2005 Samuel Johnson's Dictionary Silver Proof 50p
Just 7,500 issued for collectors
One of the most prolific and energetic figures in English literature, Samuel Johnson was born at Litchfield in 1709, the son of a bookseller. Although he went to Oxford, he was so poor that he had to leave without obtaining his degree. In 1737 he went to London to try his hand at journalism. He launched a magazine, the Rambler (1750), wrote novels and political pamphlets, produced an edition of Shakespeare (1765) and the monumental Lives of the Poets (1779-1781).
He was still writing at the time of his death in 1784, but he is chiefly remembered for his Dictionary of the English Language, a colossal undertaking on which he laboured for eight years from 1747 until 1755. It was a task that involved the endless drudgery of writing definitions and seeking appropriate quotations. He had hoped to complete it by 1750 but the project grew and grew. It was the first full-scale English dictionary and its completion put Johnson in the first rank of lexicography.
This silver Proof 50p coin marking the 250th anniversary of Johnson's Dictionary reproduces Johnson's definitions of the words FIFTY and PENCE
Worldwide edition limit: 7,500
- Denomination: £2
- Metal: .925 sterling silver
- Weight: 8g
- Diameter: 27.3mm
- Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II
- Reverse: Design by Tom Phillips
- Quality: Proof
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