When the design competition was initiated in January 2009, the Design Business Association recommended that consultancies should not enter it.
In addition, designer Michael Johnson advised that, ‘The Royal Mint would get a far better result if it shortlisted six good design groups and paid them £5000 each.’
Winners were paid £1000 each for the 29 coin designs. They included a policeman from Manchester, a ten-year-old school girl from Bristol and a radiologist from Stoke.
This is the first time in its 1100 year history that the Royal Mint has turned to the British public for coin design.
Dave Knight, the Royal Mint’s director of commemorative coin, says, ‘In isolation each [coin] is a work of art, together they are an inspirational part of a sporting phenomenon.’