For the FIRST time Alan Turing is commemorated on a UK 50p coin, but who is he and what did he do?

Alan Turing is renowned as the father of modern computing. At the age of 33 he was employed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at Teddington, south-west London and given the task of designing a new type of calculating machine for Britain. He played a pivotal role in the development of early computers, and he set the foundations for work on artificial intelligence by considering the question of whether machines could think. In fact, his research was so influential that his test of computer intelligence, called ‘The Imitation Game‘, or now more commonly ‘The Turing Test’, is still used to this day.

Alan Turing
Source: Wikimedia Commons

His intellect still has an enduring impact today and his theories are highly respected, proving he was a genius way ahead of his time.

Popularity of science themed coins

Previous coins released that have a science theme have been extremely popular with collectors.

The Stephen Hawking 50p, which had an entire edition limit of 5,500, completely SOLD OUT within a matter of hours — record breaking time. The Rosalind Franklin 50p, which features the famous Photograph 51 leading Franklin to her discovery that DNA has a double helix structure, also saw unprecedented demand.

Rosalind Franklin and Stephen Hawking 50p Reverses
Rosalind Franklin and Stephen Hawking 50ps

Who’s Alan Turing?

Alan Turing was born in 1912, in London, to parents Julius Mathison Turing and Ethel Sara Stoney. Julius and Ethel met in India but wanted their children to be brought up in Britain, so they travelled between the two during Turing’s childhood years. From early on he showed an inclination towards mathematics and in 1931, aged 19, began his studies on the subject — firstly attending the University of Cambridge and then Princeton University.

Alan Turing, aged 15, at Westcott House, Sherborne School.
Alan Turing, aged 15, at Westcott House, Sherborne School.
Source: BBC

How Alan Turing cracked the enigma code

During the second World War Turing worked as a codebreaker for the UK government. His success at decoding the Enigma cipher machine has meant people refer to him as the codebreaking genius

The shift had begun from handwritten cryptography to machines capable of writing complex codes and the UK government needed to decipher the Nazi German messages. These messages were changed often and thus hard to decipher. Turing managed to decode ‘Nazi secrets’ using the Bombe machine, which he and his colleagues created at the codebreaking centre Bletchley Park.

Bletchley Park
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Bombe was an electromechanical machine which could break the enigma codes more effectively than one built previously by the Polish — Bomba Kryptologiczna.

Why Alan Turing’s work in WW2 was so important

Alan Turing’s work in cracking the enigma code meant the UK and its allies were able to read German intelligence, understanding their next moves and some say that without it, the second World War could have lasted much longer than it did.

The Alan Turing £50 note

The Bank of England has recently honoured Turing with his portrait on a new £50 banknote. The public were asked to help choose the face of the new £50 note and so it comes as no surprise that the Alan Turing portrait has been widely praised.

Alan Turing £50 Banknote

It features a photo taken of Turing in 1951, technical drawings for the British Bombe and a table and mathematical formulae from one of his papers, as well as other concept imagery.

The positive response to this new note, only increases speculation that this BRAND NEW Alan Turing 50p coin is going to shake the collecting world up by a storm, so don’t hesitate in ordering your 50p.

BRAND NEW 2022 UK Alan Turing 50p Coin

This is the FIRST EVER UK coin commemorating the life and legacy of Alan Turing.

The reverse features three code breaking elements, but can you see them?

2022 UK Alan Turing 50p Coin with Code Diagram
2022 UK Alan Turing Brilliant Uncirculated 50p Coin

Code 1. GEARS GRIN THAN — every 3-square-meter of the world has been given a unique combination of three words. Go to ‘what3words’ to find the location where Turing studied… 

Code 2. ‘ONLY A FORETASTE OF WHAT IS TO COME’ — Turing’s quote in The Times, June 1949.

Code 3. MD and CD — the coin designers, Matt Dent and Christian Davies, initials.

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The 2022 UK Alan Turing 50p Coin Range
The 2022 UK Alan Turing 50p Coin Range

2022 UK Alan Turing 50p Coin Range

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