Which 50p Coin Series are worth collecting?

Do you collect 50p coins? Perhaps you keep hold of commemorative 50ps you find in your change, or maybe you’ve built up a collection of brilliant uncirculated coins…

Whether you’re new to the hobby or you’re a seasoned collector, you might not know that some of your coins are part of a series – but which 50p series are worth collecting?

Olympic 50ps

Let’s kick off with perhaps the best known 50p coin series – the Olympic 50ps!

Back in 2011, to mark the 2012 Olympics being held in London, The Royal Mint issued 29 new 50p coins, each representing a different sport. With 29 new commemorative coin designs to look out for in circulation, the Olympic 50ps sparked many people’s interest in collecting coins.

2011 Olympic 50p Series
2011 Olympic 50p Series

Even now, 13 years on, 2011 holds the record for the most commemorative coin designs to enter circulation (30 designs in total including the WWF 50p released the same year).

It’s estimated that 75% of Olympic 50ps have been removed from circulation by collectors, but by checking your change and swapping with other collectors, it’s still possible to collect the complete set.

Find out more about the Olympic 50ps >>


Paddington 50ps

Another coin series that inspired many younger collectors is the Paddington 50p series. With 2 coins released in 2018 and a further 2 in 2019, this collection of 4 coins shows the beloved bear in front of some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Timeline of the UK Paddington 50ps
Timeline of the UK Paddington 50ps

The first 2 coins were issued to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington’s first appearance in Michael Bond’s classic childhood tale, with the first showing Paddington sat at his namesake train station.

2018 Paddington 50ps
2018 Paddington 50ps

He continued his adventures around London, visiting Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

2019 Paddington 50ps
2019 Paddington 50ps

The 2018 Paddington at the Station 50p has the lowest mintage figure of the series, with only 5,001,000 in circulation, however it still ranks as common on our Scarcity Index.

Have you ever found any Paddington 50ps in your change? Let us know in the comments!

Are you missing any Paddington 50ps? Check out our Paddington range >>


Beatrix Potter 50ps

Thirteen Beatrix Potter 50ps were issued between 2016 and 2018, each featuring beloved characters from Potter’s enchanting tales. All of these coins entered circulation, however a further 2 Peter Rabbit 50ps were issued in 2019 and 2020 which did not enter circulation.

Beatrix Potter 50p series
Beatrix Potter 50p series

These coins caused a collecting frenzy in back in 2016 due to their unique theme, and were probably the most talked-about coins since the 2011 Olympic 50ps!

A lot of the Beatrix Potter 50ps will have been snapped up into collections by now, but it is still possible to find them in circulation – although you might be searching a while for the whole set!

Beatrix Potter 50p timeline
Beatrix Potter 50p timeline

Based solely on circulating mintage figures, the rarest Beatrix Potter 50ps are the Flopsy Bunny 50p and the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p, each with a mintage figure of just 1,400,000.

The most common coin in the series is the Benjamin Bunny 50p, which has a circulating mintage of 25,000,000. Aside from the 1973 European Economic Community 50p which had a mintage of 89,775,000, the Benjamin Bunny 50p has the highest commemorative 50p mintage figure, so you’ve probably come across one in your change at some point!

If you’re struggling to complete your collection, check out our Beatrix Potter range >>


Winnie the Pooh 50ps

In 2020, The Royal Mint announced a 9-coin 50p collection celebrating Winnie the Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Winnie the Pooh 50p series
Winnie the Pooh 50p series

The designs were produced by The Walt Disney Company, featuring original illustrations from A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh storybooks by E.H. Shepard.

The very first coin in the series, featuring Pooh sat beside an overturned pot of honey, was the first time that Winnie the Pooh had ever featured on a UK coin. It was so popular in fact, that all 18,000 silver proof 50p coins sold out in less than 12 hours! The excitement for this series didn’t stop there though, as the silver proof 2022 Eeyore 50p also sold out within just hours of issue at The Royal Mint.

Winnie the Pooh 50p timeline
Winnie the Pooh 50p timeline

Although the Winnie the Pooh 50ps didn’t enter circulation, they are still incredibly popular with collectors. Some people have even paid well over retail price for them on eBay to complete their collections.

If you have any gaps in your Winnie the Pooh 50p collection, check out which ones we still have available >>


The Snowman™ 50ps

The Snowman™ first appeared on a UK 50p back in 2018 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved festive tale. Since then, there has been a new UK The Snowman™ 50p issued each year, and there are now 6 in the series.

UK The Snowman 50p series
UK The Snowman 50p series

Over the years, we’ve been treated to some of the most iconic scenes on our coins, taken from the original tale and even the 2012 film – The Snowman™ and The Snowdog™.

The Snowman™ has been seen sharing adventures with his friend, James, flying through the night sky, dancing under the northern lights and even cuddling up with The Snowdog™!

UK Snowman 50p timeline
UK Snowman 50p timeline

It’s become somewhat of a festive tradition for a new UK The Snowman™ 50p to be issued each year, and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas until it’s released.

Fill the gaps in your The Snowman™ 50p collection >>

Do you think there will be more The Snowman™ 50ps issued in years to come? Let us know below!


Which 50p series is your favourite?

Do you have any of these coins in your collection? Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a complete set! We’d love to hear from you which 50p series is your favourite, so let us know in the comments below.


If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

22 Comments

  1. Paul Mcloed on February 5, 2024 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Kate
    I have a very extensive 50p coin collection – the 50p is my favourite denomination. I think its shape is so very different to other coins, I know the treasury has power iver which coins are minted and also shich coins go into circulation. Personally I think all 50p’s should be minted for circulation so that our hobby doesn’t just become so elite. My favourite is the Olympic’s set as it covers such a diversity of sport. Love Change Checker – keep up the good work and love to everone at the office.

    • Kate on February 6, 2024 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Paul, thanks for your lovely comment, it’s great to hear about your collection! It would be great for us collectors to see more coins go into circulation, but at least it makes it special when they do.
      Kate

  2. Steve powell on February 2, 2024 at 9:12 pm

    Lost so much money buying silver proof coins
    They look lovely but £60/70 now worth £25/30
    Not good

  3. Adrian Charlton on February 2, 2024 at 10:15 am

    The 50p is a good coin to use for commorative issues, it is large so intricate designs can be accommodated, and its unusual shape makes for a fun coin to collect. I have a gripe though because a few years ago, the Royal Mint switched many new issues to crowns, because they realised that they sell for 3+ times the price of a 50p and never enter circulation. The actual production cost for crown and 50p will be roughly the same, a little more metal in the crown, that’s all. This does stretch the budgets of collectors, after all we are not in the hobby to make up the shortfall in demand for Royal Mint’s coins. The crown used to be for important events, but now James Bond, music legends, Queen’s beasts, Mr Men, Tower of London etc. have been on Crowns. All these are better suited to the 50p.
    Come on Royal Mint, consider the 50p collectors!

  4. Renato De'angelis on February 1, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    I have a set of the Olympic coins apart from the final one, but just over 8 months ago, my wife got a Kew gardens 50p in her change

    • Kate on February 2, 2024 at 10:15 am

      Keep looking, I’m sure you’ll find it eventually! And lucky for your wife finding a Kew Gardens!
      Kate

  5. John Baldry on February 1, 2024 at 5:04 pm

    I don’t think it right that coins should be minted and then not issued. Do not mint coins unless they are for use. Minting of coins has just become business for the Royal Mint.

    • Kate on February 2, 2024 at 10:14 am

      Hi John, whilst it is frustrating when coins don’t go into circulation, the decision lies with the Treasury. They assess the need for new coins of each denomination every year and decide which commemorative coins will enter circulation.
      I hope that helps! Kate

  6. Raymond Balding on February 1, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Fortunately I have been able to collect every coin shown,but my favourites to date are the new Star Wars coins.

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:57 pm

      Good to hear you’ve got no gaps in your collection at the moment Raymond! The Star Wars 50ps are so new, they haven’t quite made it to the list yet, but keep your eyes peeled!
      Kate

    • neil Coomber on February 1, 2024 at 11:18 pm

      So have got every 50p including the rare 2018 sir Isaac Newton 50pand the 2009 olympic 50p

      • Kate on February 2, 2024 at 10:15 am

        Sounds like an incredible collection Neil!
        Kate



  7. Simon ferns on February 1, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    I have 8 full sets of olympic 50p collection, 4 full sets of Beatrix potter 50p collection and 10 full sets of paddington bear 50p collection I love them all

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:55 pm

      Wow Simon that sounds like a very impressive collection! Did you find them all ‘in the wild’?
      Kate

  8. G on February 1, 2024 at 1:50 pm

    Can’t see the dinosaurs?

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:55 pm

      Hi, as the Tales of the Earth series is currently ongoing, we haven’t added it to the list just yet. But perhaps once the latest collection is complete, it might make an appearance!
      Kate

  9. Tim on February 1, 2024 at 1:07 pm

    Olympic games, because that’s when I became more serious about collecting. I had previously collected commemorative 50p’s but not researched and understood as much as I do now. Today I have quite a good collection. My favourite is the offside rule 50p which I got in change one day. Tim.

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Tim, it’s great to hear the Olympic 50ps led to you becoming a serious collector – I think they inspired many people!
      Kate

  10. Colin Quinton on February 1, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    My favourite 50p set has to be Paddington, as I loved him as a kid he just had to be added to one of my change checker folders.

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:52 pm

      Good choice Colin, the Paddington series is definitely one of my favourites!
      Kate

  11. Nigel Daft on February 1, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    I have a large collection of 50p coins which include a full set of the olympic and Paddington coins and most of the Beatrix Potter set except for the last two Peter rabbit ones.

    However I find it rather annoying that many of the newer designs including the Winnie the Pooh, the Snowman and several others do not enter circulation.

    A lot of the fun of collecting coins is finding them in your change and getting your friends to keep a lookout for them as well.

    • Kate on February 1, 2024 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Nigel, it sounds like you have quite the collection, and impressive that you’ve managed to find most of them in circulation?
      Kate

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