(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
|Obverse Designers||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
2007 Ian Rank-Broadley
|Reverse Designer||Edwina Ellis|
|Edge Inscription||Decorative pattern symbolising bridges and pathways|
The 2007 Gateshead Millennium Bridge £1 coin was the final coin in a series of four designs by Australian-born wood engraver, Edwina Ellis. Each design illustrated a bridge from the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. Opened to the public on 17 September 2001, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge stretches 126 metres across the River Tyne. Its striking arched opening, designed by Gifford and Partners with Wilkinson Eyre, has a remarkable presence and is a distinctive landmark in Newcastle and Gateshead.
By 1980 it had become apparent that, with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate as a coin than a banknote. After consultation with many groups, including retailers and special interest groups, the Government announced on 31 July 1981 that a new £1 coin was to be issued on 21 April 1983. Since its launch the £1 has always represented the United Kingdom and its constituent parts; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.