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Royal Mint launches John Logie Baird 50p coin

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Written by: Emma Lunn
11/05/2021
The commemorative 50p coin features a graphic representation of Baird’s life and work as ‘The Father of Television’.

The design, by commissioned artists Osborne Ross, bares a graphic representation of broadcast transmission, with circular shapes emanating a silhouette of the Crystal Palace mast – the site of John Logie Baird’s former television station and transmitter.

The coin also features the milestone moments of one of Britain’s greatest original makers; from his birth in Helensburgh Scotland in 1888, studying electrical engineering at Glasgow’s Royal Technical College in 1926, the first demonstration of analogue television in 1926, the first transatlantic transmission in 1928, and the end of a full and successful life in 1946.

There are different versions of the coin available. These include limited edition gold proof, silver proof, silver proof piedfort, as well as brilliant uncirculated editions.

The coins have been created in consultation with Iain Baird, grandson of John Logie Baird, to mark the 75th Anniversary year of his grandfather’s passing. Currently, the coin is uncirculated which means it won’t be widely released for use of everyday transactions.

This means it’s worth more than standard 50p coins. Prices range from £10 to £1,005 with the coins on sale now via the Royal Mint website.

Speaking on behalf of the Baird family, Iain Baird said: “The Baird family feels extremely honoured that The Royal Mint has chosen to recognise my grandfather’s contributions in this way. He was involved in both the technology and the progress of television broadcasting and the coin design illustrates his dual role as a pioneer in the scientific world as well as in a brand-new medium of communication.”

Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint, said: “The Life and Work of John Logie Baird is an exciting addition to our popular ‘Innovation in Science’ series, which celebrates the legendary names at the heart of Innovation and Science on a commemorative 50p. The design represents Baird’s accomplishments and the invention of broadcast transmission, which has shaped culture and entertainment as we know it today. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Baird family to commemorate a true British icon and a pioneer of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.”

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