SOLD OUT in TWO HOURS – The UK’s scarcest 50p just became even harder to get hold of!

To celebrate 50 years since the release of the first seven sided coin in 1969, today The Royal Mint has released a set of five carefully curated commemorative edition 50p coins, including the UK’s most sought-after 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens.

But within just two hours since going on sale, the overwhelming response from collectors has seen the entire range of Base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof sets completely sell out!

The highly anticipated 50 years of the 50p set is undeniably appealing to collectors and you can find out why these coins sold out so quickly below…


The UK’s first seven sided coin

It was in 1967 when the Deputy Master of The Royal Mint approached the Decimal Currency Board to discuss the introduction of a new coin as a more economical replacement for the 10 shilling note, which was only lasting five months in circulation at the time, compared to the fifty year lifespan of a coin. With much difficulty and debate to decide upon the best shape, the seven sided design was finally chosen and released as the first coin in the new decimal series.

The original reverse was designed by Christopher Ironside and featured the seated Britannia alongside a lion. This coin was issued between 1969 and 2008, after which The Royal Mint held a public competition to redesign the reverse of UK coins, with Matthew Dent’s winning shield design featuring on the reverse of definitive 50p coins since.

It seems only fitting therefore that the first 50p chosen to commemorate the coin’s 50th birthday is the ‘New Pence’ Britannia featuring Ironside’s design, a firm favourite for collectors, representing a numismatic milestone for Britain.

Britannia 50p

1969 Britannia ‘New Pence’ 50p


Alongside the definitive Britannia design, commemorative 50ps have been issued throughout the years to mark the various significant British anniversaries.

Within this set you can see not only the Britannia, but also the Girl Guides 50p which was issued in 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding in the UK, the Scouting 50p which was issued in 2007 to mark 100 years of Scouting in the UK, the Kew Gardens 50p which was issued in 2009 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Roger Bannister 50p which was issued in 2004 to mark the 50th anniversary if the first four minute mile.


Base Proof set


50 years of the 50p Base Proof set – SOLD OUT WITHIN TWO HOURS OF LAUNCH


These retrospective reverse designs taken from the last 50 years create a wonderful set of coins to commemorate the 50p coin, however we all know that the coin collectors are most excited about is the re-issue of the Kew Gardens 50p.


UK’s scarcest 50p


Initially when the coin was released in 2009 its rarity was overlooked, however in 2014 The Royal Mint revealed just how scarce this coin really is, with only 210,000 coins being struck. From this moment, prices on the secondary market began to skyrocket and collectors have since been desperate to add the coin to their collection, regarding the coin as one of the biggest prizes in the collecting world.

And whilst the 2019 re-issue of the most highly collected UK coin could have been a chance for collectors who have not already got this coin in their collection to finally own one, the very limited number of sets available means that this coin has already been snapped up by those lucky enough to secure the collector’s edition of the coin in Proof quality as part of the five coin commemorative set.


Gold set


50 years of the 50p Gold Proof set – COMPLETELY SOLD OUT IN TWO HOURS!


The set has been made available in base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof specifications, at a very limited number. In fact, the full range of 3,500 base Proof sets, 1,969 of the Silver and just 75 Gold sets have completely SOLD OUT!

It comes as no surprise that this set has been received so well, but what do you think about the coins featured and were you lucky enough to secure one for yourself?



Own the Masterpiece 50p Collection



The Masterpiece 50p Collection is a careful selection of some of the most sought-after 50p designs from the last 15 years, with themes ranging from the UK’s entry to the EEC to marking the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Click here to secure your collection >>


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  2. Mike Bentley on February 3, 2019 at 5:30 am

    The Royal Mint has learned very well from the Royal Australian Mint which does and has done for a while now exactly the same thing. That is release very limited numbers of popular issue sets in NCLT format with very limited notification. All the RAM’s preferred dealer customers get hold of them and then before you know it they are on ebay at massively inflated prices. Thanks a lot to both Mints for nothing …. from a coin collector.

    • Dave on February 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Same thing happened with Telephone cards only that time it was the Post Office that were the bad boys when they pulled out of issuing phonecards after selling many many ‘special issue’ sets.
      The object of collecting is the thrill of the chase not waving wads of money at special issues.

  3. Lewy on February 2, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Sent a post yesterday from Lewy
    Will you acknowledge receipt at least please?


    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Sorry Lewy, your comments have now been answered.

  4. Matt Jones on February 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Rachel, I am led to believe having read an article in the sun that the original mint announcement was they were re-issuing 10 past 50ps from over the years. The 5 that have been issued followed by Battle of Hastings, Both Victoria Cross’, Battle of Britan and D Day Landings. Any news if these will also be limited within a collectors set?

    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

      Hi Matt, I have not heard about these coins being released in a set, but of course we will keep you updated as soon as we hear of any new releases from The Royal Mint.

    • Les Kent on February 4, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Matt
      Yes I heard the exactly that and made a note of it,
      the D_Day landing
      Victoria cross
      The Hero
      The Battle of Hastings
      and the
      Battle of Britain
      So after been shafted by the mint on the 2019 set I sent an email to the mint asking
      about it and all that came back AGAIN sign up for email notification GUESS WHAT
      that’s just what I did last time, so I am not holding my breath.

  5. King on February 2, 2019 at 8:31 am

    What a load of rubbish, they are sold out haha this what they done , emails their top 300 coin buyers aka people with alot of money ,sold them.
    then made out they were sold within 2 hours so unless u have lots of money don’t expect to get any coins like this.

    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 9:30 am

      With so few sets available, unfortunately they sold out incredibly quickly with no promotion or emails being sent. I’m really sorry you missed out.

  6. Ray on February 2, 2019 at 12:58 am

    The situation with Limited Edition coin issues appears to be becoming a bit of a joke, as illustrated with the 50p collection. It appears that certain people are aware of the release dates, and are on “red alert”, otherwise you need to be on the internet at, or before, the crack of dawn to stand a chance of getting a look in. The first thing that many collectors see is that the release is sold out, and it’s annoying to then see the coins for sale on the internet sites at inflated cost within hours of them being released, when people with a genuine interest in coins really would like what the Royal Mint calls “A Treasure For Life”.

    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 9:33 am

      I’m really sorry you missed out Ray. With such limited releases it is really hard for collectors to secure these coins. We didn’t promote the set or send out emails to alert people about the release for this very reason.

  7. Brian Dignall on February 1, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Need to release a bunc kew garden to put the trust back into changechecker and the mint and at a mintage that reflects the very high demand

  8. William Chang on February 1, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I initially started collecting circulated British decimal coins, but got sucked into collecting no circulation coins. This has convinced me to go back to the former and sell all my none circlation coins. I am not prepared to pay ridiculous prices to try and compete my collection of All uk decimal coins.

  9. Des Driscoll on February 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Disgusted with the way genuine collectors were treated. I asked to be put on the waiting list then l discovered that westminster had more sets available. I was ignored and had no reply to my complaint. I then thought of trying Downies in Australia as it was the middle of the night there. I managed to order two sets 1 for me and 1 for my daughter. This was cut down to 1 set as they were so popular, with speculators. Why didn’t westminster or the royal mint do the same? Downies now say they won’t be sent out until March! My moan is that if an order is accepted together with some Australian coins why is it not honoured.

    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Unfortunately Westminster weren’t able to email to say the sets had arrived as we had so few available and within hours of the product page going live they had sold out. It’s really difficult when the sets are so limited. I’m really glad you managed to get one in the end though.

  10. Lewy on February 1, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Regarding the NEW release 5 coin set, I am newish to collecting and luckily have 2 Kew coins, 1 BU and another in Proof set. Probably paid inflated price due to speculators as mentioned.
    My Q. I presume my coins were minted around 2009 and released accordingly. So is there any differentiation between these 2019 releases? If not, why not and more importantly what stops significant rereleases in future devaluing collectors coins?
    Maybe they could release 1933 pennies??????

    And Rachel, will you answer the question of ‘who were the lucky 300’? Maybe Claire or Crystal 🙂

    • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Congrats on having the 2009 Kew Gardens in your collection! The new Kew is dated 2019, so will not affect the rarity of the original coins. In regards to the 50p set, we sent out no emails and ran no promotions, so the few that managed to order were those who were already on the site.

  11. Val l. on February 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I was in the fortunate position of being on the mint site when they came available and got one set in my basket, however, despite the payment being taken provisionally from my card I then received an email two days later from the mint saying there had been a site error and my purchase had not completed and the money would be repaid! Obviously too late to do anything at that point so bitterly disappointed – so near, so far…
    I wonder how many more people found themselves in this situation. A friend managed to get a set confirmed but has now been informed they will not arrive till March – surely the mint knew how many to make for a limited edition release? Very unhappy with them at the moment.

  12. Daniel Fedor on January 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Rachel, I was just wondering whether these coins were being released in to circulation? I would love to collect the 2019 50 new pence

    • Rachel Hooper on January 17, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Hi Daniel, unfortunately these coins were only released as collector’s editions in base proof quality and won’t be entering circulation. Such a small number were struck and they have been overwhelmingly popular, selling out within just a few hours!

      • Dan on February 1, 2019 at 6:27 pm

        Hi. Any chance of a new selling session for Kew Garden in a future ? To start checking your web site every day 🙂

      • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 10:10 am

        Hi Dan, unfortunately we do not sell the Kew Gardens 50p, as it is just too scarce to source.

      • Peter Fletcher on February 1, 2019 at 7:03 pm

        I’m a collector myself and while part of the joy in collecting is finding a hard to find coin to add to your collection i think i will now stop collecting and buying from change checker. Would of loved the 50th anniversary set and understand limited amounts were made for sale but those lucky enough to get in quick were allowed to buy five sets i think so as to make a huge profit while others could not get one set. Change checker should limit one per customer to allow proper collectors to add to their collection. Peter f

      • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 10:13 am

        Hi Peter, I’m really sorry that you were unable to purchase the 50th Anniversary of the 50p set from the Westminster Collection. Unfortunately they only had 300 sets available and so they sold out without any promotion or emails being sent. It is policy to allow up to 3 to be bought as the usual household limit which accommodates for potential gifts to be bought and for people to order on behalf of people in the household. Apologies again that you have missed out.

      • Brian Dignall on February 1, 2019 at 8:21 pm

        It was not hours because I got one in my basket at 9.15 and the system crashed rip off mint

  13. John White on January 15, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Totally agree with other comments. The initial price was high and whilst the mint is undoutedly a business seeking to make money their action over this issue is totally deplorable. They have clearly learnt from the Royal Mail who clearly used any excuse to produce a set of stamps. Several years ago a fellow philatelist estimated that it would cost him more than £500 to collect all the issues including booklets etc. for that year which is why l gave up collecting Britsh Stamps. Many decimal stamps issued post 1973 are selling for less than face value and indeed first day covers are selling at a fraction of their cost.. Most predecimal coins post 1950 can still be acquired for a small premium over their initial value adjusted for inflation. The Mint seem to be concerned only with feathering the nests of the coin speculaters and ignored the concerns of genuine collectors. They recognised this was a concern with issuing large amounts of the last Beatrix Potter coins , but have clearly retracted on that position. There is not doubt that these sets will appear on ebay at even greater inflated prices.. One has only to look at the 10p A to Z series, witb a face value of £2.60 selling at £55 on release and which despite handling large amounts of coins in my daily work l have yet to see in general circulation. I still see frequently 2 New Penny coins.. Having only started collecting about 15 months ago l am amazed at how prices have risen especially for post 2010 coins, fuelled no doubt by the higher and higher prices sought for proof sets which far outstrips both value and costs of production. At this rate it will not be too long before the mint kills the goose that laid the golden egg and destroys the interest in coins, just as the Royal Mail had done to modern issue philately.

    • Lewy on February 2, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      Concur with your comments John.
      Am I correct in presuming these new Kew Gardens coins will be dated 2009, although minted and released in 2019?
      If so maybe they could release 1933 penny and make a killing…

      • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 8:41 am

        The new Kew Gardens are 2019 dated, so the rarity of the 2009 coins won’t be affected. Which is of course a relief for collectors.

  14. Jim on January 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Disgusted. very obvious it’s a closed shop when it comes to rare coins.
    Not for us minions.

    • Mervyn Hood on January 16, 2019 at 9:15 am

      As you’ve probably gathered already from my earlier post, Jim, I couldn’t agree more with you but your comment is put very succinctly compared to my waffle!!

  15. John on January 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I have to agree with Mervyn, it seems the hundreds of thousands of avid coin collectors have been totally ignored with this issue, despite telling us last year these coins were going to be reissued, and that this was the chance for us all to finally own these coins, and in particular Kew Gardens , it was obviously never going to be within the realms of possibility !! I was then more than a little puzzled by Rachels reply when she told Mervyn they had only 300 sets but they had sold out quickly so didn’t have any information to pass to their customers other than ‘the 300 were sold out’ ! I, like Mervyn had also, or so i believed, signed up for the ‘early warning’ emails, but if none of us were advised until after they were sold, who were the ‘very lucky 300’ who were able to purchase these without any notification, and how were they made aware these sets were available to buy ? In addition, was anyone else aware that you even had 300 sets for purchase, because i certainly wasn’t.

    • Rachel Hooper on January 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm

      Hi John, I’m sorry that you were unable to purchase the set. The massive demand for the set meant that we couldn’t even get round to forwarding any emails out as all of our available stock was ordered as soon as they were available on the website! We were not able to advertise the product prior to its release so we can only apologise if this has meant that you have potentially missed out.

    • #greedybarstewards on January 16, 2019 at 9:28 am

      indeed. seems you have to be in “the club” before you get this type of offer.

      In all it just shows you who they really are.

      • Rachel Hooper on January 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

        I really appreciate your frustration at not being able to order the set. Due to the limited amount of sets we had available, these were all ordered within a very short space of time when they were made available on the website. We weren’t able to send any emails out or promote them in any way as the sets were already sold out.

    • Les Kent on February 1, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      I totally agree with all the comments especially Jim & Johns comments, I signed up for notification
      and not a whisper, I have been a member with the mint for a lot of years bought every coin in every format, I have a membership number and all that RUBBISH mean absolutley nothing to them, I feel like I have been stabbed in the back by the mint.
      I think the only way the mint can get out of this now is to produce a set in BU or just uncirculated sets
      but I doubt that will ever happen.

  16. Mervyn Hood on January 15, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I’m allegedly signed up to both the Royal Mint’s and Westminster’s New Release announcement pages BUT the fact that all sets of the 50p commemorative issues have sold out is the first notification of these sets that I have received. Obviously the Royal Mint (and possibly Westminster) has priority customers – those that bulk buy then sell their excess on the secondary markets thus promoting the ridiculously high prices on sites such as eBay. It is also very noticeable how extremely low the quantities of each set were. All of these practices are totally unfair and unethical in today’s climate of coin collecting as they ensure that it is impossible for the vast majority of genuine collectors to ever possess these very desirable sets.

  17. Mervyn Hood on January 15, 2019 at 8:56 am

    I’m allegedly signed up to both the Royal Mint’s and Westminster’s announcement email services BUT the fact that all sets are totally sold out is the first notification of their release that I have received from anybody. Obviously both have priority customers which is both grossly unfair and unethical in today’s collecting environment. It is telling us “ordinary people” collectors that we have absolutely NO CHANCE when it comes to collecting much desired releases – our only chance will be to pay exorbitantly increased prices to those who have bought multiple sets – again totally unethical as the Royal Mint is perpetuating the ridiculously priced second-hand market.

    • Rachel Hooper on January 15, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Hi Mervyn, I appreciate your frustration at not being able to secure this set. Unfortunately we were only allocated 300 sets and they sold out within a couple of hours of being released, so we weren’t able to email our customers with anything other than the news that they had sold out.

    • Russ. on January 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

      It probably won’t make either of you feel any better, but I would class myself as a similar collector.
      I read in sky news they were going on sale and jumped on the Mints website before 9am and still had trouble accessing the shop to actually purchase, but did finally manage to get mine before they sold out.
      So I did secure mine and I’m not a priority customer as I only occasionally buy from the mint. Sorry you missed out

      • Jamie on January 16, 2019 at 11:35 am

        I disagree with the ‘priority customers’ sentiment too! I’m just a minion and I was very fortunate that I was on the Change Checker Facebook page early on Monday morning and saw they were about to go on sale (which was the first I even knew about it) I managed to get a set into my basket on the Westminster Collection website before it crashed and kicked me out. I then went on the Royal Mint site at 9 and though the traffic was very heavy, I managed to get mine.

      • Mervyn Hood on January 16, 2019 at 5:11 pm

        Unfortunately we cannot all sit at our tvs/pcs/laptops/tablets etc at the correct time for these announcements to be made. Although retired I do have other things to do (assisting family with decorating, transport, working on my allotment etc) and one would have thought that, with the issue being so momentous to collectors, there would have been far more realistic numbers produced by the Royal Mint in the first instance. The only saving grace as far as I am concerned is that I collect coins released for circulation in this denomination (Q.E.II’s reign) so in that respect my collection is still complete. When originally announced, to the best of my knowledge, there was no mention that the coins to be released would be in the form of a non-circulated collection but rather inferred that they would be released separately throughout the year – as is the case with most coin releases.

      • Les Ken on February 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

        I by pure chance got the tail end of it all and put one set in my basket
        went down to look for something else and got back to the basket to find
        it had gone, they had taken it out, I didn’t think they could do that but they

      • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 2:01 pm

        Hi Les, was this when ordering from The Westminster Collection or The Royal Mint? Really sorry to hear you missed out.

    • Les Kent on February 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      You would have thought that the mint,
      ( It doesn’t sound right using the word ROYAL with mint any more)
      would have made it limited to one per household and not three,being
      such a low number but that must have been too easy.

      • Les Kent on February 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

        Hi Rachel
        No it was the mint
        and I am not happy I have been a member with the mint for an awful long time
        with a membership number and all that rubbish and I DON’T expect priority in any way
        but after buying every coin in every format since 1978 ( OH what’s the point ) I will just
        stop collecting at the end of this year that will be 50 years worth.

      • Rachel Hooper on February 4, 2019 at 3:39 pm

        That’s a real shame Les, you seem like such a dedicated collector and 50 years of collecting is and incredible achievement. I appreciate that the limited numbers of the 50th anniversary of the 50p set meant that even the most dedicated collectors found it hard, if not impossible to get hold of the coins. Don’t give up on collecting though Les!

  18. Jamie on January 14, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    So is that it for the 50th Anniversary editions? No individual reissues? When they announced the news at the end of last year and said they were giving everyone the chance to now own a Kew Gardens they didn’t really hint it would be in such a limited number. On the Westminster Collection website it did say that the 5 piece set was the only place you’ll get a Silver Proof Kew Gardens but didn’t make the same claim on the Royal Mint’s Base Proof page.

    • Rachel Hooper on January 15, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Hi Jamie, this is the 50th Anniversary of the 50p set and unfortunately the coins aren’t being released individually. The response from collectors has been overwhelming and unfortunately they have now sold out.

    • Steve on February 3, 2019 at 8:51 am

      I suspect they will release individuals at some point. The die are in place, they could easily sell a Kew for £10-£15 each and the collectors would snap them up. Why go to all that effort for 3.5k sets?? Limited sets yes, only 3.5k made……. but individual !!! Sky’s the limit. Still makes the sets limited edition

      • Mike Bentley on February 6, 2019 at 8:01 am

        I like your thinking Steve.

  19. racharlperry on January 14, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    need new gardens