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Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 12:43 UK
London 2012 Olympic 50p coin designed by Norfolk man
Bruce Rushin with 2012 Olympic 50p coin
Bruce was influenced by boats on the Norfolk Broads when designing his coin

A Norfolk teacher can consider himself 'minted' after winning a contest to design a coin for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Bruce Rushin's creation on the theme of sailing is one of 29 officially licensed coins picked out of 27,000 entries to a Royal Mint competition.

"I feel proud to think that in some small way I am playing a (non-sporting) part in the 2012 Olympics," he said.

Bruce, from Horstead near Norwich, said his design was inspired by the Broads.

"When we first moved to the Broads we could see boats sailing outside our kitchen window," he said.

"Part of my inspiration was choosing something that I knew that we'd 'medalled' in before.

"It's a design of three sailing dinghies - the kind sailed by Olympians like Ben Ainslie - in a gold, silver and bronze position, sailing on a pattern of waves.

"Behind them is a chart or map which shows the outline of Portland Bill and Weymouth which is where the sailing Olympics will be taking place."

Coin creation

Bruce has an eye for coin creation and a talent for coming first in competitions.

In 1996 he designed the look of the £2 coin as part of the Royal Mint's contest, but he didn't discover he had the chance to create his own Olympic coin until he helped his pupils design some silver motifs.

"I'm a part-time teacher and I was working in a school assisting some pupils with their designs for the Blue Peter competition," said Bruce.

"I hadn't really realised at the time that I could enter until I read some of the details and thought 'well I can have a go as well!'"

Bruce says the key to designing a winning coin is simplicity and sometimes luck.

"It's the ability to imagine what your design, which you could design the size of a tea plate, looks like on a small scale, plus imagining a slightly 3D effect, so you have to think a bit like a sculptor as well as an artist," he said.

"Often you have to simplify things - but the artist being happy with it is not the same as the design committee being happy with it, and so the element of luck comes in there."

The Royal Mint said that 87 million of the 29 special 50p coins would come into circulation during 2010 and 2011.




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