• Sofia Eugeniou

Black historic figures to feature on British money for the first time


Image credit: Mary Seacole Trust

Mary Seacole is one of the first historical figures who has been proposed to appear on a set of sterling coins.


For the first time, black, Asian and minority ethnic figures will be set to feature on British coins under new proposals being considered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.


Sunak is looking into the plans following a campaign by Banknotes of Colour, led by Zehra Zaidi and Patrick Vernon.


The campaign aims to see black and other minority ethnic figures featured on British commemorative coins and notes - British legal tender has never featured a non-white person.


In a letter to Sunak just last month, campaigners called on the chancellor to support the creation of new coins to reflect the theme of service to the nation and represent the great contributions of figures from BAME backgrounds and heritage.


"It is surely essential that this country does not lose another opportunity to demonstrate that the contributions of Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority groups are truly valued. Symbols matter and we urge you to support our campaign", the letter stated.


If successful in their campaign, those behind Banknotes of Colour would like the public to nominate who should be on any future currency.


The proposals have been sent to the Royal Mint, which is expected to produce plans and designs for the coins which feature BAME figures.


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