Numismatic censorship: Gordon Brown vetoed UK 50 pence design in 2005

Started by <k>, March 22, 2011, 03:15:02 AM

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Back in 2005, the Royal Mint was working on one of two designs to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross (Britain's most prestigious military medal), to be issued in 2006. The article below is from the August 2005 edition of Coin News, UK. It tells how Gordon Brown, who in 2005 was Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) considered one of the designs to be "inappropriate". As the writer of the article expected, that design was rejected. Clive Duncan made some amendments to his original design, which was then accepted. The official issue can be seen below. Gordon Brown later served as prime minister of the UK from 2007 to 2010.

UK 50 pence 2006-sketch.jpg
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Let's put it like this: if the original design had been used and there would have been a stink, who would have been held responsible?

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Ukrainii Pyat

I agree with Gordie's decision - the rejected design was tacky and inappropriate.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine


I preferred the original design, though without the crosshairs. The perspective on the issued design, with regard to the soldier being carried, doesn't look quite right. Yes, the original design did look ambiguous. It was still censorship, but censorship can be justified on occasion.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


The original design does graphically convey the disregarding under fire ones own safety whilst trying to protect others.  I can see why some might object to it but for me it is perfectly acceptable & the better design.


To be honest I prefer the revised (issued) design, and for once agree with Gordon Brown's decision. :-\