UK issues first LGBTQ+ coin to mark 50 years of Pride

A person hold up the colourful Pride LGBTQ+ coin

State-of-the-art colour printing technology was used to ensure the LGBTQ+ coin includes the rainbow colours (Photo: The Royal Mint)

In what may be a world first, Britain’s Royal Mint has unveiled a commemorative 50 pence LGBTQ+ coin celebrating 50 years of the Pride movement in the UK.

The coin marks the first time Britain’s LGBTQ+ community has been celebrated on official UK coinage. The Royal Mint said its release reflects its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The unique coin was designed by Dominique Holmes, an east London artist, writer, and LGBTQ+ activist with a varied artistic background that includes tattoo artistry.

The coin design features Pride in London’s values of Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality in rainbows. With state-of-the-art colour printing technology, the iconic colours of the Pride progression flag are recreated with special-edition colour versions of the silver and BU coins.

Since the first official Pride UK event in 1972, the Pride UK movement has been of significant political and cultural importance. Now in its 50th year, Pride UK remains committed to fighting against societal oppression and standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand, Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality – will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen,” said Asad Shaykh, Director of Marketing and Communications at Pride in London.

“This queer brown immigrant has come a long way, powered by hope, love and this city. Nowhere in the world had this been possible, except the UK. Pride in London feels very proud today,” added Shaykh.

Clare Maclennan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said that “The 50th Anniversary of Pride UK is a milestone celebration, and it is a privilege to mark 50 years of progress with this 50p coin.”

As part of the launch, The Royal Mint will make a financial contribution to London LGBT Community Pride. The 50p will not enter circulation but will be available to purchase via The Royal Mint website.

Last year the Royal Mint established an LGBTQ+ society for its employees, named ‘Enfys’, the Welsh word for Rainbow. The group has hosted Q+A sessions, shared their personal stories and encouraged visibility and allyship amongst employees.

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