Poll

Which of Ironside's 50p designs do you prefer ?

The issued version that depicts Britannia
1 (12.5%)
The rejected "lion and the unicorn" design
4 (50%)
I like both equally
1 (12.5%)
I dislike both equally
0 (0%)
I have no preference
2 (25%)
Don't know
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: August 29, 2017, 09:08:38 PM

Author Topic: Do you prefer Ironside's issued standard 50p design or his rejected one ?  (Read 782 times)

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Offline <k>

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Back in the 1960s, Christopher Ironside prepared various designs for the decimal 50 pence. The choice came down to two, shown below. The Duke of Edinburgh, who was the President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee at the time, much preferred the version featuring the lion and the unicorn (intended to represent England and Scotland respectively). Britannia was eventually chosen instead, and many Britons grew up with the design and are rather nostalgic about it. But which do YOU prefer?
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Offline <k>

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In 2013, the rejected design was minted on a 50p commemorating the birth centenary of Christopher Ironside.
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Online Alan71

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I like the rejected design and voted for that.  However, had it been used, the later £1 coin wouldn't have been able to have the similar 1983/93/98/2003/08 design which was seen as the definitive £1 reverse.  I don't mind Britannia but I'm not a partocular fan of that actual design.

Offline FosseWay

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I prefer the Britannia design. While both designs come under the general heading of "heraldry" and have their problems, if we can't move completely away from that area, I at least prefer a design that depicts a human being, however stylised, than coats of arms and similar. There is also nothing wrong with making use of the continuity of an ancient design, so long as it's not done slavishly.

Offline SandyGuyUK

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Has anyone else noticed that the lion in the rejected design appears to be laughing?! I really like that - it's much better than the po-faced version on the old 10p!

Ian
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Offline <k>

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Has anyone else noticed that the lion in the rejected design appears to be laughing?

I hadn't, actually. Could I ask whether it appears to be talking to you, as well?  :-\

Yes, I see your point. For some reason I saw these arms around a lot in the 1960s. My mother even had a biscuit tin with them on. That's probably one reason why I like them so much, even though I'm not usually into heraldry. Then again, there were lots of things we did in the 1960s that we don't do now. Well into the mid-1960s, it was common enough for cinemas to play "God save the Queen" before the film started, and everybody stood up, hippies and all.
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Online Alan71

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Do you prefer Ironside's issued standard 50p design or his rejected one ?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 09:14:09 PM »
Well, the lion on the definitive £1 coin reverse 1983-2008 certainly isn't laughing.  It looks quite fierce.



Ironside's design is a lot less cluttered.  The £1 has all that nonsense going on either side of the crown.

Offline <k>

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What you refer to as "all that nonsense" is apparently the mantling. It appears not to be obligatory, though.
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Online Alan71

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I know this is off-topic but fits the history-rewriting-as-I-desire-it theme you've got going on, <k>  :D

I know another gripe you have is the size of the current 50p and you were disappointed it was bigger than Cyprus's 50c coin of the time.  The Royal Mint would have been aware of this coin and also wary of the fact that it was a popular tourist destination.  They would almost certainly have made the 50p bigger so that the Cyprus coin couldn't be used in UK slot machines.  They have to be aware of both previous UK coin sizes and also some foreign ones.  The options are more limited than most of us might realise.  In fact, it must be a nightmare to come up with something that isn't used elsewhere and isn't the same size as an old UK coin!

Guessing similar with the 10p.  Certainly they had to avoid clashing with the old 5p.  Not that it worked - I've had at least two old 5p passed to me in change as 10p in the last ten years (usually the shilling version as it's less obvious).

Offline <k>

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The Royal Mint would have been aware of this coin and also wary of the fact that it was a popular tourist destination.  They would almost certainly have made the 50p bigger so that the Cyprus coin couldn't be used in UK slot machines.  They have to be aware of both previous UK coin sizes and also some foreign ones.  The options are more limited than most of us might realise.  In fact, it must be a nightmare to come up with something that isn't used elsewhere and isn't the same size as an old UK coin!

I'm aware of all that, and of course I wasn't suggesting the 50p be exactly the same size and weight as the Cyprus 50c. It's probably not as hard as you imagine to avoid clashes, as by that date I understand there were databases of world coins, which were kept updated by the world's mints. After all, not even every country has its own mint, so if even there are a couple of hundred (and there are probably far fewer), it's not an impossible task to keep tabs on their products. Additionally, most countries probably have only a maximum of 8 coin types in circulation, though a minority will have more.
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Offline FosseWay

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I know this is off-topic but fits the history-rewriting-as-I-desire-it theme you've got going on, <k>  :D

I know another gripe you have is the size of the current 50p and you were disappointed it was bigger than Cyprus's 50c coin of the time.  The Royal Mint would have been aware of this coin and also wary of the fact that it was a popular tourist destination.  They would almost certainly have made the 50p bigger so that the Cyprus coin couldn't be used in UK slot machines.  They have to be aware of both previous UK coin sizes and also some foreign ones.  The options are more limited than most of us might realise.  In fact, it must be a nightmare to come up with something that isn't used elsewhere and isn't the same size as an old UK coin!

Guessing similar with the 10p.  Certainly they had to avoid clashing with the old 5p.  Not that it worked - I've had at least two old 5p passed to me in change as 10p in the last ten years (usually the shilling version as it's less obvious).

The pressure in this case was probably as much from Cyprus itself as from the UK government not wanting people using Cypriot coins in the UK. The Cypriot pound was worth considerably more than sterling, so it would have been tempting for the British tourists you mention to take a load of 50p coins there on holiday, but perhaps less likely that they'd accumulate lots of 50c on the homeward journey.