The 50p that’s even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin…

In 2008, Matthew Dent redesigned the UK’s definitive coins following a public competition which saw over 4,000 designs submitted.

His Royal Shield of Arms design was chosen by The Royal Mint Advisory Committee to feature on the reverse of all UK coins, and when each coin from the penny to the 50p is placed together, the completed design reveals the full shield. The lower section of the shield can be seen on the reverse design of the UK 50p.

Definitive 50ps are usually issued into circulation every year and generally go unnoticed as they are so readily available and mintage figures are often in the high millions.

Since 2008 this coin has been issued into circulation six times, but which Royal Shield 50p is the rarest?

The Royal Mint only issues coins based on demand, and therefore the coin wasn’t issued for circulation in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2016. In the years that the coin was issued, the mintage figures vary from just 1,800,000 all the way up to 49,001,000.

By far the rarest 50p shield is the 2017 coin, which is actually the second rarest 50p coin in circulation!

The Kew Gardens is known as the UK’s rarest circulation 50p, with a mintage of just 210,000 and the next rarest commemorative 50p is the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton, with a mintage of 1,801,500. However, when you include definitive coins into the mix, the 2017 Royal Shield actually knocks the Sir Isaac Newton off second spot, with 1,500 less coins issued.

The most common Royal Shield 50p is the 2014 coin, with a mintage of 49,001,000, although this is not the most common 50p in circulation…

That title goes to the old definitive, featuring Christopher Ironside’s Britannia design. This design was first issued in 1969 as the first seven sided coin, issued to replace the 10 shilling note.

New Pence Britannia 50p. Issued from 1969 to 1981

In 1997 the coin was made smaller and lighter and the old coins ceased to be legal tender in the UK. Therefore, a whopping 456,364,100 Britannia 50p coins were issued that year to replace the old design, making the 1997 Britannia 50p Britain’s most common 50p.

Are the definitive 50p coins worth collecting?

As collectors, we often focus on the rarer commemorative designs when it comes to building our collections, but I think the chart above just goes to show why we shouldn’t overlook the rarity of the definitive coins.

You’re very likely to come across the Royal Shield 50p in your change (in fact, there might be one in your pocket right now!) so make sure you keep your eyes peeled to see if you can find the rare 2017 coin for your collection!

Own the UK’s rarest Royal Shield 50p within the 2017 Royal Mint Pack!

This set is no longer available from The Royal Mint, but today you can own all 13 of the United Kingdom’s 2017 annual coins in the Royal Mint Brilliant Uncirculated pack, including the UK’s rarest Royal Shield 50p.

Click here to secure the set >>


  1. Tony on April 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Hi , how is it nobody seems to know the MINTAGE figures for the 2018 sir Issac newton 50p.
    The actual official figure is 19,935, ten times less then the Kew Gardens,

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Tony, the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p wasn’t struck for circulation and was only available from the Royal Mint Experience, so hasn’t been included on our charts. Thanks, Rachel

    • Tony on April 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks Rachel,
      I knew that to be the case regarding a coin not realeased into circulation, but I just wanted to let fellow collectors know where they stood regarding the mintage figure for the 2018 sir Issac Newton 50p, I have heard so many people asking the question and wondering why they could not find out, I think the mintage figures for non circulation coins are just as important to collectors.
      Thanks Tony.

      • Phil ginn on April 11, 2019 at 8:45 am

        Hi tony where did you get your mintage figures from?

      • Tony on April 12, 2019 at 12:38 am

        Hi Phil. I simply asked the royal mint for the mintage figures and to my surprise they replied to me, to be spot on the number was 19,934

    • Phil ginn on April 10, 2019 at 10:42 pm

      I have already said about this,you can not put this in the charts as it is for people that go to the royal mint and strike this coin, which i believe you can strike up to 5coins per visit, i don’t know where you got your figures from, would be interesting to let us know thank you.

    • Les Kent on April 11, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      HI Tony
      I was told the same thing by the mint (FOI) about the mintage figures for the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton
      50 pence coin only I was told 19,934.

  2. Stuary on April 4, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    I got £300 pound in 50p’s the other day and was highly disappointed that all the coins were 2019 shields. After reading this and the comments. I may hold onto them for a while.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 5, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Until the mintage figures are released you just don’t know if you might have a rare one, so it’s definitely worth holding on to some for now and you can always swap them or just spend them later if the mintage is high.

  3. Mark Singleton on April 1, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Rachel..Today I got 2019 Shield 50p im my change. Are you aware that there has been a 2019 release into circulation other than in the BU sets at all?

    • Rachel Hooper on April 2, 2019 at 8:12 am

      We’ve now heard from a couple of Change Checkers that this coin has entered circulation. Well done for finding one!

      • Mark Singleton on April 2, 2019 at 8:31 am

        Thanks Hun.

      • Glen Heard on April 4, 2019 at 10:12 pm

        I opened a £250 bag of 50p at work today, hoping to find something interesting that I don’t have. I got all excited because they were all bright and shiny, but was a bit disappointed to find that they were ALL 2019 shield.

      • Rachel Hooper on April 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

        We don’t yet know the mintage figure for the 2019 Shield, but it’s certainly worth holding on to one in case it does turn out to be low like the 2017 Shield… You never know!

    • Paul Roberrts on April 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Rachel, The 2018 Newton is even rarer. I got one from someone who visited the Wales Mint experience.

      • Rachel Hooper on April 2, 2019 at 2:21 pm

        Hi Paul, the 2018 Isaac Newton is a great coin. I was lucky enough to strike one myself when I went to The Royal Mint Experience. As it isn’t a circulation coin and we don’t know the mintage yet we haven’t included it on the chart. Thanks, Rachel

      • Phil ginn on April 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm

        This coin is not meant for general circulation so it can not be put in to the charts . I do hope you agree on this, anyone can go to the royal mint and strike this coin, i do believe you can strike up to 5 coins per visit.

  4. Craig on March 28, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Just got the 2019 edition of the shield 50p in my change.

    • Rachel Hooper on March 29, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Great find Craig! Have you been collecting the Royal Shield each year?

  5. William on March 28, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Hi. Don’t you think that the royal Mint has exhausted the Beatrix Potter theme with yet another 50p coin. They should drop it now and move on.

    • Rachel Hooper on March 28, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Hi William, after 4 years you might think people had had enough, and yet it’s amazing to see that many collectors are still really excited about the latest Peter Rabbit 50p. Would you like to see any more in the series?

      • William on March 28, 2019 at 9:29 am

        Hi, not really I think 14 coins is more than enough in comparison to some important historical events.

      • Rachel Hooper on March 28, 2019 at 10:23 am

        That’s fair enough William. What are your thoughts on the other coins released so far this year?

    • Phil ginn on March 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

      It’s a big money maker for them, the other ones like the mavel coins haven’t been such big money makers for them so they will just carry on, yes i argee they should bring out other designs.

  6. Phil ginn on March 26, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I have always got my mintage figures from The Royal Mint as they make the coins,so they have the all the information you require if you are looking for sort of thing.

  7. Peter Weyman on March 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Hi in your post you say the 50p Royal Shield wasn’t issued in the following years:
    coin wasn’t issued in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2016.
    What about the “Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Collections”, I have the 2009 collection which luckily contains the Kew Gardens 50p as well as the Royal Shield.
    So do you mean they weren’t issued into normal circulation, but were into Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Collections?

    • Rachel Hooper on March 27, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Hi Peter, these charts are only taking into account the circulated mintage figures, not the BU coins. Thanks, Rachel

      • Paul Roberrts on March 29, 2019 at 1:55 am

        The charts are missing at least 1 circulated coin – the 2018 Newton. It was circulated via the RM Cardiff exhibition and I found one in my change before Christmass last year.

      • Rachel Hooper on March 29, 2019 at 8:45 am

        Hi Paul, you’re very lucky to find one in your change! Someone must have spent it mistake and it’s found its way to you – what a great find for you! Unfortunately as the 2018 Isaac Newton 50p was only available as a Strike Your Own coin it hasn’t entered general circulation, so won’t feature on the chart. We also don’t have the mintage figures for this coin yet so wouldn’t be able to include it.

  8. costin on March 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    hi is anybody organize meetings of coin collectors?it should be a circuit around the country, where people could sell,buy and exchange coins.

  9. Graham Edwards on March 26, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Im new to the collecting of 50p coins so this is a great piece of info for me, Thanks for that. i am 76 years old so have missed a great deal of items in the collecting hobby but catching up very slowly and when i can afford something.

    • Rachel Hooper on March 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

      Welcome to the world of collecting Graham and best of luck building your collection.

    • Les Kent on March 26, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Graham
      Keep your eyes open for the fakes.

  10. Christine McConnell on March 26, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Why does Mrs Tittlemouse not appear on these 50p lists? I collect together with 2 of my grandchildren and whilst 2 of us have found Mrs Tittlemouse we cannot find a third.

    • Rachel Hooper on March 26, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Christine, unfortunately the mintage figures for the 2018 50ps haven’t been released yet, so these coins aren’t included on our mintage charts. It will be exciting to see where they rank when we find out how many were minted.

  11. Domenico pietrovito on March 26, 2019 at 9:57 am

    I have been lucky enough to find the 2017 not just once but on Ten occasions and I have kept them all
    Hope one day my children or grandchildren Will benefit quite nicely from them

  12. Phil on March 26, 2019 at 9:38 am

    This is old news, you have had it before on your charts.I have been collecting coins for a while now and have about 20 off these.

    • Rachel Hooper on March 26, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Hi Phil, congrats on finding so many of the rare Royal Shield 50p! Not everyone knows about it, so we thought it would be worth reminding people to keep their eyes peeled in case they come across one.