A 50p commemorative coin celebrating 200 years of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) has been launched by the Royal Mint.

The Mint will also be presenting all 238 RNLI Lifeboat stations, which create a ring of safety across the UK and Ireland, with their own commemorative 50p coin.

RNLI volunteers have been saving lives at sea since 1824 and a percentage of the price of each coin sold by the Royal Mint will be donated in support of the charity’s work and commitment.

The percentages will be 5% for brilliant uncirculated and silver proof 50p coins, and 3% for gold proof 50p coins.

Designed by coinage artist John Bergdahl, the 50p coin features a design paying tribute to the charity’s lifesaving work.

The coin’s design depicts the RNLI flag, surrounded by a life ring.

RNLI coin
The 50p coin design depicts the RNLI flag, surrounded by a life ring (PinPep/RNLI/PA)

Combining traditional engraving techniques with modern minting technology, Royal Mint product designer Daniel Thorne ensured the original design, created on a plaster model, was translated accurately onto coins.

Optical scanners were used to create a 3D file of the design.

Thomas Olawuyi in the Royal Mint’s design team ensured that the colour appearing on a selection of the 50p coins matched the shade of orange which is synonymous with the RNLI and its lifeboats.

Lauren Baker-Little and Steve Porter of the RNLI show off the coin
Lauren Baker-Little and Steve Porter of the RNLI show off the coin (Stuart Martin/Royal Mint/PA)

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “We are honoured to be a part of the RNLI’s bicentenary celebrations, by marking the charity’s historic anniversary on an official UK 50p.

“Since its formation 200 years ago, the RNLI has served a pivotal role in keeping people safe on our coastlines as well as saving hundreds of thousands lives at sea.

“Everyone at the Royal Mint has a huge amount of appreciation towards the RNLI, with many of us having our own personal connection to the charity. We are proud to confirm that a percentage of the profits from the sale of each coin will also go directly to the RNLI in support of the courageous work and commitment of the charity.”

Angela Rook, RNLI 200th anniversary lead, said: “The RNLI has been saving lives for 200 years thanks to the ongoing dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters. In 2024 we are remembering our remarkable history, celebrating the modern lifesaving service we provide today, and looking forward to inspiring and welcoming a new generation of lifesavers and supporters.

“This coin serves as a wonderful commemorative keepsake to mark this very special milestone in the charity’s history, and reminder of our ultimate aim – as it has been for the past two centuries – to save lives at sea.”

Steve Porter, volunteer crewmember at Poole RNLI in Dorset, said: “I’m proud to be a volunteer with the RNLI in its 200th anniversary year and to share the celebration of this milestone with all the dedicated crews saving lives at sea across the UK and Ireland.

“It’s a special year for us to commemorate and we appreciate the Royal Mint’s recognition and kind donation of coins to all our stations.”

The 50p coin marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI was first unveiled by the Royal Mint at the end of 2023, when a set of new commemorative coin designs marking 2024’s most significant anniversaries and milestones was announced.

People can buy the coins from the Royal Mint’s website, with prices ranging from £12 for a brilliant uncirculated coin and £21 for a colour version to £1,220 for a gold coin.