Black excellence

Meet David Pearce: The talented UK schoolboy who created the tail design of the new £1 coin


MEET DAVID Pearce, the UK schoolboy who created the tail design of the new £1 coin.

Two and a half years ago, as a 15-year-old completing his GCSEs at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall, David beat more than 6,000 other entrants – among them professional designers, artists, architects and historians – in a nationwide competition launched by the Royal Mint to find a suitable reverse side.

The Queen, has a new portrait on the other for the oldest still-used currency in the world.

“It was one of my Design and Technology teachers who first heard about it,” he told the Telegraph. “He had everyone in the younger years enter, but mentioned it to a few of us at GCSE level too. I thought it might be a good thing to have a go at.”

David spent his evenings at home sketching various ideas – heraldic symbols, iconic buildings, British institutions – and studied the tails patterns of the then current ‘round pound’.

“I wanted to draw upon the past, but put a bit of a new take on it. I thought the floral symbols of each country best summed them up, so I decided to weave the rose of England, the leek from Wales, the thistle from Scotland and Northern Ireland’s shamrock together inside the Crown, creating a properly United Kingdom,” he remembers. “I don’t normally do arty drawings, so it was actually really hard.”

While the tail’s side of the coin released today is David’s design (look close enough and you’ll even see a subtle ‘DP’ embossed in one corner), his original sketch was sharpened up by a couple of professionals.

Their alterations were minimal, though: all the plants now stem from the same root, and the ‘One Pound’ denomination was moved to the bottom.


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