New 50p coin to mark 80th anniversary of D-Day landings revealed by Royal Mint

The design has been recreated by sand artists on Gold beach, where troops landed in 1944

Vicky Shaw
Monday 20 May 2024 10:19 BST
The D-Day 80th anniversary 50p coin (Royal Mint/PA)
The D-Day 80th anniversary 50p coin (Royal Mint/PA) (PA Media)

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A new coin marking 80 years since the D-Day landings has been unveiled by the Royal Mint.

The design of the “tails” or reverse side of the 50p coin was revealed ahead of the anniversary on June 6.

It was designed by David Lawrence with support from Imperial War Museums and depicts Allied soldiers disembarking a landing craft on to the beaches of Normandy with offensive aircraft in the sky above.

On June 6 1944, in Operation Overlord, Allied forces parachuted into drop zones across northern France.

Troops landed across five assault beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

The coin design has the inscription: “D-Day 6 June 1944 Utah Omaha Gold Juno Sword.”

The obverse or “heads” side of the coin features the official coinage portrait of the King.

To mark the release, French sand artist Jehan-Benjamin Tarain, with support from Sam Dougados, a fellow sand artist, recreated the D-Day 80 coin design on Gold beach, where troops landed in 1944.

Scaled at 35 metres in diameter, the sand art took five hours and 30 minutes to create.

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “Coins have long served as reminders of pivotal moments in history.

“We are proud to unveil this tribute to the courage and resilience of British and Allied troops eight decades ago, which will serve as a permanent reminder of their sacrifices and bravery.”

David Fenton, assistant director of commercial at Imperial War Museums, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Royal Mint’s D-Day 50p coin to mark the anniversary.

“D-Day was the largest combined naval, air and land operation in the history of warfare.

“This coin is a poignant reminder of those who fought so bravely and sacrificed so much during this intrepid mission.”

Mr Tarain, who is also known as Jben, said: “This project has been extremely special.”

He added: “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.”

The coins are available to buy from the Royal Mint’s website, with prices starting from £12.

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