Stephen Hawking Celebrated With New ‘Black Hole’ 50 Pence Coin
The British Royal Mint has commemorated professor Stephen Hawking in a new 50p coin, which references the late physicist’s pioneering work on black holes.
The honorary coin, which is available in three metal finishes, aims to celebrate the life and “ground-breaking” achievements of Hawking, who passed away in 2018. It features Hawking’s name in capital letters above a rippling drawing of concentric circles, intended to represent a black hole.
Designer Edwina Ellis, a British engraver and printmaker, wanted to “fit a big black hole on the tiny coin”.
“Stephen Hawking made difficult subjects accessible, engaging and relatable and this is what I wanted to portray in my design, which is inspired by a lecture he gave in Chile in 2008.
Hawking, at his playful best, invites the audience to contemplate peering into a black hole before diving in.
I wanted to fit a big black hole on the tiny coin and wish he was still here chortling at the thought. I am sure he would have thought of ways to harness the shiny table of the coin too. You feel he cared about all of us understanding,” she said.
Available in gold, silver, and a double thickness silver version called a piedfort, the coin will not be circulated as currency.