Do you own the rarest Olympic 50p?

In 2011, 29 50p coins were released ahead of the 2012 London Olympics and millions rose to the challenge of collecting them all. For many, this marked the start of their interest in coins.

The Royal Mint now estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors, which is a testament to their popularity.

But which Olympic 50ps do you need to look out for

Complete collection of Olympic 50ps

2009 Athletics Olympic 50p

In 2009, two years before the 29-coin Olympic 50p series was released, nine-year old Florence Jackson became the youngest person to design a coin for circulation in the UK. Her Athletics Olympic 50p design was the ultimate winner of a Blue Peter competition.

Only 100,000 Presentation Packs were issued

Although you may recognise this coin, you may not know that a rare version of this coin exists. When the competition winner was revealed, only 100,000 special edition Blue Peter coin packs were released with a 2009 dated coin – making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date.

That makes this 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p.

Which Olympic 50p is the rarest?

Did you know that only 1,125,500 Football fifty pence pieces entered circulation? It’s definitely the rarest one to look out for and tops our chart as having the smallest mintage figures, which means it is even harder to find than the others.

Although the Olympic Football 50p holds the smallest mintage figure, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always going to be the most sought-after Olympic 50p. To determine just how scarce and sought-after your coins are, check out our Scarcity Index.

The withdrawn Aquatics ‘error’ Olympic 50p

The Aquatics 50p design was modified to make the swimmer more visible.

The Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version which removed the waves passing over the swimmer’s face.

Despite the original design being adapted early on – there are still a few of the original coins in circulation. 

Although the exact quantity of the original Aquatics design remains a mystery, we know it’s not unusual for these special coins to exchange hands for close to £1000… not a bad return on a 50p coin!

The rarest of the series

It is without doubt that the gold versions of each 50p remain the rarest of the collection.

A gold version of each design was presented to the respective artist

Unfortunately for collectors, obtaining one of these is nearly impossible as only one gold version of each design was presented to the respective winning designer.

Aside from the precious metal content, their unique status and significance rank them as potentially the most valuable UK 50p coins in existence.

Is this the 30th Olympic 50p?

To the delight of many Olympic 50p collectors, in 2016 The Royal Mint issued a special 50p to wish Team GB success for the Rio Games.

The new 2016 UK Team GB 50p Coin

The coin’s obverse features a swimmer with the Team GB logo, the Olympic rings and the inscription ‘TEAM GB’. Designed by Tim Sharp, the coin has been officially endorsed by Team GB and celebrates the spirit of British Olympians.

Although the 2016 Team GB 50p isn’t part of the 29-coin Olympic 50p series, it’s become known as the ‘unofficial 30th Olympic 50p’ – a must have for all Olympic 50p Collectors.

Dual-Dated Team GB 50p

Back in 2020, collectors were delighted by the announcement of the new Team GB 50p, released as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set to celebrate Team GB’s participation in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021, this 50p was never individually released in 2020.

Excitingly, this means that there are two versions of the coin – one with the obverse dated 2020 from the 2020 Annual Coin Set and one with the obverse dated 2021 from the individual release.

What’s more, this makes the 2021 UK Team GB 50p one of only a small handful of UK 50ps to feature a dual-date – only adding to its collectability!

Complete your 50p collection

Do you still have coins missing from your Olympic 50p collection?

Fill the gaps in your Olympic 50p collection >>


  1. Fatma on July 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I find the sailing 50p dose it worth anything ?

  2. Peter lorenz on July 2, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Find it disgusting that the post office sell the new 10ps for £4 why when when we can’t get them in our change. The Royal Mint want to stop this as it’s not fair at all. If we can get them in our change this would help the youngwe children to learn the Alphabet.

    • Rachel Hooper on July 2, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Hi Peter, we really hope more people start finding them in their change soon. As you say, they are great for children and can be really useful for learning the alphabet or spelling. Let us know if you manage to find any. Thanks, Rachel

  3. Jim on June 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Great article: It took me more than two years of regular checking to get hold of my Football 50p a few years back, and to complete my collection. As you often say – keep looking.

    • Rachel Hooper on July 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Congratulations on finding the Football 50p Jim, I bet that was an amazing feeling!