29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 1: Aquatics 50p design

In January 2009 the Royal Mint launched its biggest ever competition, inviting the British public to design a series of new 50p coins. Thousands of designs were received from all over the UK, featuring all 29 sports of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The best designs were selected and now they’ve been made into coins for you to collect as lasting mementoes of London 2012!

You may be collecting these coins from your change, or perhaps you’ve already secured the whole collection? Each week for the next 29 weeks we will be bringing you updates from the coin’s designers and background on the British teams that will be representing us in London. Have your say on the coin designs and our chances in the Games below!

Aquatics 50p design

The Aquatics 50p coin was designed by Jonathan Olliffe. Jonathan is an Artist, Designer and Silversmith from Oxford. He creates contemporary fine art and metalwork for the home environment and is well known for the art work that he creates. Jonathan likes to think of his winning coin designs as ‘a piece of art for every pocket’ and is very excited to have won both the Aquatics and Gymnastics categories.

We asked Jonathan…

1) Have you seen your coin ‘in the wild’ yet?

Yes! I have seen both Aquatics and Gymnastics coins for sale in the shops and also in my change. This was a surreal moment and something I will not forget.

2) Have you heard what the British team think about it?

I was invited to an event during a VIP visit to Oxford by the British Olympic Association Chief Executive and Team GB Chief Andy Hunt. Mr Hunt visited various sporting events across Oxfordshire and I was given the opportunity to meet and discuss my designs and the inspiration behind each coin at the Oxford University Sports complex. Mr Hunt kindly gave me his approval for both Olympic coins.

3) What are you looking forward to in 2012?

This is going to be a very exciting year, with the Olympic build up and the event it self I am sure 2012 will be a special year to remember! I think it is great that members of the public can get involved in so many different ways, and I look forward to seeing the nation come together throughout the Olympic event.

You can keep in touch with Jonathan through his website

This week’s next blog post – The team behind the coin…

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