New 50p to celebrate female scientist who captured first DNA x-ray

A brand new 50p design has been launched in commemoration of a ground breaking British scientist.

It is the second coin in the Royal Mint’s innovation in science series, with the first dedicated to Stephen Hawking.

The Royal Mint have released the coin in honour of Rosalind Franklin – ahead of what would have been her 100th birthday.

The chemist captured an x-ray image of DNA in 1952, which has been recreated on the coin, alongside her name.

The original photograph was captured 68 years ago at King’s College London, with scientist Raymond Goslin – which was instrumental in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

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Royal Mint graphic designer David Knapton used printing techniques of the era to print Photograph 51 onto the coin.

David Knapton said: “A straight replication of Photograph 51 wouldn’t have worked on a coin, so I decided to reflect the printing techniques of the era.

“Adding an A to a third column to line up with the last letters of Rosalind and Franklin to spell DNA felt like a small penny drop moment.”

Rosalind Franklin passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 37.

The Royal Mint has gifted Rosalind’s sister, Jenifer Glynn, with a silver proof edition of the coin in celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday on July 25.

Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “This commemorative 50p coin is truly a fitting tribute to a scientist who was instrumental in enabling one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century.”

President and principal of King’s College London Professor Ed Byrne said: “I am delighted that today she has been formally recognised for her groundbreaking and wide-ranging work, which has allowed and inspired generations of students, scientists and physicists at King’s and beyond to delve deeper into biophysics, human heredity and to develop treatments for genetic diseases.”