Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Christopher Ironside, designer of the UK’s first decimal coins, this 50p features his Royal Arms design which was the runner-up to the winning design of Britannia for the first 50p in 1969. The Royal Arms design now appears in public for the first time some 44 years after its creation.
Ironside's familiar design of Britannia was adopted for the 50p at the time of decimalisation, but among the other designs that he submitted was a version of the Royal Arms. This was liked so much by members of The Royal Mint Advisory Committee that trial pieces of the design were made and the hope was expressed that a use might be found for it. Its appearance in 2013 is therefore a fitting tribute to a great numismatic artist.
The design in its original form used the designation NEW PENCE but this would be inappropriate for 2013 and the value has been amended to FIFTY PENCE.