Desang diabetes magazine, diabetes news, Royal Mint 50p coin insulin discovery

18

NEWS

Minted!

The Royal Mint strikes a memorial coin to mark

100 years since the discovery of insulin.

The Royal Mint has released

a commemorative UK 50p

coin to celebrate the 100th

year since the discovery

of insulin. The ground-breaking

discovery changed the landscape of

diabetes treatment and turned it into

a manageable condition, saving the

lives of millions of people worldwide.

In tribute to the pioneering

work of John Macleod, Sir Frederick

Banting, and their expert team

consisting of Charles Best and James

Collip in 1921, the reverse design

combines an artistic illustration of

insulin's molecular structure with

its chemical symbol. The Royal

Mint's website states that, "As one

of the most significant medical

breakthroughs of the twentieth

century, the discovery of insulin

unquestionably made for a deserving

addition to our on-going Innovation

in Science series."

In an article for www.royalmint.

com the coin's designer, Iris De La

Torre explained her approach to the

subject. A jewellery maker, her style

incorporates 1960s graphic design.

She says, "The discovery of insulin

was a very important scientific event,

and I was pleased to hear it was

finally going to be commemorated

on a coin. On my dad's side, a few

of my relatives have diabetes and

I know that this is something that

has adversely affected their quality

of life."

Pieces of art

A coin is primarily used as currency

and is made of metal. The essential

objective of circulating coin is that its

main function is to be spent. It seems

cold, uniform and impersonal - the

opposite of jewellery. "However,"

says De La Torre (pictured below), "I

think there are similarities between

the two. To my designer's eye,

coins are round pieces of art, and

maintainers of history and tradition,

while they can also be educational.

A coin can encapsulate a very

important moment, just like the

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