The first of five million silver 50 pence coins to mark the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was struck in Wales today as the Queen's Baton Relay continued on its second day through the country.
European champion and Commonwealth bronze medal-winning 400 metres hurdler Rhys Williams struck the first coin as the Queen's Baton visited the Royal Mint factory in Llantrisant and heralded the start of production of five million of the coins that will be in circulation across Britain in time for the start of the Games on July 23.
"For over 1,000 years the Royal Mint has been producing British coins that have recorded the passing of history, documenting changes in monarchs, customs and national themes," said the Royal Mint's director of commemorative coin and bullion Shane Bissett.
"We are thrilled to be able to show our support for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and have the opportunity to commemorate this historical event on both commemorative and circulating coinage."
The coin, designed by Alex Loudon and Dan Flashman, features a cyclist and a runner along with lettering inspired by renowned Glasgow-born artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and will be finished by the Scottish Saltire.
In March, the Royal Mint released premium editions of the specially designed coin which are available to purchase here.
Only 1,000 of the limited edition coins were produced and are priced at £100 ($166/€120).
The Commonwealth Games coin follows on from the success of the London 2012 50p piece released in the build-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Double Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rebecca Adlington had visited the Royal Mint factory in Wales last month to strike a gold Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 50p in her capacity as an official ambassador for the Games.
Only 260 of the 22 carat gold coins are being made available by the Royal Mint and are priced at £725 ($1218/€894).
"I am very excited about this year's Commonwealth Games because it's great to have such a large scale sporting event at home again," said the swimmer, who had the chance to visit the factory where her two gold medals for London 2012 were struck.
"It gives the crowd an opportunity to show their support for the British competitors, particularly the younger athletes, and it should be a great atmosphere.
"I am particularly looking forward to commentating on the swimming and being able to attend the Opening Ceremony for the first time, because I've always been competing before, and it promises to be a fantastic start to the Games."
The Queen's Baton Relay will continue its seven-day journey through Wales before beginning its English and Scottish legs ending at the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to finish on August 3.
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March 2014: Royal Mint releases premium editions of specially designed Glasgow 2014 50 pence coin
December 2013: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to be featured on 50 pence coin