For nearly 100 years, the story of an incredible, heroic woman was forgotten, but Mary Seacole is finally receiving the recognition she deserves by being celebrated on a UK coin.
A true likeness
This brand new UK £5 coin has been issued to mark Mary Seacole’s selfless efforts during the Crimean War, where she cared for sick and injured soldiers.
The reverse design by Sandra Deiana is based on a genuine photograph of Seacole. The photograph was taken around 1870 and is now held at Winchester College.
Caring in the crossfire
From the age of 12, Mary Seacole helped her mother, a nurse who specialised in traditional Jamaican medicine. Inspired by her mother and following the death of her husband, Mary focussed on caring for the sick.
Her medical expertise was invaluable during the Crimean War, where, along with Thomas Day, she opened a ‘British Hotel’ near the battlefields. She devoted her time and resources to caring for sick and injured soldiers, even riding on horseback into the battlefields under fire to help men from both sides of the conflict.
The 2023 UK Mary Seacole £5 has been created in collaboration with ‘The Mary Seacole Trust’ to pay tribute to her dedication to helping others.
‘The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands’
In 1957, Seacole penned a memoir, fittingly named ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands’ which detailed her humanitarian contributions during her 75 years. It wasn’t until the 1970s that people started to discover her story and realise how much of an impact she made on history.
Seacole was commemorated with a memorial in 2016 which is located in front of St Thomas’ Hospital. The sculpture was designed by none other than Martin Jennings, the creator of the King Charles III effigy that we see on UK coinage.
Secure your 2023 UK Mary Seacole £5
The third coin in the Myths and Legends £5 series pays tribute to King Arthur’s half sister and legendary enchantress, Morgan le Fay.
The reverse design features a depiction of Morgan le Fay wearing a winged headpiece in an intimidating stance ready to cast her dark powers. David Lawrence, who also designs the other coins in the Myths and Legends series, has perfectly captured her as a force to be reckoned with on this new UK £5.
This is the third and final coin inspired by Arthurian legend in the Myths and Legends series. But what would you like to see on a Myths and Legends £5 next? Let us know in the comments below!
The mythology of Morgan le Fay
In many legends, Morgan le Fay is portrayed as a witch with the ability to fly and shapeshift. However, in alternate versions of Arthurian legend, she plays a pivotal role in helping a wounded King Arthur to the Isle of Avalon where she treats his injuries.
Whilst she is sometimes portrayed as a benevolent healer, Morgan le Fay is commonly cast as a villain who seeks to harm King Arthur and anyone associated with him in literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.
2023 UK Merlin £5
The second £5 in the series featured mythical wizard Merlin poised with his magical staff, ready to wield his power. If you look closely, you’ll also see Archimedes the owl – a character from author T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone – sitting serenely on the wizard’s shoulder.
Designer David Lawrence gave collectors a peek at the mythical island Avalon in the background, while Martin Jennings’ portrait of King Charles III featured on the obverse of the coin.
2023 UK King Arthur £5
King Arthur featured on the first £5 in the Myths and Legends UK series. The legendary British King was depicted carrying a sword of Merlin’s creation – Excalibur!
I’m sure you’ll agree each of these dynamic coins has been a brilliant addition to the Myths and Legends series. Will you be adding Morgan Le Fay to your collection?
2023 sees the return of one of the most captivating and empowering sporting events in the world. And to celebrate England’s incredible team of Lionesses, The Royal Mint have struck a brand new UK £5 coin.
The Lionesses’ journey so far
Since their first international match in 1972, the England women’s football team has gone from strength to strength.
The rising popularity of women’s football reached new heights in 2022 when England became European Champions. The dynamic squad, including the likes of Beth Mead, Fran Kirby and Ella Toone, took home the trophy after their unforgettable win against Germany.
This year, the Lionesses embark on their biggest competition to date, and to commemorate the event, the Pride of England £5 has been struck.
Three lions on the coin…
The 2023 UK Pride of England £5 proudly celebrates the team and their successes with a design by sculptor Norman Sillman. Three emblematic lions can be seen on the reverse design, representing the nation’s heraldic history.
The design may look familiar, and that’s because these heraldic lions also appeared on UK £1 coins in 1997. In fact, they date back to Richard the Lionheart who used three golden lions on a scarlet background as a powerful symbol of the English throne.
A must have for football fans
Demand for this coin is sure to be huge, as it not only appeals to coin collectors, but will also be highly sought after by British sport enthusiasts and football fans. The 2023 UK Pride of England £5 is the perfect keepsake for those who appreciate the rich history and cultural impact of women’s football.
A history of football coins
2022 UK FA Cup £2
The FA Cup £2 was issued to mark 150 years of the FA Cup. The reverse design by Matt Dent and Christian Davies featured the famed FA Cup trophy, representing one of the greatest football knockout tournaments in the world.
This coin proved incredibly popular with collectors, with the limited edition specifications selling out at The Royal Mint within just hours of release.
2011 Olympic Football 50p
Released as part of the Royal Mint’s 2012 Olympic 50p series, this coin was dedicated to football.
It was possibly the most publicised Olympic 50p, as it features the hotly debated offside rule in the form of a simple diagram. Designer Neil Wolfson chose the image to represent the sport and provoke discussion.