UK coins: Royal Mint unveils rare new 50p coin for D-Day 80th anniversary featuring Normandy landing scene

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The coin design has the inscription: ‘D-Day 6 June 1944 Utah Omaha Gold Juno Sword’

The Royal Mint has unveiled a new coin commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The reverse “tails” side of the 50p coin, designed by David Lawrence with assistance from the Imperial War Museums, has been revealed in anticipation of the 6 June anniversary.

The design features Allied soldiers disembarking from a landing craft onto the Normandy beaches, with aircraft flying overhead.

On 6 June 1944, during Operation Overlord, Allied forces parachuted into drop zones across northern France. Troops landed across five assault beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

The coin design has the inscription: “D-Day 6 June 1944 Utah Omaha Gold Juno Sword.” The obverse, or “heads” side of the coin features the official coinage portrait of the King.

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “Coins have long served as reminders of pivotal moments in history.

“We are proud to unveil this tribute to the courage and resilience of British and Allied troops eight decades ago, which will serve as a permanent reminder of their sacrifices and bravery.”

David Fenton, assistant director of commercial at Imperial War Museums, said: “This coin is a poignant reminder of those who fought so bravely and sacrificed so much during this intrepid mission.”

To mark the release, French sand artist Jehan-Benjamin Tarain, with support from Sam Dougados, a fellow sand artist, recreated the D-Day 80 coin design on Gold beach, where troops landed in 1944.

Scaled at 35 metres in diameter, the sand art took five hours and 30 minutes to create. Tarain, who is also known as Jben, said: “This project has been extremely special.”

He added: “My team and I feel very fortunate to have played a role in helping to translate the craftmanship seen in the design of this coin into a piece of sand art on one of the beaches where troops landed.

“This collaboration plays an important reminder of the united allied effort between French and British forces 80 years ago.” The coins are available to buy from the Royal Mint’s website, with prices starting from £12.

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