Engraved in History, Inscribed in Sand: Honouring the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

On 6 June 1944, a day now known as D-Day, Allied forces embarked on a monumental operation that would determine the course of history. As the Second World War gradually fades from living memory, a new commemorative coin marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

To mark the coin’s release, The Royal Mint collaborated with French sand artist Jehan-Benjamin Tarain (with support from fellow sand artist Sam Dougados) to recreate the D-Day 50p coin design on ‘Gold’ beach in Normandy, where nearly 25,000 men of the British 50th Division landed. Scaled at 35 metres in diameter, the sand art took 5 hours and 30 minutes to create. 

D-Day Deception

The sand artist leading on the creation, Jehan-Benjamin (also known as Jben) shared:

“This project has been extremely special. The Royal Mint’s commemorative coin marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day is a fitting tribute to all that served during World War II. My team and I feel very fortunate to have played a role in helping to translate the craftmanship seen in the design of this coin into a piece of sand art on one of the beaches where troops landed.” 


“This collaboration plays an important reminder of the united allied effort between French and British forces 80 years ago.”







Paying homage to the courage, resilience and solidarity of those who fought in the Battle of Normandy, this new coin release commemorates their profound contributions to our history.

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