In February 2020 the Royal Mint released the first of a set of three 50p coins to commemorate the discovery of the first three dinosaurs to be discovered in England.
The Megalosaurus 50p is the first of the set and will be a popular choice with children and for anyone with an interest in dinosaurs and palaeontology.
History of the coin
The 50p coin was first issued in 1969 as one of the new coins to be circulated when decimal currency was adopted in 1971. The coin replaced the 10 shilling note and to make it stand out from the other coins it has a 7 sided design.
The coin has kept its shape, but it was reduced slightly in size and is used as a circulating coin and for commemorative purposes.
About the Megalosaurus
Megalosaurus was one of the first dinosaurs to be discovered and it was found in a quarry in England in 1676.
The original discovery was thought to be the bones from a human, but in 1824 William Buckland identified it and named it the Megalosaurus, or ‘big lizard’. At the time, dinosaurs had not been discovered and the Megalosaurus was only identified as a dinosaur in 1842.
The Megalosaurus was a carnivore which lived in Europe during the mid-Jurassic period, approximately 181-169 million years ago.
How many Megalosaurus 50p coins were made?
The coin can be used as a circulating coin, but it has only been released as a commemorative coin.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The image is of a Megalosaurus with the name at the top of the coin. At the bottom of the coin are the words ‘Buckland 1824’.
- Obverse design:
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
- Designer: Robert Nicholls
Robert Nicholls is a paleo artist. He specialises in creating anatomically correct designs of prehistoric creatures.
When creating his designs, he studies each animal thoroughly first by looking at fossils of the creature and reading scientific accounts. He then starts with the skeleton, working outwards to the skin and fur.
These coin designs have been created with the help of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum.
The Megalosaurus 50p has not been released in to circulation, but it can be accepted as a coin of the realm.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 50,000 Brilliant Uncirculated with colour design were produced
- 3,000 Silver Proof coins were produced
- 7,000 Silver Proof with colour design were produced
- 350 Gold Proof coins were produced.