British Coins 50 Pence 2006 Victoria Cross

British Coins 50 Pence 2006 Victoria CrossBritish Coins 50 Pence 2006 Queen Elizabeth II

British Coins 50 Pence 2006 Victoria Cross
Commemorative issue: 150th anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross

Obverse: Fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.
Lettering: ELIZABETH·II·D·G REG·F·D·2006 IRB.
Engraver: Ian Rank-Broadley.

Reverse: Depiction of the obverse and reverse of a Victoria Cross with the date 29 JAN 1856 in the centre of the reverse of the Cross, the letters VC to the right and the value FIFTY PENCE below (Victoria Cross - Bronze Cross pattée with Crown and Lion Superimposed, and motto: 'For Valour').
Lettering: "29 JAN 1856" - "VC FOR VALOUR" - FIFTY PENCE.
Engraver: Claire Aldridge.
Edge: Smooth.

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy. All who have received it have shown conspicuous bravery, many at the cost of their own lives. The original idea for the Victoria Cross was proposed by the Duke of Newcastle in 1854 and the Royal Warrant for the creation of the medal was signed by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on 29 January 1856. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross The Royal Mint has struck two fifty pence coins.

Country:     United Kingdom.
Value:     50 Pence.
Issued: 2006.
Diameter: 27.30 mm.
Thickness: 1.78 mm.
Weight: 8.00 g.
Composition: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel).
Edge: Plain.
Shape:     Equilaterally curved heptagon.
References: KM# 1057, Sp# H15.
Obverse Designers: Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen 2006 - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
Reverse Designer: Claire Aldridge.
Mintage:   12,087,000*

History of The 50p
In October 1969 the 50p joined the 5p (shilling) and 10p (florin) coins in circulation, leaving only the three copper coins to be introduced on 15 February 1971 to complete the new series of decimal coins. The design on the reverse of the 50p coin featured a symbol of Britannia that has appeared on our coinage since 1672. While this design may have been traditional, the shape of the new 50p coin, an equilateral curve heptagon, was revolutionary. This made it easily distinguishable from round coins both by feel and by sight, while its constant breadth allowed it to roll in vending machines.
  With the introduction of smaller 5p and 10p coins in 1990 and 1992 respectively, the 50p became the largest coin in circulation. In October 1994 the Government announced a further review of the United Kingdom coinage. The results revealed a requirement for a smaller 50p coin, which was duly introduced on 1 September 1997. Since its issue, the 50p has been used on several occasions to celebrate important events, each being commemorated on a new reverse design. The 50p is legal tender for amounts up to £10.

Victoria Cross (VC)
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" to members of the British armed forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
  The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War. The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. Some research has suggested a variety of origins for the material. Research has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannons that were captured from the Russians in 1855.
  Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction. A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010.
  Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, Canada, followed in 1975 by Australia and New Zealand, developed their own national honours systems, separate and independent of the British or Imperial honours system. As each country's system evolved, operational gallantry awards were developed with the premier award of each system—the VC for Australia, the Canadian VC and the VC for New Zealand—being created and named in honour of the Victoria Cross. These are unique awards of each honours system, recommended, assessed, gazetted and presented by each country.