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.
*** UPDATE ***
Over the weekend the design for the brand new Brexit 50p was released!
The final design features the inscription ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ and the historic date 31st January 2020 – the date the UK will officially leave the European Union.
It has also been confirmed the coin will be available as special commemorative Gold and Silver Proof editions, as well as in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, which be available from 31st January.
Chancellor Sajid Javid, who is Master of the Mint, was given the first batch of coins over the weekend to present one to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.
Excitingly, as part of the launch of the coin, The Royal Mint will open the doors of their South West Headquarters for 24 hours on 31st January to allow collectors to strike their own commemorative Brexit coins!
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It has been reported that 3 million Brexit 50ps will enter circulation on the day the UK leaves the European Union – currently scheduled for 31st January 2020.
The coins are expected to detail the historic date underneath the inscription ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is supposedly set to be one of the first people to get their hands on one on the day of release as he holds a special cabinet meeting at a venue in North England.
We don’t yet know where the 3 million or so 50p coins will enter circulation in the UK – this is likely to depend on demand from banks and cash houses – but we’re certain collectors will be keeping a keen eye out for these 50ps to add this historic coin to their collection!
It was revealed over the Christmas holidays that a new inscription will feature on the Brexit 50p coin to mark the revised date of the UK’s departure from the EU.
This update means that the previously planned inscription of ’31 October 2019’ will be substituted for ‘31 January 2020’.
Find out more about the Brexit 50p below:
Have you heard the news? It hit the headlines this morning that the Brexit 50p will enter circulation after the UK’s departure from the EU.
In October last year, Philip Hammond unveiled his plans for a Brexit 50p to mark the UK’s exit from the EU.
Whilst delays to Brexit meant the original 29th March 2019 dated coins did not go ahead, in August this year Chancellor Sajid Javid asked officials if it would be possible to produce Brexit 50p coins in time for Britain’s departure from the EU on the 31st October 2019.
And today it looks as though we have our answer, as The Treasury has confirmed that the coins have been given the go ahead and will be minted by Brexit day – despite the continued uncertainty of Britain leaving the EU by then.
So this begs the question, if Britain doesn’t leave the EU on the 31st October, could there potentially be millions of Brexit coins with the wrong date? It would certainly make for interesting collecting!
And the best news for collectors is that this coin will be entering circulation, although it is yet to be officially confirmed exactly how many or when we will start to see them in our change.
Rumour has it that 10 million Brexit 50ps could be produced, including Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver and Gold versions. This has not yet been confirmed by The Royal Mint, but has sparked great excitement in the collecting world.
As such a controversial issue, which has created much disruption across the UK and the EU since the referendum in June 2016, it is hoped that this new coin, which is expected to bear the phrase ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’, will promote positivity surrounding Brexit.
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*** UPDATE 12/08/2019 ***
The Chancellor Sajid Javid has asked officials if it will be possible to produce Brexit 50p coins in time for Britain’s departure from the EU in October 2019.
Previously, Chancellor Philip Hammond planned for just 10,000 commemorative Brexit coins to be struck for the event, however Javid intends millions of Brexit 50ps to be produced for circulation.
As mentioned in the blog below, the coin will have the words, “Peace, Prosperity and Friendship with all nations” and feature the date of Brexit – now 31st October 2019.
But with only a few months to go, will the coins be signed off by the Queen’s privy council and struck by The Royal Mint in time for Brexit?
It’s official! A Brexit 50p WILL be issued by The Royal Mint to mark the UK’s exit from the EU!
Within his budget, the Chancellor unveiled his advanced plans for the 50p coin, which will be released in Spring 2019.
As such a controversial issue, which has created much disruption across the UK and the EU since the referendum in June 2016, Philip Hammond hopes that this new coin, which is expected to bear the phrase ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’, will promote the positivity of the event.
In our previous blog, we asked Change Checkers if they would like to see a Brexit coin and 68% of you believed that such a significant moment in Britain’s history should be commemorated with a 50p coin. The Government has now finally conceded to create a gesture for this landmark moment and recognise its importance, although Treasury sources say the department has secretly been working on plans for the coin for months now.
The importance of Brexit can now be likened to Britain’s entry to the European Economic Community, which was then incorporated into the EU in 1993. A 50p coin was issued in 1973 to mark the occasion, featuring nine hands clasping each other in a circle, symbolising the nine member states of the community, intended to represent the trust, assistance and friendship which comes with EEC membership. So important was this event, that in 1998 the first “new sized” commemorative 50p was issued to commemorate 25 years of the UK in the EEC.
89,775,000 of the 1973 50p coins were struck for collectors but is no longer in circulation, whilst the 1998 coin has a mintage figure of 5,043,000 and can still be found in circulation.
It seems that the idea of commemorating Brexit in some way is popular amongst collectors, as commemorative 50p shaped Brexit souvenirs are now available on eBay and are currently selling for £6.99. These are not legal tender, but go to show that a Brexit 50p coin is certainly in demand and could be incredibly sought-after.
An order has now been issued by Mr Hammond to The Royal Mint advisory committee to draw up a designs for the Brexit 50p coin, which should be signed off later this year. Just as the EEC 50p from 1973 intended to promote the development of new relationships, so too will the Brexit 50p, but what do you think about the plans for the new coin?
We posted a poll on our Facebook page to find out what Change Checkers think and 66% of you think we should have a Brexit coin, compared to just 34% voted against the coin and the majority opinion seems to be that we had a coin for entering the EU, so we should also have one for leaving.
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