To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 50p coin, we’ve been asking Change Checkers to vote for their favourite UK 50p coin EVER!
With over 70 different designs issued by The Royal Mint since 1969, choosing an overall favourite is no easy task and so we decided to first split the coins into four categories – Modern, Olympic, Beatrix Potter and Pre 1997.
Change Checkers have been voting for their favourite coin from each category and the shortlisted results are now in, ready for the overall winning design to be chosen. Vote now in our poll at the bottom of this blog.
Top Modern 50p – 2017 Sir Isaac Newton
Top Olympic 50p – Football
Top Beatrix Potter 50p – 2016 Beatrix Potter
Top Pre 1997 – D-Day Landings
2017 Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. He changed our understanding of mathematics and physics, redefined the way we see the world and shaped the security of our currency in his role as Master of the Mint.
Designed by Aaron West, this 50p coin has been issued to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton and remembers the legacy he left.
The football 50p was possibly the most publicised of all the Olympic 50p designs, as it features the hotly debated offside rule in the form of a simple diagram.
Designer Neil Wolfson, a sports journalist by trade, chose an image which he felt would encapsulate the sport whilst also provoke discussion.
2016 Beatrix Potter
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the Royal Mint released this 50p to celebrate Beatrix herself.
Designed by Emma Noble, the coin includes elements that celebrate Beatrix as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature along with the nostalgic font used for the inscription.
Pre 1997 D-Day Landings
On 6th June 1944, a date known ever since as D-Day, a mighty alliance of British, American and Commonwealth armed forces crossed over from England to Normandy and began an assault on occupying German troops.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these D-Day landings in 1994, The Royal Mint released this 50p designed by sculptor John Mills depicts an armada of ships and planes heading in one direction.
Now that the top four coins have been shortlisted, it’s time to find out which 50p is the overall favourite amongst Change Checkers.
Vote in our poll below to pick the best 50p coin ever issued and we’ll announce the winning design later this week.
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
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app
After the interest in last week’s charts, I thought I would go into a little more detail about the coins which came out on top – because when it comes to collecting, there is one fact which is always inevitable – the rarest coins are always in highest demand.
So which coins in your pocket are the rare ones?
- Fifty Pence coins
Where else to start but the Kew Gardens 50p? As any change checker knows, it is the rarest coin currently in circulation, with just 210,000 struck. To put that in perspective – the next scarcest designs are the 2003 Suffragettes and 2011 WWF 50ps respectively with a mintage of just over 3 million apiece. The famous Chinese Pagoda of the gardens features on the reverse of the coin and is definitely worth looking for in your change. It remains the Holy Grail of circulation coins eluding even the keenest of collectors.
- Olympic Fifty Pence series
In celebration of London 2012, the Royal Mint issued a series of 29 different 50p designs – each representing a sport from either the Olympic or Paralympic Games. They have gone on to become some of the most highly sought-after coins and are still frequently hoarded from circulation. The ‘Offside rule’ Football 50p had everyone talking about its innovative design, but it also holds the title of the Olympic 50p with the lowest mintage. Only 1,125,500 were struck, which is marginally more than the Triathlon and Judo designs which are the next rarest in the series.
- One Pound coins
The £1 coin has not traditionally been a place for one-off commemorative designs, but themes have followed a similar pattern over the years, with the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom being represented in cycles. In recent years, the mintage of commemorative £1 coins has dropped off considerably, and the capital cities series is currently the most scarce. The 2011 Edinburgh design is the only £1 coin with a mintage below 1 million and the Cardiff and London issues follow closely behind. By way of comparison, there were over 443 million Royal Arms Shield £1 coins issued in 1983 alone.
- Two Pound coins
The 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 designs are notoriously difficult to find. There are four different versions, all similar, but with a different flag to represent each of the four constituent countries of the UK. You’ll need to look very closely at each flag to know which version you’ve got. The Northern Ireland design is the rarest £2 coin in circulation – only 485,500 were struck. The other three in the series are similarly scarce, so finding any Commonwealth Games £2 in your change is an achievement! Other £2 coins worthy of note include the three Olympic-themed designs; 2008 Handover, 2008 Centenary and 2012 Handover which also have mintages of less than one million.
So the next time you’re flicking through your coins, remember – all coins are not created equal! There are some you should count yourself lucky to have, and if you come across any of the rare coins mentioned in this post – it might just be worth hanging on to them!
Interested in the designs mentioned in this blog?
You can find, collect and even swap every commemorative coin in circulation with the FREE Change Checker App.
Click here to try it out!