Just 375 of the 50ps will be released, making it the rarest – and set to be the most valuable – in circulation.
The 50p is a tribute to Newton’s work in the fields of physics and astronomy and features a design is based upon elements of Proposition 11, in Book One of Newton’s Principia Mathematica.
The new silver coin will be even rarer than the Kew Gardens 50p, released in 2009, which now sells for hundreds of pounds on eBay.
Coin collectors hoping to get the new 50p need to head to Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, the place of Sir Isaac Newton’s birth, as they are released into the tills this week – or hope to find one in their change over the coming months.
Commemorative editions of the coins in gold, silver and collectable ‘Brilliant Uncirculated’ finishes will also be available from the gift shop at Woolsthorpe Manor, as well as direct from The Royal Mint website.
Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s director of consumer coin said: “As well as undertaking pioneering work in the fields of physics and astronomy – work for which he is widely known – Isaac Newton was also Master of The Royal Mint for three decades, so we couldn’t think of a better place to issue a special release of these coins than Woolsthorpe Manor, Newton’s birthplace.”
The Sir Isaac Newton coin is a result of a collaboration between The Royal Mint and The National Trust.
Jannette Warrener, operations manager at Woolsthorpe Manor, National Trust, said: “This is the perfect way to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Isaac Newton.
“We are forging a link between two of the places that played an important role in his life – Woolsthorpe Manor, where he was born but also where he achieved some his most notable and world-changing scientific thinking, and The Royal Mint, where he spent much of his working life.”
He said: “I wanted to approach the choice of design differently, rather than simply creating a portrait of Newton.
“Instead I researched the scientific elements of Newton’s theories, particularly the ones related to Newton’s laws and bodies in space.
“The biggest challenge was representing the theory within the scope of the coin.
“Once that was achieved I worked with The Royal Mint coin designers to find the background details that would complement the theory.
“In order to achieve flat patterns and reflected shapes within the design, watch faces became a big part of the inspiration. Circular lines worked best, which are slightly angled to reflect the light in layers.”