A brand new £2 coin has just been issued, paying tribute to English mathematician and writer, Ada Lovelace. This new UK £2 coin is the 9th coin in The Royal Mint’s Innovation in Science series, which has previously featured coins dedicated to Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Edward Jenner and Alexander Graham Bell.
A discoverer of the hidden realities of nature
The Innovation in Science series has mainly comprised of 50p coins, however the 2023 UK Ada Lovelace £2 will be the third £2 in the series. It’s also only the second time a female has been celebrated on an Innovation in Science coin, preceded only by the 2020 Rosalind Franklin 50p.
The reverse design of the Ada Lovelace £2 by Osborne Ross takes inspiration from the original input cards used by Lovelace to programme the Analytical Engine, along with the inscription “a discoverer of the hidden realities of nature”. The quote is a self declared statement taken from a letter that Lovelace wrote to her mother.
The ‘enchantress of numbers’
Lovelace worked closely with Charles Babbage, who also featured on an Innovation in Science coin, on his Analytical Engine and saw limitless potential in the computer. She studied the technology meticulously and discovered there was much more to computers than just calculating mathematical equations. This lead to her being referred to as the first computer programmer. Charles Babbage himself even gave her the nickname the ‘enchantress of numbers’.
The 2023 Ada Lovelace £2 pays homage to Lovelace’s tenacity and her life as a visionary. The edge inscription of this coin reads ‘INNOVATION IN SCIENCE – LOVELACE’, reinforcing its ties to the other coins in the Innovation in Science series.