! This fact alone will make them highly collectable and I’m sure dinosaur fans young and old will be eager to get their hands on one. I for one can’t wait for these roarsome coins to be let loose!
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It’s surprising, in this new digital age, just how ‘hands-on’ designing a coin is. In fact, it’s very much the job of a master craftsman.
Never was this more evident than when the Isle of Man Treasury chose to mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria with three new coins, each with a brand new portrait.
The man they turned to was renowned sculptor Luigi Badia and here’s the remarkable process of how these coins were developed.
First Stage – Pencil designs
Like most products across all industries, designing a coin starts with pencil sketches. These are then amended, potentially many times, until a final sketch is produced and approved.
Second Stage – Plaster modelling
The second stage is arguably the most visually stunning. The sculptor, Luigi Badia in this case, will turn their sketches into a 3D ‘Plaster’ design. The skill involved in this process is really very impressive as every tiny detail must be modelled.
The plaster is far larger than the actual coin size to allow for this detail to be captured. The design will be resized in the next step of the process.
Third Stage – Digital Modelling
It’s during this stage where technology has certainly helped the design process. The 3D ‘Plaster’ designs are scanned and a digital file, called a greyscale, is created.
An engraving machine then uses this file to cut the design into a piece of steel that’s the actual size of the final coin. This will then be used to make the dies that will actually strike the coins.
Fourth Stage – Coin Striking
This final stage is when the physical coin comes to life. The specially prepared die is used to ‘strike’ the design onto a metal ‘blank’. The metal used for the blank can vary widely, from cupro-nickel to silver and gold.
Only once the mint is perfectly happy with the quality of the struck coins will they be issued.
The Queen Victoria Silver Antique £5 Set
This set is the only way to own all three of these stunning, specially commissioned Antique Silver £5 Coins.
Just 495 of these stunning sets are available worldwide and exclusive to The Westminster Collection.