Next time you get a handful of change, have a good look before chucking it back in your purse as you might be lucky enough to have one of the new limited edition 2018 coins.
Each year the Royal Mint create a series of new limited edition coins to mark important anniversaries and memorable events, and they’ve just announced that for 2018 they’ll be releasing a new 50p coin to mark a century since women were given the right to vote.
The new design commemorates 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which was passed on 6 February 1918 and gave women over 30 the right to vote, as well as all men over 21. It was a massive milestone for women on the road towards equal representation and democratic freedom, and came after years of protesting by suffragettes and suffragists including Millicent Fawcett.
The 50p coin was designed by Stephen Taylor, one of The Royal Mint’s graphic designers, and shows newly registered voters queuing up to cast their very first vote.
And we’re glad to hear that another woman is also being celebrated in this year’s newly minted moolah: a new £2 coin will mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of gothic masterpiece Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The design by Thomas T Docherty shows the electric spark of life which created the ‘monster’.
The other 2018 coins commemorate 100 years since the First World War Armistice and the founding of the Royal Air Force.
The Royal Mint Museum’s director Dr Kevin Clancy said: “Coins released during 2018, portray the centenaries of three key events that shaped the country as we know it today.
“The Representation of the People Act 1918 50p remembers the moment women were first given the right to vote, whilst 200 years of Mary Shelley’s Dr Frankenstein are marked in a £2 coin.
“Two more £2 coins honour moments that will be occupying the thoughts of many this year, the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force.”
In past years, limited edition coins disappear from circulation almost as soon as they come out and are usually snapped up by collectors.
If you really want to get your hands on the 2018 specials, you can always treat yourself to one of the commemorative Annual Sets which range from £95 to £5,100 – but we reckon we’ll stick to closely checking our change and keeping our fingers crossed instead.
Main image: Ruby Film / Pathé / Film4. Other images: PA.