2009 Gold Proof Fifty Pence - 250th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
In 2009 the United Kingdom Royal Mint issued a fifty pence coins to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
According to the Royal Mint:
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are made up of 300 acres of land and have more species of plant than any other garden in the world. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Kew Gardens, the Royal Mint has struck a commemorative UK 50p coin in 22 carat gold.
Obverse - Fourth Portrait
The Royal Botanic Gardens
In 1759 Princess Augusta devoted a few acres of her gardens at Kew to a ‘Physic Garden’ where rare and unusual plants were cultivated for study. It was the beginning of Kew’s destiny as a world leader in plant science. The gardens were originally two royal Estates- the Kew Estate and the Richmond Estate - but were combined by George III in the late eighteenth century. In the summer of 1771 the king met Joseph Banks who had just returned to England from a voyage with James Cook. His collection of plants and animals and portfolios impressed the king and their mutual interest in agriculture led to Banks presiding over the Royal Society for 42 years. He was also an active member of many other influential societies, and was admired for his entrepreneurial skills. Through his patronage and many initiatives Banks elevated Kew to a garden of national status and as a centre for botanical exploration in the colonies. Kew Gardens was handed to the nation in 1841. During its long history as a royal estate and a government institution Kew has never lacked patrons or supporters. In recognition of its historic landscape, listed buildings, Herbarium and Library collections and its achievements in plant conservation, UNESCO awarded it World Heritage status in 2003.
The Designer – Christopher Le Brun RA Designer Christopher Le Brun was born in Portsmouth in 1951. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (DFA) in London from 1970-74 and at Chelsea School of Art (MA) from 1974-75.
Christopher Le Brun decided to choose the Chinese pagoda as he feels: ‘Like the London Red Bus, the Kew Gardens pagoda is an instantly recognisable symbol and rather to be cherished for that reason. So I decided not to resist such a strong image but rather to enjoy drawing it. The tower’s identity and perpendicular clarity is very useful in a design I had the idea early on that plants should twine around and grow up through the tower.
All British 2009 coins carry the fourth portrait obverse design by Ian Rank-Broadley.
Kew Gardens Pagoda with plants twined around it.
'The legend (inscription) reads:-
27.30||15.50 grams||.9166||0.4600 Troy Ounces
Date||Description||Issue Limit||Mintage||Official Issue Price
2009||250th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew ||1,000|| ||£575
Notes on Table
Issue Price = Official Royal Mint issue price.
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