Why are the Olympic 50ps so Sought-After?

As we look ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this year, I can hardly believe it’s been more than 10 years since London 2012!

Not only was this a pivotal moment in Britain’s sporting history, but it also marked a significant moment in the collecting world – inspiring the nation to check their change and join the hunt for the 29 different sporting designs to be found…

The UK Olympic 50p Series

Without doubt, this 29 coin series created a frenzy, and not just among collectors… Millions rose to the challenge of collecting all 29, and for many, this marked the start of their interest in coins.

So popular were these 50ps, that The Royal Mint estimates as many as 75% of them have been removed from circulation by collectors!

But are you lucky enough to have any in your collection and which ones should you really be looking out for?

What is the rarest Olympic 50p?

Olympic 50ps have long been a favourite amongst collectors, not only for their exciting theme, but also the thrill of tracking down these rare coins. Minted in much lower quantities than the standard 50ps you can find in your change, it really has been somewhat of a treasure hunt trying to find these coins!

In fact, as the rarest of them all, only 1,125,500 Football 50ps entered circulation! This is definitely the rare one to look out for. Closely following the Football 50p, you’ll see the Wrestling, Judo, Triathlon and Tennis coins – each with a mintage less than 1.5 million.

However, are there Olympic 50ps out there even rarer than these? To find out we must look beyond The Royal Mint’s official circulation figures

The withdrawn Aquatics ‘error’ Olympic 50p

Did you know that the Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version of the coin design?

The original version featured waves passing over the swimmer’s face, but was withdrawn from circulation and the design adapted to make the face more visible. However, there are still a few out there…

ST-Change-Checker-Spot-the-Difference-Olympics-Aquatics-50p-Coin (2)

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

2009 Athletics Olympic 50p

ST-London-Olympics-Blue-Peter-50p-Pack

In 2009, 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.

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.

In fact, so few of these packs were issued, that it makes this 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p!

The Gold Olympic 50ps

Did you know that a gold version of the coin was presented to the respective artist of each design?

It is without doubt that the gold versions of each 50p remain the rarest of the entire series. But, 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!

Continuing Your Olympic 50p Collection

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 Olympic Games.

Team GB 2016 United Kingdom 50p BU Coin UKU01856.

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 was officially endorsed by Team GB and celebrated the spirit of British Olympians – a must have for all Olympic 50p Collectors.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Dual-Dated Team GB 50p

Back in 2020, a new Team GB 50p was 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 meant that there were 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 coin’s individual release!

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!

The Latest Olympic 50p

This year, as we look ahead to the Paris Olympic Games, The Royal Mint has issued a new 50p to celebrate our British Olympians and Paralympians.

On the reverse are 2 geometric athletes in action set against the Union flag. If you look closely, you’ll also see the Eiffel Tower at the bottom, a nod to the city where the games will take place.

This coin has been issued in the 2024 Annual Coin Set and is the first of the UK’s sporting 50ps to feature King Charles III on the obverse.

You can bet that Olympic 50p collectors will eagerly be awaiting the individual release of this new coin, but will you be adding it to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!


Secure the 2024 50p in this year’s Annual Set!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the 2024 British Olympians and Paralympians 50p, you can add all FIVE new coins to your collection for JUST £42 (+postage), simply click here >>

Each coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality and is protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging, housed in a display page ready to slot into your Change Checker Album.

Harry Potter The Winged Keys 50p – Catch it while you can!

Attention collectors – the enchanting 2024 UK Harry Potter: The Winged Keys 50p is flying your way! But it’s more than just a coin, it’s a portal to the wondrous world of Harry Potter…

2024 UK Harry Potter: The Winged Keys 50p
2024 UK Harry Potter: The Winged Keys 50p

Based on one of the most memorable moments from Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, the Winged Keys 50p features Harry soaring around an underground chamber on his broomstick, chasing after fluttering winged keys. Harry was, of course, joined by best friends Hermione and Ron in this thrilling scene, and the design on this coin perfectly captures the trio’s camaraderie and adventure as they attempt to get one step closer to the Philosopher’s Stone.

But what makes this coin truly special isn’t just the stunning design and feeling of nostalgia it sparks, but the story it tells – a tale of friendship, bravery, and the sheer joy of discovery.

Magical Detail

You might need to get your magnifying glass out for this one, as there are so many incredible details to see! The first thing that draws your eye is Harry Potter himself in the centre, riding his broomstick and reaching out for the old key with the broken wing. But there is so much more to see…

Explore the incredibly detailed design of the 2024 UK Harry Potter: The Winged Keys 50p

If you look closely, you can make out the details on the walls of the tall chamber the scene takes place in, as well as a mischievous looking stone gargoyle sat atop of the very door that Harry and his friends are trying to open. Either side of the gargoyle are carved snakes winding their way up pillars and torches lighting the way.

And I haven’t even touched on the plethora of flying keys there are to spot, you really do have to see the coin for yourself to find them all!

Will you be adding The Winged Keys 50p to your collection to see the detail for yourself? Let us know in the comments!


Previous Harry Potter Coins

Seasoned collectors will know that this isn’t the first time Harry Potter has featured on UK coins. Back in 2022 and 2023, we saw 4 UK 50p coins issued celebrating 25 years since the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

The designs featured iconic images taken directly from Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, including Harry Potter himself, the Hogwarts Express train, Professor Dumbledore and of course, where all the magic takes place – Hogwarts School!

All of the coins in the series include the inscription ’25 Years of Magic’ to celebrate the anniversary, and special lenticular features which switch between the number 25 and Harry’s trademark lightning bolt when tilted – a feature never seen before on UK 50p coins!

Shop the magical UK Harry Potter 50p range >>

Continue your Harry Potter 50p Collection

Unlock the magic of the 2024 UK Harry Potter: The Winged Keys 50p for JUST £5.99 (p&p) >>

Spectacular Star Wars™ Spacecraft 50ps flying into your collection!

Get ready to embark on an epic journey through the galaxy with the Star Wars™ Spacecraft 50p series!

This 4-coin series features some of the most iconic spacecraft from the Star Wars™ universe, the latest of which is the terrifying TIE Fighter…


TIE Fighter 50p

The second coin in the series represents the dark side, featuring the menacing TIE Fighter! The reverse design shows a TIE Fighter soaring through space, no doubt its engines would be emitting its trademark howl, known to strike fear into the hearts of enemies.

2024 TIE Fighter 50p
2024 TIE Fighter 50p

And here’s where it gets even more excitingthis 50p also includes a dynamic lenticular feature! Tilt the coin one way, and you’ll see the emblem of the Galactic Empire, tilt it the other way, and behold the terrifying TIE Fighter!

A dynamic lenticular feature shows both the emblem of the Galactic Empire and the TIE Fighter when tilted

Did you know? The distinctive sound of the TIE fighter in flight was created by combining and elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement.

Secure the 2024 TIE Fighter 50p for your collection here >>


Millennium Falcon 50p

The Millennium Falcon 50p features a design by Lucasfilm of the ship soaring through space, along with the Star Wars logo.

2024 Millennium Falcon 50p
2024 Millennium Falcon 50p

And here’s the coolest partthis coin also includes a special lenticular feature! Tilt the coin one way, and you’ll see the Millennium Falcon, tilt it the other way and you’ll catch a glimpse of the Rebel Alliance Starbird!

The unique lenticular feature shows both the Rebel Alliance Starbird and the Millennium Falcon when tilted.

Piloted by dynamic duo Han Solo and Chewbacca, the Millennium Falcon is perhaps the most recognisable ship in the entire Star Wars franchise. She was the star of countless legendary moments, such as making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, successfully navigating an asteroid field against 3720 to 1 odds and narrowly escaping the jaws of a giant space worm – to name just a few!

Did you know? George Lucas changed the original Millennium Falcon model at the last minute. He was inspired by a half eaten burger placed next to an olive on a toothpick and changed the shape of the ship to how we know it today.

Secure the 2024 UK Millennium Falcon 50p for your collection for just £5.99 (+p&p) >>


Previous Star Wars™ Character Duos 50ps

Cast your mind back to the previous Star Wars Character Duos 50p series which caused a real buzz in the coin collecting community.

We saw beloved character duos such as C-3PO and R2-D2, Darth Vader and Emperor Palatine, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and of course Han Solo and Chewbacca feature on these coins. It was the most popular 50p coin series we’ve had in recent years…and the Star Wars™ Spacecraft series is set to be even bigger and better!


Continue your Star Wars50p Collection

Secure your 2024 UK TIE Fighter 50p for just £5.99 (+p&p) >>

Order the Millennium Falcon 50p >>
Pre-order the X Wing 50p >>
Pre-order the Death Star II 50p >>