On the 31st January 2020 the United Kingdom left the European Union – over three and half years after the Vote.
This departure is possibly one of the most historically significant events to happen in modern history, so we know collectors will be extremely excited to hear a brand new United Kingdom coin has been issued to commemorate the occasion.
The 2020 UK Brexit 50p has been officially released today and is the only official United Kingdom coin to commemorate the occasion.
Although the design had been rumoured some time ago, the final design features the inscription ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations‘ and the all-important date – 31st January 2020 – underneath.
However, this brand new 50p isn’t the only coin to have been issued to documents Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
In this blog, we take a look back at the coins which tell the story of the 43 year long partnership between the UK and the EU.
1973 European Economic Community 50p
In 1973, after over a decade of debate and discussion, Britain was finally successful in joining the EU – then known as the European Economic Community (EEC).
To mark such a ground-breaking partnership, The Royal Mint issued the FIRST-EVER commemorative 50p!
It’s hard to believe there was a time when commemorative 50p coins weren’t commonplace, but this 1973 coin was the very first of its kind!
The design features nine hands clasping each other in a circle, symbolising the nine member state of the community.
As the first-ever commemorative 50p, it’s unsurprising this release is considered hugely significant in British history, numismatic history, and is a staple of any UK coin collection.
The 1973 EEC 50p had a circulating mintage of 89,755,000.
1992/3 European Council Presidency 50p
In 1992/3 the UK celebrated its presidency of the European Council of Ministers, and the completion of the Single Market.
The intricate design of this 50p, by Mary Milner Dickens (who later designed the 2000 Libraries and the 2003 Suffragettes 50ps) shows a conference table seen from above, around which are the 12 chairs for the Council of Ministers.
However, what makes this 50p particularly special and sought-after by collectors is not the design, but the mintage.
This 1992/3 European Community Presidency 50p had a circulating mintage of JUST 109,000! It is the rarest UK 50p to EVER enter circulation.
When you consider the Kew Gardens is the rarest 50p currently in circulation and has a mintage of 210,000 you start to grasp how small the mintage for this 50p really is!
Any Change Checker who is lucky enough to have this coin in their collection must be incredibly pleased!
1998 UK Entry to the EEC 25th Anniversary 50p
In 1998 a new United Kingdom 50p was issued to commemorate 25 years since the UK joined the EEC.
Remarkably, this European-Union-inspired 50p coin is the subject of another numismatic first – the first ‘new sized’ commemorative 50p to be issued following the specification change in 1997.
The old larger coins were removed from circulation and it’s this new sized 50p that has featured some of our most iconic coin designs and has become the most collected coin in the world!
Designed by John Mills (designer of the much-loved 1994 D-Day 50p), the reverse of this coin shows 12 stars to represent the 12 ministers and had a circulating mintage of 5,043,000.
And there we have it! The UK’s relationship with the EU as told by coins!
It’s incredible to look back at some of the most ground-breaking 50p issues that are tied to this 47 year relationship.
Do you have any of these coins in your collection? Let us know in the comments below!
Brand new UK Brexit 50p – Secure yours today
As you would expect with a coin this historic the brand new UK Brexit 50p has been struck to superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve its quality forever.