The Royal Mint’s ‘Innovation in Science’ series of fifty pence coins follows John Logic Baird, Stephen Hawking, Rosalind Franklin, and Charles Babbage with a giant event in medical science, the discovery of Insulin. Dr John Macleod, Sir Frederick Banting, Dr Charles Best and Dr James Collip, amy not be names that roll off the tongue of as many people as the others in this series, but their discovery has done a staggering amount of good for the vast numbers of people that suffer from diabetes, a very common illness in the 21st century.
Artist Iris De La Torre, has kept the series on track with a stylised geometric design in keeping with previous issues, but also adding some nice touches that others might have missed. The hexagons are idealised human insulin crystals, and we’re assuming the circles are meant to represent blood cells. I’d imagine it was quite hard to make a geometric design based on human blood and medicine, but De La Torre has managed perfectly. The inscribed title also has the chemical composition of Insulin underneath it. The obverse is, as usual, just the effigy of QEII with the issue inscriptions.
As a fifty pence coin, it follows a strict specification, so the seven-sided strike comes in sterling (0.925) silver at 8 grams in weight, or 16 grams in double thickness piedfort form. A 22kt (0.9167) gold coin of half an ounce, rounds out the selection we’re looking at here, although there’s also a base-metal version if that’s where your interest lies. This isn’t an ‘in your face’ series, but certainly a worthy and interesting one, quite able to educate. Nice. Available now.