In collaboration with the Natural History Museum, the Royal Mint has launched its first ever commemorative 50p coin collection recognising Britain’s contribution to the discovery of dinosaurs.
The collection is inspired by British anatomist Richard Owen’s research paper published in 1842, in which he coined the term ‘dinosaur’.
He was the first to discover that the fossils of three species of dinosaur found in Britain had similar characteristics.
These species – Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus – have been brought back to life by palaeo-artist Robert Nicholls with the specialist guidance of Professor Paul M. Barrett from the Earth and Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint says, “We are thrilled to be working alongside the Natural History Museum to launch a new series of commemorative 50p coins featuring Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus.”
The coins are available in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof and Gold Proof versions. The coloured Brilliant Uncirculated coins feature augmented reality technology.
A Brilliant Uncirculated Megalosaurus in colour. © The Royal Mint
The coin designs are scientifically accurate constructions of the dinosaurs and the environments they inhabited. The three species were some of the largest predators in the middle Jurassic period, between 170-155 million years ago.
“We are delighted to see dinosaurs on commemorative coins and work alongside The Royal Mint,” says Clare Matterson CBE, executive director of engagement at the Natural History Museum.
“The story of the discovery of dinosaurs is fascinating and particularly relevant for the Natural History Museum since Sir Richard Owen, who coined the term dinosaur, was also our founder. The Dinosauria collection brings this story to life for modern day dinosaur enthusiasts everywhere.”
Main image: Silverproof coins from The Dinosauria Collection. © The Royal Mint