To celebrate 50 years since the release of the first seven sided coin in 1969, in January The Royal Mint released a set of five carefully curated commemorative edition 50p coins, including the UK’s most sought-after 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens.
These coins were issued in Base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof, but within just two hours of going on sale, the entire range completely sold out!
Many collectors were left feeling disappointed after missing out on the chance to own this set, however today The Royal Mint has released a Brilliant Uncirculated edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 50p.
Find out about the coins featured in this set below…
The very first 50p coin issued in 1969 was designed by Christopher Ironside and featured the seated Britannia alongside a lion.
This coin was issued between 1969 and 2008, after which The Royal Mint held a public competition to redesign the reverse of UK coins, with Matthew Dent’s winning shield design featuring on the reverse of definitive 50p coins since.
It seems only fitting therefore that the first 50p chosen to commemorate the coin’s 50th birthday is the ‘New Pence’ Britannia featuring Ironside’s design, a firm favourite for collectors, representing a numismatic milestone for Britain.
Girl Guides 50p
Within this set you can see not only the Britannia, but also the Girl Guides 50p which was issued in 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding in the UK.
Girlguiding began in the UK after Robert Baden-Powell asked his sister Agnes to start a group especially for girls that would run in a similar way to the scouting movement he founded in 1907.
The trefoil Girlguiding logo seen on the reverse of the coin represents the threefold promise of the Guides, and is the focus of this commemorative 50p which celebrates the centenary of the organisation.
The next coin in the set is the 2007 Scouting 50p. The Scouting movement was started in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell at an experimental camp in 1907 on Brownsea Island in Dorset.
Baden-Powell was a decorated soldier, talented artist and free-thinker who believed in teaching boys practical outdoor activities and resourcefulness.
‘Be prepared’ became the motto of the scouting movement and features on the design of this commemorative 50p which was issued in 2007 to mark 100 years of Scouting in the UK,
Roger Bannister 50p
Another firm favourite which features in this set is the 2004 Roger Bannister 50p.
On 6 May 1954, 25-year old medical student Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier, celebrated by this 50p issue. His time of 3mins 59.4 seconds was achieved at the Iffley Road track in Oxford and watched by around 3000 spectators.
This 50p is unusual in the sense that it is very rare for the achievement of a living person to be celebrated on a coin.
UK’s scarcest 50p – Kew Gardens
These retrospective reverse designs taken from the last 50 years create a wonderful set of coins to commemorate the 50p coin, however we all know that the coin collectors are most excited about is the re-issue of the Kew Gardens 50p.
Initially when the coin was released in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, its rarity was overlooked.
However in 2014 The Royal Mint revealed just how scarce this coin really is, with only 210,000 coins being struck. From this moment, prices on the secondary market began to skyrocket and collectors have since been desperate to add the coin to their collection, regarding the coin as one of the biggest prizes in the collecting world.
The 2019 re-issue of the most highly collected UK coin is a chance for collectors who have not already got this coin in their collection to finally own a genuine Kew, as many fakes have unfortunately been doing the rounds on the secondary market. Find out how to spot a Fake Kew Gardens here >>
Following the popularity of the Base, Silver and Coin Proof sets, we expect these Brilliant Uncirculated coins to be very sought-after.
Will you be securing the set for your collection?
Secure this iconic set, including the 2019 re-issued Kew Gardens 50p
This set is now available to order in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.
The UK’s RAREST 50p coin in circulation will be re-issued by The Royal Mint in 2019 it has been confirmed.
According to the Royal Proclamation, published on 8 November, a total of TEN new 50p coins will be issued in 2019, all of which will be re-issues of previous designs.
The coins to be re-issued comprise:
- Britannia 50p – the figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her right side, holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand; and the figure “50” together with the words “NEW PENCE”;
- D-Day Landings 50p– a design representing the D-Day landings of the Allied invasion force heading for Normandy and filling the sea and sky, with the inscription “50 PENCE”;
- Roger Bannister 50p – the legs of a running athlete with a stylized stopwatch in the background and, with the inscription “50 PENCE”;
- Victoria Cross Medal 50p – a depiction of the obverse and reverse of a Victoria Cross with the date “29. JAN 1856” in the centre of the reverse of the Cross, with the inscription “VC” “FIFTY PENCE”;
- Victoria Cross Soldier 50p – a depiction of a soldier carrying a wounded comrade with an outline of the Victoria Cross surrounded by a sunburst effect in the background with the inscription “FIFTY PENCE” ;
- Boy Scouts 50p – a fleur-de-lis superimposed over a globe and accompanied by the inscription “BE PREPARED” and the dates “∙ 1907 ∙” and “∙ 2007 ∙”, and the denomination “FIFTY PENCE”;
- Kew Gardens 50p – a design showing the pagoda, a building strongly associated with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, encircled by a vine and accompanied by the dates “1759” and “2009”, with the word “KEW” at the base of the pagoda;
- Battle of Hastings 50p – a design showing the scene from the Bayeux tapestry depicting King Harold with an arrow in his eye accompanied by the inscription “BATTLE OF HASTINGS 1066” and the date “2016”;
- Battle of Britain 50p – a design showing airmen running to their planes with enemy aircraft overhead accompanied by the inscription “THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940”;
- Girl Guides 50p – a design which depicts a repeating pattern of the current identity of Girlguiding UK, accompanied by the inscription “CELEBRATING ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF GIRLGUIDING UK” and the denomination “50 PENCE”.
It’s expected the coins will be issued in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 50p with commemorative collector’s editions in Cupro-Nickel, Silver and Gold being made available. It is not yet clear whether any of the new 50ps will be issued for circulation.
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