With just over a month to go until the official 50th anniversary of the 50p coin, celebrations have now hit Jersey and Guernsey as the British Crown Dependencies mark this monumental numismatic milestone.
As the world’s first seven-sided coin, the 50p caused quite a stir when it was first issued in 1969, however it has since become one of the most popular and highly collected coins in circulation, both across Britain and its Crown Dependencies.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, a unique pair of Jersey and Guernsey 50p coins have been specially re-issued this year.
This set includes re-issued versions of the 1969 Ducal Cap 50p from the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the 1969 Coat of Arms from the Bailiwick of Jersey. These were the first 50p coins issued in the British Crown Dependencies and the pair have now been re-struck with the 2019 year date in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for collectors.
Whilst Jersey and Guernsey coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, they have a history of becoming highly collectable due to their low mintage figures…
Guernsey 50p Mintage Figures
Two definitive 50p coin designs have been issued in Guernsey since decimalisation – The Ducal Cap and Freesia Flowers.
The 1969 Ducal Cap 50p has been re-issued in the smaller specification for the 50th Anniversary of the 50p.
Anthony Wagner’s design features the Ducal Cap of the Duke of Normandy on the reverse.
Unlike UK coins, the obverse of the Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p feature the Guernsey Coat of Arms, which includes three lions next to Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. This makes the 50p particularly distinguishable.
Whilst Guernsey coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, they do turn up in our change from time to time. And if you’re lucky enough to come across one, make sure you check to see if you’ve been able to find Guernsey’s rarest definitive 50p – the 1987 Freesia Flowers.
A tiny 5,000 Freesia Flowers 50ps were released in 1987 – that means there’s only enough for roughly 8% of the population of Guernsey to own one of these coins each!
Jersey 50p Mintage Figures
Two definitive 50p coin designs have also been issued in Jersey since decimalisation – the Shield and Grosnez Castle.
The 1969 Shield 50p has been re-issued in the smaller specification for the 50th Anniversary of the 50p.
George Kruger Gray’s design features three lions on a shield on the reverse. The obverse features Arnold Machin’s portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
Again, these coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, so if you do find one in your change it would have found its way to you by accident, perhaps due to a holiday maker spending it by mistake.
Whether you find yourself checking your change in Jersey or the UK, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on any Grosnez Castle 50ps that you might be lucky enough to find, as one year in particular is very rare…
Just 10,000 Grosnez Castle 50ps were issued in 2003 – compare that to the 23,583,000 Britannia 50ps released in the UK in 2003 and you’ll appreciate just how rare this coin really is!
Have you been lucky enough to come across any Jersey or Guernsey 50ps, either in circulation in the UK or when you’ve been on holiday to the British Isles? And will you be securing the special 50th Anniversary pair to mark this milestone moment?
Own the BRAND NEW 50th Anniversary of the 50p Pair
This unique pair of 50p coins includes Jersey and Guernsey’s first year of issue designs 50ps from 1969 – re-issued with the 2019 year date!
*** UPDATE ***
The Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge has now come to an end as the 50p coin celebrated its 50th anniversary on the 14th October 2019, however you can still take up the challenge for yourself!
Best of luck hunting down all the definitive 50ps from your change!
The countdown has begun and in just 50 days time our much-loved 50p coin will celebrate its 50th anniversary!
Join the challenge!
To celebrate this hero of the numismatic world, we’ve launched the Change Checker Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge – a race to collect every UK definitive 50p coin in circulation as we count down to this important numismatic anniversary.
There are currently 21 different definitive 50p coin designs to be found in your daily change. Your mission is to collect all of them before the anniversary on the 14th October.
Definitive 50p coins
The mintage chart below shows how many of each UK definitive 50p coin is currently in circulation.
The rarest definitive 50p is the 2017 Royal Shield, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled and check the dates on your Royal Shield 50ps on the hunt for this coin.
Yasmin and I were actually lucky enough to come across the 2017 Royal Shield during a 50p coin hunt, so it can be done and they most certainly are out there if you check your change!
We don’t yet know the mintage figures for 2018 and 2019 50p coins, so these coins haven’t been included on the chart, however it’s worth holding onto these coins as you never know how rare they might turn out to be! Our mintage charts and the Definitive 50p Checklist will be updated as soon these figures are confirmed.
You might have also noticed that no definitive 50p coins were issued for circulation in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016. These coins won’t be included in the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge, however if you do manage to find one in your change you will be very lucky as they would have come from an Annual Coin Set and are not intended for circulation.
Register for FREE!
Register for The Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge for FREE today to receive:
- Collecting tips and suggestions to help you complete your Definitive 50p Collection
- Exclusive discounts and savings for your collection
- The chance to own the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge Participant’s Medal, plus a FREE 1997 UK Britannia 50p to kick start your collection
So, check your pockets, piggy banks, whisky jars and down your sofa – the challenge starts now!
You can download and print the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge checklist here to keep track of the coins you’ve managed to find so far.
Start your collecting challenge today with the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge Kit and SAVE £5.00
To help with your challenge, we’ve created the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge Kit which includes everything you need to get you on your way!
We’ll even give you a FREE 1997 UK Definitive 50p – the first one in your challenge – to get you started! And what’s more, you’ll receive a FREE participant’s medal which we’ll send to you in the anniversary month (October).
Whilst we’re busy celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 50p coin here in the UK, celebrations are also taking place half a world away as Australia marks 50 years since the introduction of the 12-sided 50 cent coin this year.
First issued in 1969 as a replacement for the round 50 cent, the new 12-sided design has since become Australia’s most distinctive decimal coin.
Australia’s first 50 cent
In 1966, as part of the changeover to decimal currency, Australia introduced the round 50 cent, which was made up of 80% silver and 20% copper. This high silver content soon meant that the coin was actually worth more than its face value and so was withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the new 12-sided cupro-nickel design in 1969.
Although the coin was withdrawn from circulation, many millions are thought to have been hoarded by the Australian public and can now be seen listed on eBay for upwards of 10 times the original face value.
Celebrating 50 years since the 12 sided 50 cent
To celebrate the significant anniversary of the introduction of the 12-sided 50 cent, The Royal Australian Mint have released a special commemorative coin set, featuring a Gold-Plated 50 cent coin in celebration of the golden anniversary year.
But the special Gold-Plated coin within this set isn’t the only thing which makes it unique…
This set actually showcases the five effigies of Her Majesty the Queen that have featured on Australia’s 50 cent coins since 1969.
The Gold-Plated 50 cent coin features the very first effigy of Her Majesty the Queen to be used on a 50 cent coin.
Designed by British artist and sculptor Arnold Machin, and approved in 1964, this effigy was first used on the Australian round 1966 50 cent coin, meaning it preceded the first use of this portrait on UK coins in 1968.
This portrait featured on Australia’s coinage from 1966 to 1984.
Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was chosen from 17 artists invited by the British Royal Mint to replace Arnold Machin’s portrait.
Unlike the previous portraits of Her Majesty, Maklouf’s design featured the Queen wearing a necklace and earrings. The designer’s initials ‘RDM’ can be seen at the Queen’s neck.
This portrait featured on Australia’s coinage from 1985 to 1997.
The next portrait of Queen Elizabeth was introduced following a competition to redesign the obverse of the UK’s 1997 Golden Wedding Crown. Ian Rank-Broadley’s submission was of such a high standard that it led to a redesign of the obverse for all UK circulation coins in 1998.
It was introduced on Australia’s coinage, including the 50 cent coin, the following year.
This portrait featured on Australia’s coinage from 1999 to 2018.
Amongst the designs submitted into the competition to redesign the obverse of the UK’s 1997 Golden Wedding Crown was Vladimir Gottwald’s portrait of the Queen.
Gottwald’s design was approved as a one-off use to commemorate the Royal visit in 2000, making him the first Australian designer to have his portrait on the obverse of an Australian coin since the 1910-1936 effigy of King George V.
This portrait featured on the Australian 50 cent for one year only in 2000.
Jody Clark’s portrait of Her Majesty the Queen has featured on UK coins since 2015, but it wasn’t until 2018 that an adapted version of this coin was introduced on Australia’s coinage.
Unlike the UK version, this adaptation features Queen Elizabeth’s shoulders, as well as the Victorian coronation necklace.
You might recognise this most recent portrait from British Isles coinage, in particular the highly popular Isle of Man TT £2 coins.
Limited edition set
Just 20,000 of this prestigious set have been minted, making it significantly collectable and ideal for numismatists.
It’s truly fascinating to take a look at the different coinage from countries across the world and the milestone moments in their numismatic history.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this set is a fantastic way for Australia to celebrate this significant anniversary.
Own the LIMITED EDITION Gold Plated 50 cent
You can now secure these coins within a bespoke presentation pack, perfect to display and protect these unique coins, which are sure to be snapped up by collectors.