The 50p is possibly one of the most collected coins in Britain. The coin entered in circulation 1969, on October 14 to be precise, replacing the ten-shilling note and ahead of the currency decimalisation, which would occur in 1971.
The 50p coin is the world’s first seven-sided coin made in an equilateral heptagon-like shape (It’s not actually a heptagon because the sides are curved arcs instead of straight lines). The Royal Mint deliberately chose this unique format for the Fifty Pence coin to differentiate the coin from the rest of the UK coinage. Its distinctive design is perhaps one of the reasons why the 50p coin is so popular with coin collectors.
What are the rarest 50p coins?
Any coin with a low mintage number can be considered rare. Bearing this in mind, below is a list* of the top 5 rarest fifty pence coins:
The Kew Gardens (only 210,000 issued for circulation)
Depending on the condition of the coin, any of the coins listed above can be worth more than their face value. But instead of telling you which coins are worth money, we would rather tell you which ones we don’t usually buy... for starters the cupronickel coins issued for circulation even if they are considered rare. The Peter Rabbit issues, for example, the only ones worth money are the ones struck with colouring in silver proof. But there are others: the Benjamin Britten, The Paddington Bear, and any of the Beatrix Potter commemorative issues. In our opinion, they have been over-hyped by the press. And, whilst a lot of them are for sale online for very high prices, there’s little evidence to suggest that they are actually selling...
DDAY50P 50th Anniv of D-Day Unc 50 Pence. In 1994 the Royal Mint issued a commemorative 50 Pence for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, one of the most important days in World War II. It was the older large sized 50 Pence and today it is very difficult to find, especially in Uncirculated condition. One of the marketing companies is selling this coin for £11.00, which I think is far too much. True it is difficult to find, but still £11.00 is a lot of money. We have some in stock and are offering it for £6.95, which I believe is a much more realistic and fairer price.
In 2005 the Royal Mint issued a commemorative 50 Pence to honour the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language. Without this momentous work, we wouldn’t know what a lot of words mean today.
You have a series of words on one side with the inscription ‘Johnson’s Dictionary 1755’. The other side has a portrait of H.M. the Queen and this coin is struck in Proof Sterling Silver. This is also a coin that is missing from many collections, especially in Silver. We believe our price for this older and very important commemorative coin, is less than what the Royal Mint will be charging for this year’s commemorative. Supplies are limited...
In 1973 we were still using the old large size 50 Pence coin. In 1973 the Royal Mint
issued it’s first ever commemorative 50 Pence coin. At that time you could only buy the proof version in cupro-nickel, how times have changed. No silver, no silver piedfort, no gold, no platinum just the base metal the coin was issued in, but it did come in a red leatherette case.
So what happened? Just as you suspected, everyone wanted one of the new commemorative Fifty Pence pieces in Proof condition, so that even today they are not all that hard to get.
But the error that most collectors made was in not putting aside this first commemorative coin in Uncirculated condition…
Because we now know that the 1973 Fifty Pence piece is much scarcer in Uncirculated condition than the Proof coin. So when we bought a small group the other month we were delighted, after all we know that this coin is scarce and missing from many collections. But just because it is Scarce in this condition does not mean that it will cost you a fortune. If you have the Proof you just might want to add an Uncirculated example to your collection as well. The Uncirculated Coin is Scarcer Than the Proof!
Issued by the Royal Mint in 2000, this commemorative 50 Pence piece honoured the 150th anniversary of Public
Libraries. It was never given the publicity it deserved and many collectors do not have one in their collections. Each
coin is complete in its own case, with certificate just as it was issued by the Royal Mint.
Illustrated here is the Piedfort Sterling Silver Proof of the Library 50p.
Issued by the Royal Mint in 2000, this commemorative 50 Pence piece honoured the 150th anniversary of Public Libraries. It was never given the publicity it deserved and many collectors do not have one in their collections. Each coin is complete in its own case, with a certificate just as it was issued by the Royal Mint.
Illustrated here is the Sterling Silver Proof of the Library 50p.
1998 Rank-Broadley 50p Brilliant Uncirculated. In 1997 the Royal Mint reduced the size of the 50 Pence piece. In 1998 they introduced
a new bust of the Queen for our coinage, it was done by Ian Rank-Broadley.
This coin is difficult to get and many collectors are missing it from their collections. We have managed to find a small group in Brilliant Uncirculated condition and now offer them to you. Each coin has the new portrait of the Queen on one side and a seated Britannia on the other. It is the first coin of the new series with the Rank- Broadley bust of the Queen.
All of the coins are in Brilliant Uncirculated condition and quite difficult to get.