Royal Mint to launch 50p coin to mark 200th anniversary of lifeboat charity

All 238 of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution stations will receive their own commemorative coin on March 4.

Royal Mint to launch 50p coin to mark 200th anniversary of Royal National Lifeboat Institution RNLI

The Royal Mint has today launched an official UK 50p coin in honour of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI’s) 200th anniversary.

All 238 RNLI Lifeboat stations across the UK and Ireland will receive their own commemorative coin in tribute to the charity’s 200th anniversary on March 4.

A percentage of the price of each coin sold by the Royal Mint will also be donated in support of the RNLI’s work and commitment to saving lives at sea.

Designed by experienced coinage artist John Bergdahl, the 50p coin marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI features a design which pays tribute to the charity’s lifesaving work over the past two centuries.

The coin’s design displays the very recognisable RNLI flag surrounded by a life ring highlighting the exceptional 200-year anniversary the lifesaving charity has reached.

Combining traditional engraving techniques with modern minting technology, Royal Mint product designer, Daniel Thorne, ensured John’s original design created on a plaster model, was translated accurately to appear on a 50p, which has a canvas no bigger than 27.30mm.

This required the inhouse team of expert craftspeople to use optical scanners to create a 3D file of John’s design. Following this process Daniel was then able to refine and delicately translate John’s design, without losing any of the detail or visual impact.

Thomas Olawuyi in The Royal Mint’s design team meticulously ensured that the colour appearing on a selection of the 50p coins matched the exact shade of orange which is synonymous with the RNLI and its lifeboats.

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint said, “We are honoured to be a part of the RNLI’s bicentenary celebrations, by marking the charity’s historic anniversary on an official UK 50p. Since its formation 200 years ago, the RNLI has served a pivotal role in keeping people safe on our coastlines as well as saving hundreds of thousands lives at sea.

“Everyone at The Royal Mint has a huge amount of appreciation towards the RNLI, with many of us having our own personal connection to the charity. We are proud to confirm that a percentage of the profits from the sale of each coin will also go directly to the RNLI in support of the courageous work and commitment of the charity.”

Angela Rook, RNLI 200th anniversary lead, said: “The RNLI has been saving lives for 200 years thanks to the ongoing dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters. In 2024 we are remembering our remarkable history, celebrating the modern lifesaving service we provide today, and looking forward to inspiring and welcoming a new generation of lifesavers and supporters.

“This coin serves as a wonderful commemorative keepsake to mark this very special milestone in the charity’s history, and reminder of our ultimate aim – as it has been for the past two centuries – to save lives at sea.’

Steve Porter, volunteer crewmember at Poole RNLI said: “‘I’m proud to be a volunteer with the RNLI in its 200th anniversary year and to share the celebration of this milestone with all the dedicated crews saving lives at sea across the UK and Ireland.

‘It’s a special year for us to commemorate and we appreciate the Royal Mint’s recognition and kind donation of coins to all our stations.’

The 50p coin marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI was first unveiled by The Royal Mint at the end of 2023 when a set of new commemorative coin designs marking 2024’s most significant anniversaries and milestones were announced.

The 50p coin produced to mark the 200th anniversary of the RNLI will be available to purchase from The Royal Mint’s website with colour editions of the coin also being available. 

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