Coins from The Royal Mint have captured some of Britain’s most epic battles, the great commanders who marshalled the troops, and the courage of those who served for our country. The 50p has featured five military-themed designs and, as part of our celebration of the coin’s 50th anniversary, all of them have been recreated in our 50p Military set. Two of these coins honour the Victoria Cross and were issued in 2006 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this illustrious medal.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Victoria Cross, it is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy. All who have received it have shown extraordinary bravery, many at the cost of their own lives.
The initial idea for the introduction of the Victoria Cross was suggested by the Duke of Wellington in 1854. A couple of years later, on the 29th January 1856, Queen Victoria signed the Royal Warrant for the creation of the medal at Buckingham Palace.
Before the Crimean War only senior officers could be awarded medals for bravery. With war correspondents working in the field for the first time, a movement to recognise the valour of the common soldier gathered momentum. Since the first award in 1857, more than 1,300 Victoria Cross medals have been awarded for outstanding acts of heroism, a testament to the extreme bravery of Armed Forces personnel who risk life and limb in defence of Britain’s interests.
The Royal Mint Victoria Cross 50p coins bear two different designs. The first, depicting the Victoria Cross medal, was produced to mark the institution of the medal itself and the other showing a soldier carrying a wounded comrade celebrates the heroes associated with it.
Both coins entered into general circulation in 2006, and many coin collectors speculate that the coins are rare but with a combined mintage figure of 22,087,500 you are still in with a chance of coming across one of these coins in your change.
If you are thinking about starting your own coin collection then visit our very own Coin Collecting Hub and access a range of information, guides, tips and advice about how to start your very own collection.
To view the 50 years of the 50p Military Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set, click here.