- Mintage Limit - 1888
- Each coin is struck from 1oz of pure silver
- Coin in capsule+with Certificate of Authenticity + Presentation Case
Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16th August 1888 – 19th May 1935), known as T. E. Lawrence, or 'Lawrence of Arabia', was a British Army officer renowned for his role in conflict within the Middle East during the First World War. The breadth and variety of his activities, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame. The year commencing in August 2013 dates the 125th anniversary of his birth.
This purely engraved coin commemorates the life and achievements of one of the greatest and most mysterious men of the 20th century. Focusing on the partially obscured face of this historical enigma, Lawrence is captured in the traditional Middle Eastern garb which made him a global media phenomenon of his day. One side of his headdress represents a map of the Middle East where he spent so much of his life.
The folds in the cloth of the other side represent the endless rolling sand dunes of the desert which Lawrence called home and the fluidity of his own life.
A Sopwith Camel biplane is set against this Arabian background, symbolizing Lawrence's great love of flying and the many years he served in the RAF. It was here where he was instrumental in bringing about key reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty for cowardice in battle, and the use of Pith helmets being abandoned by the air force in India. Lawrence's passion for motorcycles is shown in a finely engraved Brough Superior, a make of motorcycle which he loved, and on which he ultimately would have a tragic accident upon.
The fragmented, grid like element of this design, symbolizes the complex, secretive and multi sided nature of Lawrence's life. He was a celebrity of his day, a military leader, an explorer, an author, a pilot, a guerrilla and a pioneer to name but a few. These grids also represent the pioneering work Lawrence made in mapping large areas of the Middle East through the use of aerial photography.
The coin features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.